Working Paper

An International Regulatory Framework for Risk Governance of Carbon Capture and Storage

May 15, 2007 | Shalini Vajjhala, Jenny Gode, Asbjørn Torvanger


This essay was prepared as part of a workshop on carbon capture and sequestration held by the International Risk Governance Council (IRGC) in Washington, DC, from March 15–16, 2007. The goal of the workshop was to bring together researchers, practitioners, and regulators from Europe, the United States, and Australia to outline the attributes that an effective regulatory regime for carbon capture and storage should possess. This essay focuses specifically on providing an overview of eight fundamental elements that we believe any effective international and national regulatory structure must address: 1) classification of carbon dioxide (CO2); 2) oversight of CO2 capture and storage; 3) site ownership and storage rights; 4) site operation and management; 5) long-term management and liability; 6) regulatory compliance and enforcement; 7) links to CO2 markets and trading mechanisms; and 8) risk communication and public acceptance. This essay is one of 12 collected for the workshop, and the recommendations herein are the views of the authors and do not reflect the views of their agencies, the IRGC, or specific workshop discussions.