IMO advances transboundary CCS

The UN’s International Maritime Organization (IMO) has declared that the cross-border transport of carbon dioxide (CO2) may now be allowed for the purpose of carbon capture and storage (CCS).

This breakthrough is based on a decision of the London Protocol, which provides the basis in international law for governments to allow CCS under the seabed. According to Fredrik Haag, who heads IMO’s Office for the London Convention and Protocol and Ocean Affairs, “The adoption of the resolution will remove a barrier for countries who wish to make use of carbon capture and storage – but which do not have ready access to offshore storage sites within their national boundaries.” He went on to add that “Carbon sequestration can be considered as one of a portfolio of options to reduce levels of atmospheric CO2 and can be an important interim solution in the fight against climate change”.

IOGP Environment Director Wendy Brown welcomes the IMO’s decision. “As an Association, we have observer status at IMO and attended the London Convention and London Protocol meeting at IMO’s headquarters on 4-11 October. It’s encouraging that the session endorsed carbon sequestration for relevant countries – particularly since it is a process that our industry originally developed and is now applying more widely.”

Previously, in an IOGP-coordinated report, The Potential for
CCU (carbon capture & utilization) and CCS in Europe, limits to transboundary movement of carbon dioxide were identified as a significant barrier to progress. “Approval of this resolution is a major step forward for major CCS projects such as Northern Lights, which envisages transboundary movement of CO2 between different European countries in future phases,” Wendy says.

See The potential for CCS and CCU in Europe for more information about CCU and CCS in Europe.

Visit the IMO or Maritime-Executive for more information about the IMO transboundary decision.

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