The role of regulators in reducing regulatory risk: using scenario planning to assess the regulatory framework for carbon capture and storage

Vannan, C. and Gemmell, J. C. (2012) The role of regulators in reducing regulatory risk: using scenario planning to assess the regulatory framework for carbon capture and storage. Risk Management, 14(1), pp. 27-41. (doi: 10.1057/rm.2011.11)

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Carbon capture and storage (CCS) refers to the capture, transport and storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) from emissions, to prevent it from entering the atmosphere. In order to be effective in climate change mitigation, the storage of CO2 will be required for many hundreds of years until well past the end of the fossil fuel era ( It is through avoiding the release of CO2 into the atmosphere that CCS is considered to offer an opportunity to help mitigate the effects of climate change. Scotland has the potential to be the location of one of the world's first full chain CCS Projects and, although all parts of the CCS chain have been demonstrated, and the chain itself demonstrated at small scale, as confirmed by the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute (GCCSI) in its 2011 report ‘The Global status of CCS’ there are still no examples of a full chain commercially sized CCS Project in operation anywhere in the world. There are a series of risks embedded in the development and implementation of CCS and it is the focus of Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), as the environmental regulator in Scotland alongside other regulators, to assess and manage these risks to an acceptable mitigation state and then operationalise the regulatory requirements. This article provides an overview of the issues and the process for risk management. In order to consider the effectiveness of the regulatory framework and to expose and address any potential risks ahead of any live CCS Projects, SEPA worked with the Scottish Government to develop an innovative project designed to test Scotland's regulatory framework through a novel assessment methodology based on emergency planning scenarios. The principal objectives were to identify regulatory gaps or overlaps and elements that could be streamlined or better managed, and to evaluate the risks, barriers, information gaps and any other issues that would affect the successful demonstration and deployment of CCS in Scotland.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gemmell, Professor James Campbell
Authors: Vannan, C., and Gemmell, J. C.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering
Journal Name:Risk Management
Publisher:Palgrave Macmillan
ISSN (Online):1743-4637

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