Media Coverage 1. Title: Mlex Headline: EC’s guidelines could lead to never-ending liabilities for CCS site operators Date: 21/04/2011 Guidelines on how to implement laws governing carbon capture and storage (CCS) sites in the EU could leave site operators financially responsible forever, warn companies, scientists, academics and environmental groups supporting development of the technology. The European Commission this month sent non-binding guidance to EU governments to help implement the EU legal framework for CCS. Among other things, the commission suggested that companies operating storage sites for CO2 set aside at least 25 percent of the estimated total operating, safety and compliance liabilities that could arise from any leak or accident (see MLex story here). But supporters of the technology in Europe, represented by Zero Emissions Platform (Zep), warn that the commission’s interpretation of how financial liability for any potential accident at a site should be transferred – in the event of a change of ownership, for example – could leave the bill in the hands of the original site operator.
“Financial security provided by the previous operator should not cover obligations for continued injection,” Zep said in a response note to the commission’s guidance. “The directive gives the competent authority discretion to continue such injection, but it would be contrary to the very principles of the directive to do so at the expense of the previous operator.” Open-ended financial liability for CO2 storage sites could scare off potential developers, and act as a roadblock to development of CCS in Europe. Many, including EU energy commissioner Günther Oettinger, believe CCS technology will be essential, if the EU is to cut its CO2 emissions by 80-95 percent by 2050, as EU leaders have pledged. The provision in question is Article 11(4) of the CCS Directive.
2. Title: Comment Visions (European Voice) Headline: Contribution to debate on how government and industry can win public support for new low-carbon technologies Date: 27/04/2011