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A conversation with an editor of a new book on legal and regulatory issues - part 1 of 2
For the past few months we have written and published a series of blogs on topics that form a book, Carbon Capture and Storage: Emerging Legal and Regulatory Issues. The tome was published earlier this week and is now (or should be any day) available at book stores with legal sections in Europe and North America.
As I said in an earlier blog, one of the reasons we have talked about the book is that the publisher promises that the book will be “essential reading for lawyers, policy-makers, and decision-makers in industry involved in climate change policy and law.” Another is that the Global CCS Institute’s own Ian Havercroft, senior advisor for CCS Regulations, is among the book’s editors (if you'd like to contact Ian directly, click here).
We followed our initial blog on the book with a series of pieces by book contributors or their colleagues. Among them were:
- Meredith Gibbs' evaluation of the legal and regulatory environment for CCS in Australia;
- Ravanya Rajamani's thoughts on India and climate change policy; and
- Greg Cook's analysis of the treatment of CCS under greenhouse gas regulatory schemes.
We conclude our campaign around this book with an interview with Professor Richard Macrory from University College London (UCL), who is one of the editors of Carbon Capture and Storage: Emerging Legal and Regulatory Issues. I asked Richard a number of questions, so not to overwhelm readers we've broken down the Q&A in two parts. The second part will be published on Monday.
Richard, thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us about the book. Could you start by reminding us how this book came about?
Interest and research in law concerning CCS is a fairly recent phenomenon. Last year the Carbon Capture Legal Programme at UCL thought the time was ripe for an international conference which would assess and compare progress to date. UCL already has strong links with New York University and I had worked before with one of their leading environmental and energy lawyers, Professor Richard Stewart. So we made it a joint NYU/UCL event held in New York. The event was in part funded by the Global CCS Institute, which allowed us to include experts from other countries such as Australia and Canada.
What is the scope of the book?
The conference itself was a stimulating occasion and our speakers were an exciting mix of experts from industry, regulators and government and academia. Their contributions form the core of the book but it is much more than simply a set of conference papers. We asked our contributors to assess the state of the law concerning CCS within their topic area, and to highlight potential problem areas and challenges ahead. Equally importantly, we asked them all to keep their text to around 5,000 words. Writing succinctly is never easy, especially for academics and lawyers, but we felt this important if the book is to have as wide a readership as possible.
Contributors had the opportunity to revise their papers and we commissioned additional papers to provide a broader context. The book was produced by one of the leading European law publishers, Hart Publishers. Indeed as far as we know, it is the first book focused on CCS law produced by a UK or North American publisher (the Dutch publishers Intersentia have also recently published a book, Legal Design of Carbon Capture and Storage, which focuses on international, European and Dutch law).
What areas of CCS law are covered in the book?
Much of the legal concern over CCS to date has not surprisingly been with the issue of storage. A number of the chapters are rightly focused on this area, but we have gone wider to look at the whole cycle of CCS law including capture and transport, as well as economic issues. Developments in public international law are important especially where storage under the seabed is proposed, but national legislation (both Federal and State) and European Union law must all now be considered.
Are there any key themes emerging?
For those countries or regions that have developed specialised CCS legislation (and here we are talking mainly of Australia, Europe and North America), you can see common issues emerging and common core structures, though the detail will vary considerably - licensing systems for site selection and storage as the core regulatory instrument, for example. Again, governments that support the development of the technology recognise that the private sector cannot carry all the longer term risks, and most laws contain a provision for transfer of liability to the State at some point after closure of the site.
Thanks Richard. I think we'll leave it here for now, but we'll come back on Monday with a second part to this Q&A.
In the meantime, Institute Members can buy the book at a discounted rate by following the link below.
Topics:Policy legal and regulation