CCS Legal Fellowship

The Global CCS Institute has launched a CCS Fellowship program designed to recruit industry experts to work with Institute specialists on important current issues facing the CCS industry. Fellowships are conducted over six months.  Fellows undertake a program of work that aligns with the Institute's core strategic objectives of providing influential advice and advocacy; authoritative knowledge sharing on CCS; and will be effective in the context of the current public debate on climate change technologies and expected global developments over the next 12 months.

Meredith Gibbs

Inaugural CCS Legal Fellow: Dr Meredith Gibbs

D​r Meredith Gibbs is the inaugural Global CCS Institute Legal Fellow having been awarded the Institute's first CCS Fellowship in February 2016. A prominent Australian environmental and climate change lawyer and a partner at HWL Ebsworth Lawyers in Melbourne, Dr Gibbs is a leading expert on Australia's CCS legal regimes. She is recognised in Australia's Best Lawyers for her expertise in Climate Change Law and has advised CCS proponents and government departments on CCS legal and regulatory issues.

Work Program and Methodology

Dr Gibbs worked with the Institute to deliver a research program focused on effective enforcement of the underground storage of carbon dioxide (CO2). This issue is important because the perception of an effective enforcement regime that ensures the permanent and safe storage of CO2 will be crucial in increasing public and industry confidence in CCS as a viable technology.

The Fellowship provided an opportunity to contribute to the knowledge about the kind of legal regimes that will foster and promote CCS as part of a low-carbon future.

Dr Gibbs' research identified the key features of an effective enforcement regime for the underground storage of CO2. Adopting a case study approach, the research project focused upon the legal regimes of the Australian Commonwealth, the State of Victoria, Japan, Malaysia and China.

For each case study Dr Gibbs examined the legal requirements for monitoring and verification of a CO2 storage site including pre- and post-closure phases.  The site closure processes, technical information and data collection requirements, enforcement mechanisms available and the allocation of roles and responsibilities for enforcement, and identified barriers to effective enforcement of underground storage requirements and how these might be overcome were also examined in detail. For case studies in countries where the legal framework for underground storage is less developed, the research recommended areas where the existing legal framework can be augmented to better assist the deployment of the technology.

Publications and webinar

Throughout the Fellowship program, Dr Gibbs produced a series of small reports, including 

Dr Gibb’s final report was published in August available on the Global CCS Institute’s website.

A webinar which examined the report’s findings was also hosted by the Institute on the 18 August 2016. A recording of the webinar and a browsable version of Dr Gibbs slides are also available.