The role of international law and regional legal instruments in developing CCUS value chains

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By IOM Law

IOM Law has conducted a high-level screening and legal mapping of relevant legal instruments as part of WP2, which will contribute towards the identification and selection of value-chains in WP3 and WP4. The firm’s Lena Østgaard presented some preliminary findings and discussed the role of international law and regional legal instruments in developing CCUS value chains at the 2023 TCCS conference held in Trondheim, Norway in mid-June. The presentation focused on offshore storage in Europe as a case study. An overview has been provided below. IOM Law will also publish an article following the presentation in the TCCS-12 special issue of Carbon Capture Science and Technology, a journal published by IChemE and Elsevier.

International, regional and national legal frameworks form part of the starting point when identifying value chains, dictating e.g. if and where you can store, under what circumstances and criteria. The international and regional instruments that are particularly relevant for the two regions in CCUS ZEN include the London Convention and its 1996 Protocol, the Barcelona Convention and the Helsinki Convention. The presentation focused on these instruments, but also introduced two other regional sea conventions; the OSPAR Convention and the Bucharest Convention. These regions will also be considered in more detail in the article for further learnings. The presentation focused on how the aforementioned instruments have chosen to regulate dumping activities, and what the implications are for storage of CO2 in sub-seabed geological formations in the different regions.

The presentation was followed by a lively discussion and several organisations expressed their interest in the CCUS ZEN project. Carbfix has since joined as a networking partner. Carbfix is a climate innovation company based in Iceland and is the world's first CO2 mineral storage operator. The CO2 is dissolved in water and is injected into the subsurface where it reacts with favourable rock formations to form solid carbonate minerals via natural processes. The project partners are excited to have Carbfix on board and are looking forward to this new collaboration.

For any questions regarding the presentation or article, please reach out to Lena at

Photo by Dominika Roseclay on Pexels