CCS at the London Convention’s scientific group meeting SG47


By Tim Dixon

20 May 2024

The London Convention/Protocol held its annual Scientific Group meeting SG47 in London at the IMO from April 15th-19th.

Tim Dixon poses with the other delegates from the London Convention Scientific Group Meeting SG 47

The London Convention/Protocol held its annual Scientific Group meeting SG47 in London at the IMO from April 15th-19th. It was observed by the IMO secretariat that interest in offshore CCS is increasing significantly. Much of the time of SG47 was spent on marine geoengineering issues and CCS. Since the last meeting, there has been a survey conducted on CCS permitting experiences by countries, and the results were nicely summarised in a paper for this meeting and discussed. This was a good exercise in sharing experiences and learnings, and prompting many questions from Greenpeace asking for further information in specific areas. It was clear to us from our knowledge of our Monitoring and Risk Networks and the Offshore CCS Workshops that there is much more experience and capability available to share, which we did inform on briefly in our Plenary intervention. The Scientific Group agreed that this work will continue gathering information to report back next year. IEAGHG will input more into this process.

On Marine Geoengineering, whilst there is a London Protocol amendment from 2013 to limit and permit such activities for research purposes only (still to be accepted by enough countries to come into force), there are many research projects in a range of marine geoengineering techniques now underway around the world. The challenge for the London Protocol Parties is to keep up with all these developments. This is the leading international body in seeking to regulate geoengineering (as it was the first international body to regulate CCS).

Each year the Scientific Group have a ‘Science Day’. This year it was on the topic of Experiences with Permitting CCS projects under the London Protocol. Experiences were shared by Australia, the USA, Italy, Korea, Norway and Japan. It was an honour to provide the scene-setting on Global CCS Developments Offshore. I reminded the participants why CCS is needed, the international regulations in place including from the London Protocol (noting the three ‘arrangements’ now in place between countries for export), also drawing from the learnings from our report on permitting an EU project concerning the London Protocol requirements (IEAGHG report 2016-TR04), and lastly drawing from the 6th Offshore CCS Workshop in September last year where around 30 project updates were given (IEAGHG report 2023-TR06). There were many good questions from Greenpeace and others, and appreciation from Greenpeace for the sharing opportunity this Science Day provided. The recording of the Science Day is available on the IMO’s YouTube channel at LC/SG Science Day – IMO 18 April 2024 – YouTube and it will be summarised in the report of the SG47 meeting.

So CCS continues to be a key topic of interest in the London Convention/Protocol. IEAGHG is the only CCS organisation participating regularly in these meetings, sharing scientific and technical evidence base.