Slow progress again on ratification of the London Convention’s export amendment for CCS


By Tim Dixon

9 November 2018

It is the 40th meeting of the London Convention and the 13th meeting of the London Protocol this week, the global treaties that protect the marine environment. The detailed work on transboundary CCS was completed in 2012 (see IEAGHG 2013-IP26 and 2014-IP19) but outstanding is the ratification of the 2009 amendment for CO2 export which would remove a barrier to transboundary CO2 storage projects offshore. Whilst the 2009 export amendment was adopted in 2009, to come into force, two thirds of the now 50 Parties to the London Protocol need to ratify the amendment (ie 33). In terms of ratification progress, there were no new announcements at this meeting. Previously, Norway, UK, Netherlands, Iran and Finland have ratified. At this meeting Norway urged Parties to make progress with ratifications with a strong argument that CCS is needed for climate change mitigation as shown by the most recent IPCC 1.5C report, and the export prohibition is a barrier to CCS. The London Convention Chair supported this and also urged progress by Parties. So as this export amendment is still very slow towards coming into force, should alternatives be progressed? These alternatives have been suggested by the IEA Working Paper in 2011 “CCS and the London Protocol: Options for Enabling Transboundary CO2 Transfer” and more recently as presented by Ingvild Ombudstvedt at the 3rd Offshore CCS workshop (IEAGHG Report 2018-TR02) and at GHGT-14 session 11C.

Also under the CCS agenda item in this London Convention meeting, Norway gave an update on the Northern Lights project (also given in more detail by Equinor at a lunchtime presentation). IEAGHG gave an update on activities relating to offshore CCS, including the STEMM-CCS project, the 3rd Offshore CCS workshop, and the two new US projects in the Gulf of Mexico. 

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