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IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme

Background to the Study


The  London  Convention and  London  Protocol are the  global  treaties  that protect  the  marine environment from pollution caused by the dumping of wastes. Since 2006, the London Protocol has provided a basis in international environmental law to allow carbon dioxide (CO2) storage beneath the seabed  when  it  is safe  to  do  so,  and  to regulate  the  injection  of CO2  into  sub-seabed geological formations for permanent isolation. 


However, Article 6 of the London Protocol prohibits the export of waste or other matter for dumping in the marine environment. Therefore in 2019, Contracting Parties to the London Protocol adopted a resolution to allow provisional application of the 2009 amendment to Article 6 of the Protocol to allow export of CO2 for storage in sub-seabed geological formations in advance of its ratification, which was progressing slowly. This removed the last significant international legal barrier to carbon capture and storage (CCS), and means that CO2 can be transported across international  borders  to  offshore  storage.  This  report  describes  the  background,  details  and requirements  of this  provisional  application  of  the  CCS  export  amendment,  and  the  details  and requirements provided by the two associated guideline and guidance documents, and their implications.  


This  report  is  intended  to  assist  project  operators  and  regulators  in  accessing  and applying the CO2 export aspects of the London Protocol.  

The report is available to download.