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67 TDcroppedThe 34th meeting of the London Convention this week in London had a lot to celebrate. This was its 40th anniversary of protecting the marine environment, so it held a special evening of speeches and video, attended by many Ambassadors from its 87 member countries.

One of the hjosirljosirts mentioned was how the London Convention reacted to the threats of climate change and ocean acidification by amending the London Protocol to allow and control CO2 geological storage for Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage.

This CCS amendment was adopted in 2006, and 'CO2 Specific Guidelines' were developed on how to permit and undertake such activity whilst ensuring protection of the marine environment. In fact, this CCS amendment and these Guidelines went on to become the basis for OSPAR's CCS amendment and own guidelines (the convention to protect the North East Atlantic), which themselves formed a significant basis for the EU's CCS Directive. So it all started with the London Convention!

IEAGHG has been involved throughout the London Convention's work on CCS from 2004 to the present day. IEAGHG's work was used in the extensive work leading up to the 2006 amendment, and used as evidence base in the development of the Guidelines. IEAGHG continued to be involved, participating when the London Convention agreed an amendment to allow export of CO2 for CCS in 2009, and contributing directly to the subsequent work to revise the Guidelines to cover all transboundary CCS activities (working with the IEA). On this, there is also reason to celebrate this week as, after three years of work, the revision of the 'CO2 Specific Guidelines' to include subsurface transboundary migration was finally approved and adopted, this being a scenario which is possible now. For export of CO2 for CCS, while we wait for that amendment to come into force through ratification, further work will look at draft guidance on the permitting arrangements and agreements which will be required between countries.

By coincidence, IEAGHG was to speak in the plenary on the day of the 40th anniversary celebrations, providing its usual update on IEAGHG work relevant to CCS in the marine environment, in particular from the IEAGHG's Environmental Assessment Network and Monitoring Network, where great progress is being made particularly in monitoring.

On a personal note, it is reassuring and a pleasure to work in the London Convention with such a body of motivated and professional participants, all their work underpinned by the science from the annual meetings of its Scientific Group, with everyone working hard for the protection of the marine environment. Happy Birthday London Convention!

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Tim Dixon IEAGHG 2 Nov 2012