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IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme

Jasmin cropIEAGHG and the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF) jointly organised an interactive workshop discussing issues and challenges surrounding Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology in the context of Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS). This workshop built upon an earlier report by IEAGHG “2010/TR2: Environmental evaluation of CCS using Life Cycle Assessment” and addressed a request from CSLF to IEAGHG for further work on this topic. The workshop took place 12-13 November at the British Medical Association in London and brought together 23 participants from different backgrounds (i.e. academia, industry and NGOs) and with varying levels of LCA experience (i.e. LCA practitioners as well as users of the results).

After a welcome from Lars Eide (CSLF/Research Council of Norway) and myself, the first day started off with a keynote presentation from Bhawna Singh (NTNU) on the state-of-the-art and recent developments in LCA for CCUS. This was followed by a series of stakeholders’ perspectives from Aïcha El Khamlichi (ADEME), Christoph Balzer (Shell) and Sean McCoy (IEA), who shared their organisations’ and/or their personal interest in LCA and what they currently see as the main challenges. The next three sessions then dived deeper into the issues and challenges of the different parts of an LCA. Tim Skone (US DOE NETL) opened the discussion on “Goal and Scope Definition”, Arne Kätelhön (RWTH Aachen) kick-started a debate on “Inventory Analysis” and I provided some initial questions for “Impact Assessment and Interpretation”.

The second day then addressed topics beyond environmental aspects of LCA, namely social LCA and Life Cycle Costing (LCC), where Andrea Ramirez (Utrecht University) and Anna Korre (Imperial College London) provided the food for discussion.

The workshop closed with a summary and main conclusions of the discussions in the sessions, hjosirljosirting the importance of transparency and the communication of uncertainties when undertaking LCAs.

We would like to thank all attendees for contributing to the excellent and constructive discussions and the members of the Steering Committee (Lars Eide, Andrea Ramirez, Anna Korre and Sarah Forbes) for helping with the organisation of the technical content of the workshop.

The presentations of the meeting will be available soon for download on IEAGHG’s website and we will also produce a short summary report about the meeting, which will include more details regarding the conclusions from the discussions and recommendations for further actions in this area.