CCSMARKET analyses what laypersons in Norway, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, and the UK think about carbon capture and storage (CCS). This is a technology to capture CO2 from cement factories, waste incineration facilities, or chemical plants before it reaches the atmosphere where it would contribute to global warming. The captured CO2 is then stored deep underground in empty oil and gas fields or in other geological structures that are sealed-off and can keep the CO2 for centuries to millennia. The experts from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the EU, and the Norwegian Government think using CCS is important if we want to stop emitting CO2 to reach the 1.5°C-goal, most states have agreed upon in the Paris Agreement in 2015. The technology is ready for use, but in some countries people are sceptical of the technology and are against its deployment, like in the Netherlands or Germany. At the same time, in Norway and the UK, there are very concrete plans to import CO2 from other countries and store it under the North Sea. The Norwegian government has initiated substantial efforts to develop offshore storage solutions on the Norwegian shelf in the North Sea. The storage potential is higher than the emissions from the Norwegian energy sector. Thus, CO2 is planned be imported from other countries to fill storage sites on Norwegian territory. The lack of public acceptability, especially of onshore storage has been a barrier to the promotion of CCS in Europe in the past. With CCSMARKET we want to find out how the prospect of exporting CO2 to other jurisdictions might affect the acceptability in the sending countries and whether people in the importing countries would still be in favour of CCS, using a comparative survey design. What the public thinks influences the political feasibility of setting up a European CO2-transport and -storage infrastructure and this can affect the chances of actually reaching the goal of NetZero Emissions
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is identified by the IPCC as an essential part of the path towards reaching the goals of the Paris Agreement. Unlike other approaches and technologies, CCS is ready for global deployment. In Europe, there is gigatonne offshore storage potential below the North Sea. The Norwegian government has initiated substantial efforts to develop offshore storage solutions, in particular on the Norwegian continental shelf in the North Sea. The storage potential is higher than the emissions from the Norwegian energy sector. Thus, CO2 is planned to be imported from foreign emitters to fill storage sites on Norwegian territory. Similar efforts are now under construction in the UK, while other countries in Northern-Europe are planning to capture CO2 from large emitters and export this to storage sites in other countries.
The lack of public acceptance, especially of onshore storage, has been a barrier to the promotion of CCS in Europe in the past. There is insufficient knowledge on how the prospect of exporting CO2 to other jurisdictions might affect support for CCS in European countries, and how the prospect of importing CO2 affects support for CCS in Norway and the UK. Preliminary data from an ongoing CLIMIT funded research project indicate that this could significantly reduce support for CCS, yet the results are inconclusive, and research on the mechanisms that shape relevant attitudes is lacking. A dedicated research project on this issue is necessary.
The project CCSMARKET will answer these questions by conducting survey experiments in six Northern European countries and map how the prospects of exporting/importing CO2 for storage influence support for CCS. The surveys will be designed to improve our understanding of the mechanisms at play, this will be useful for (re-)designing CCS policies and public communication, as well as empirical tests of theoretical models that will bring the CCS acceptance literature beyond the state of the art.