Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

The Application of the Environment Act 2021 Principles to Carbon Capture and Storage

Version 1 : Received: 24 January 2022 / Approved: 25 January 2022 / Online: 25 January 2022 (11:41:23 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Journal reference: Laws 2022
DOI: 10.3390/laws11010015


Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is a new technology considered to have the potential to decarbonise economies. However, nationally and internationally the use of CCS has also been raising concerns about its potential global risks and adverse impacts on the environment. CCS was part of the discussions at the 4th United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) in March 2019 and in side-events in the 26th UN Climate Change Conference which took place in Glasgow in November 2021. The UK Government aims to deploy CCS at scale during the 2030s, subject to cost reduction. At the same time the UK Government has recently enacted the Environment Act 2021 which provides a set of five environmental principles: the integration principle, the principle of preventative action, the precautionary principle, the rectification at source principle and the polluter pays principle. This work seeks to analyse the application of the UK environmental law principles to carbon capture and storage policies in the UK and its balance with other considerations. Given the concerns surrounding the use of CCS, the debate about its legality may arise in the UK and in other countries. To this end, this paper initially carries out a systematic review of CCS policy documents to discover the policy considerations which support the development of CCS. It then examines the application of the UK environmental law principles to CCS initiatives and its balance with other considerations, such as reduction of carbon emissions, security of energy supply, economic growth and technological leadership. In doing so, this paper aims at contributing to the debate surrounding recent technological developments which have been utilised to help address climate change and some of the legal challenges emerging through the use of CCS under UK environmental law.


environmental law principles; carbon capture and storage; energy; climate change



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