The corporatisation of international responses to climate change: The Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute

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Journal Article
Asia Pacific Journal of Environmental Law, 2010, 13 (1), pp. 17 - 37
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This article examines the legal and policy implications of the recent establishment of the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute ('Global CCS Institute') which is a new global entity whose primary aim is to accelerate the commercial deployment of Carbon Capture and Storage ('CCS') technology and projects around the world. It arises out of a diplomatic initiative by Australia but its emergence can only be understood against the backdrop of the emphasis on CCS in Australia's climate change law, policy and diplomacy, which is driven by the fact that Australia is heavily dependent on coal as a major export commodity and for the generation of electricity. This article examines the nature and structure of this new entity and whether this entity qualifies as a new international organisation with distinct international legal personality. While no conclusive answer can be given on this latter question, it is clear nonetheless that this new global body will have a significant role to play in future diplomacy and policy developments concerning climate change. It is argued that relying solely or even significantly on CCS is a very high risk strategy and represents a policy of 'business as usual' with respect to climate change. Initiatives such as the Global CCS Institute should not be used by governments and other vested interests as a distraction from the need to make significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions immediately or to divert funding and attention from more promising solutions such as expansion of renewable energy and measures to promote greater energy efficiency. © Australian Centre for Climate and Environmental Law 2010.
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