A theoretical and practical analysis of the complex liability issues raised by carbon capture and storage systems for containing greenhouse gases.
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) systems inject highly compressed carbon dioxide gas deep into geological formations in order to contain the gas, and its harmful effects on the planet, for the foreseeable future and beyond—for centuries or even millennia. Used effectively, CCS could lessen the impact of climate change while carbon-free energy sources are developed. And yet CCS is not widely deployed. In this book, Michael Faure and Roy Partain offer a theoretical and practical discussion of one of the main obstacles to CCS adoption: complex liability and compensation issues.
Faure and Partain point out that current liability rules are unclear in their application to CCS. Causation is complicated, and the timeline of hundreds of years goes beyond the lifetimes of people or corporations. Examining the subject from legal and economic perspectives, they consider whether rules of civil liability can govern CCS risk; how a liability system might address the open-ended timeline; what role public and private regulatory measures could play; and whether compensation should be provided from public or private resources. They investigate the utility of different forms of insurance and of such financial tools as guarantees, deposits, and catastrophe bonds. They offer not only a rigorous framework for assessing policy but also a summary of policy recommendations they develop from their findings.