Carbon capture and storage (CCS) must be implemented on a global scale if ambitious targets for greenhouse gas emissions are to be met, yet deployment of the technology over the last decade has been much slower than IEA targets recommend.
Like most other low‑carbon technologies, CCS is reliant on policy to provide focussed financial incentives for emissions reduction. However, the technology faces various additional barriers, including high upfront costs and investment risks, new infrastructure requirements, uncertain public and political support, and a need for new regulatory regimes governing CO2 storage.
To help overcome these barriers, a number of formal collaborations have been established between countries with commitments to CCS development. Multilateral initiatives such as the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum, the IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme, and the Global CCS Institute have sought to share research experience, spread favourable policy and regulation, promote public acceptance, and build mutual trust in an international commitment to CCS. Several bilateral agreements, often between an OECD country and China, have also been created over the last decade with a view to promote cross-border investment and joint research into CCS.
Although the project deployment goals of both types of initiative have often fallen short of expectations, a degree of progress can also be attributed to their collective efforts, which have maintained the place of CCS in the global agenda on climate change while spreading interest in the technology to new regions. As a dedicated climate change solution which is fundamentally dependent on concerted political action, the future of CCS will be intimately linked to the success of such international co-operation.