NATO Science for Peace and Security Series C: Environmental Security, Uncertainties in Environmental Modelling and Consequences for Policy Making, pp.253-264
As the severity of the global CO2 problem gradually is becoming clear to everybody, decisions will have to be made concerning permitting of carbon storage projects. Fossil fuel based power plants can produce energy at competitive prices with other energy sources even if equipped with capture facilities. Thus, the fossil fuel industry is ready to implement carbon capture and storage (CCS) once a CO2 tax regime or its equivalent is introduced. Questions associated with accounting for leaky storage reservoirs over millennial time scales in a carbon credit regime and estimating impacts of CO2 on climate and ocean ecosystems will then have to be addressed in order to estimate the benefits and possible damage from any given storage project. Available environmental models for such questions have only limited validation data but are foreseen to play a key role, and acquisition of required site specific data may be costly. Experience from the past 15 years of research on CO2 storage options and the associated science — policy interface suggests that uncertain models tend to be trusted too much by policy makers. In some cases, good intentions for environmental protection lead to a compartmentalized approach that is unsuitable for global problems where tradeoffs may be inevitable. In conclusion, the likelihood of poor environmental management decisions on carbon storage is large and the actual need for alternative solutions to the CO2 problem is larger than proponents of CCS may like to think.
Environment ; Math. Appl. in Environmental Science ; Environmental Law/Policy/Ecojustice ; Environmental Management ; Climate Change ; Soil Science & Conservation ; Engineering ; Environmental Sciences