CO2 storage in the seabed?

Riparian states of the Northeast Atlantic adopt regulations for the storage of carbon dioxide

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The riparian states of the Northeast Atlantic have agreed on an important step towards the introduction of the technology for the capture and storage of carbon dioxide (CO2). At a meeting in Ostend, Belgium, state representatives decided on a set of rules to store CO2 streams from industrial processes in the subsoil. The carbon dioxide is to be stored in former oil and gas reservoirs as well as salt mines to depths of 500 meters. Both the Federal Environment Minister and the WWF were satisfied with the decision.


The decision to store CO2 in the seabed provides for the establishment of a mandatory approval system with strict environmental protection requirements for the introduction of CCS technology. The aim is to ensure the protection of the marine environment and of human health as well as the uses of the sea. On German initiative, the introduction of CO2 streams into the water column and the seabed is generally forbidden, the CO2 streams are to be stored in geological formations in the seabed.

Important contribution to climate protection

Federal Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel expressed his satisfaction with the result, which makes an important contribution to climate protection: "The countries bordering the Northeast Atlantic are moving forward with the introduction of the new forward-looking CCS technology. The decision is of great importance in terms of energy and nature conservation. This clears the way for creating binding, demanding conditions for the storage of CO2. The new authorization procedures should equally safeguard the interests of climate protection and the protection of the marine environment. "CCS stands for" Carbon Capture and Storage ", the capture and storage of CO2.

The WWF also welcomes the decision of the 15 signatory states and the EU as a meaningful climate protection measure, because it stipulates very strict ecological conditions for CO2 storage. "This is not a free ticket for climate killers. The environmental risks of careful carbon dioxide storage in the seabed are much lower than those of global warming and acidification, "said WWF marine expert Stephan Lutter in Ostend. The decision must still be ratified by the contracting states. display

No loophole for climate sinners

The OSPAR countries have followed the WWF's call for ocean storage to be allowed only if it leads to a net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. "That's the key point. The resolution prevents CO2 storage from becoming a loophole for climate offenders, "says Lutter. It is a climate protection measure that does not hinder the gradual conversion of the energy supply from fossil to renewable energy sources.

(BMU, WWF, 29.06.2007 - AHE)