The overall aim of the research project ‘Politics and Policy of Carbon Capture and Storage’ is to examine the political, policy and societal implications of CCS (in the context of barriers, opportunities, risks and benefits associated with CCS) as a climate mitigation option. The project is financed by the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research (Mistra) 2008-2010 and L.M. It is coordinated by the Department of Political Science at Lund University, Sweden and involves international scholars from research institutes and universities in Canada, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, UK and the US. The Mistra-CCS project focuses on the political, institutional and governance dimensions of carbon capture and storage. It is concerned with the way CCS is understood by social actors, how disputes and tensions about CCS are managed by societies, the complex problems governments must negotiate concerning the uptake of this new technology, and the development of appropriate policy and regulatory frameworks.

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies have increasingly been brought to the fore as a tool to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve CO2 stabilization. Cautious optimism reflects dominant perceptions of CCS: CCS is not the silver bullet to solve the climate problem, but remains a necessary option in a larger portfolio of diverse climate mitigation strategies. In the current policy debate, CCS is advanced as an option in the context of a portfolio of climate change mitigation strategies, such as transition to renewable energy, promotion of energy efficiency and other low-carbon alternatives such as nuclear and hydropower. The past years CCS has become increasingly embedded in EU’s energy and climate policy making, such as the 2008 framework directive on CCS as well the UNFCCC post-2012 climate negotiations. While CCS is seen as one of many necessary mitigation options among political elites and industry, the technology is becoming increasingly contested among environmentalists and parliamentarians.