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Too little, too soon? An assessment of Australian carbon capture and storage legislation against the new standards set for the Clean Development Mechanism

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At the 2011 UN climate summit in Durban, agreement was reached on rules for the inclusion of carbon capture and storage as part of the Clean Development Mechanism. Advocates of the technology have hailed this as a major milestone, and it is widely predicted that the industry will now grow considerably. Australia, with significant geological formations and enabling legislation already in place at both federal and state levels, is likely to be one of the countries pioneering this growth. The CDM decision, being the first internationally agreed set of rules for CCS, provides an important benchmark against which to assess Australian legislation. In this context, the article reviews the legal frameworks for CCS in Australia. Interestingly, Australia’s CCS laws would not satisfy the standards set for host-country legal frameworks under the CDM. However, Australia does offer some lessons that may be useful for the regulation of CCS in other jurisdictions.


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