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Geosequestration in Australia: Existing and Proposed Regulatory Mechanisms

Journal for European Environmental & Planning Law, Vol. 4, No. 5, pp. 378-392, 2007

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 08/41

22 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2008 Last revised: 23 May 2014

James Fahey

Mallesons Stephen Jaques

Rosemary Lyster

The University of Sydney Law School

Date Written: April 2008

Abstract

Geosequestration involves the capture (from power stations and other facilities) and storage of carbon dioxide for very long periods of time in underground geological formations.

This article is concerned with key legal and regulatory issues associated with establishing and operating geosequestration projects in Australia. It highlights the recent increased interest in, and raised profile of, using geosequestration as a greenhouse gas abatement measure in Australia. It reviews the cooperative efforts of the States, Territories and the Commonwealth to develop a nationally consistent regulatory framework for geosequestration projects, using existing petroleum legislation. These efforts have been driven by a lack of existing Australian legislation that provides an adequate and discrete regime dealing with the issues of responsibility and liability for geosequestered gas, although the release of draft legislation in this area is now imminent. It assesses some State legislative attempts to allow for the underground storage of carbon dioxide, and argues that these fail to satisfactorily deal with the long term (indefinite) nature of the storage aspect of geosequestration projects. Finally, this article examines the States' and Commonwealth's powers to legislate in respect of the injection and storage of carbon dioxide.

Keywords: geosequestration, Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories Reporting, petroleum legislation, project specific legislation, State and Commonwealth powers

JEL Classification: K32, K30, K10, N50, N57, Q20, Q28, M14

Suggested Citation

Fahey, James and Lyster, Rosemary, Geosequestration in Australia: Existing and Proposed Regulatory Mechanisms (April 2008). Journal for European Environmental & Planning Law, Vol. 4, No. 5, pp. 378-392, 2007; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 08/41. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1120688

James Fahey

Mallesons Stephen Jaques ( email )

Sydney, 2000
Australia

Rosemary Lyster (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

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