A critical evaluation of the environmental law framework applicable to carbon capture and storage in South Africa
The objective of this study is to conduct a critical evaluation of the environmental law framework applicable to carbon capture and storage (hereafter CCS) in South Africa. The discussion begins by confirming that CCS has a place in environmental law as a mitigation measure. The inclusion of CCS in the clean development mechanism could incentivise the development of environmental law frameworks for CCS in South Africa. Implementation of CCS is gradual, with only eight large scale integrated CCS projects having been established around the world. An appreciation of key scientific concepts is helpful for an understanding of the CCS process. The CCS project life cycle and related impacts on the environment provide a context for discussion of the legal requirements accompanying the CCS life cycle. The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 and the National Environmental Management Act 107 of 1998 constitute appropriate framework legislation for CCS. Decision 3/CMP.1, Modalities and procedures for a clean development mechanism as defined in Article 12 of the Kyoto Protocol adopted by the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol held at Montreal from 28 November to 10 December 2001 March 2006 provides international legal requirements accompanying the project life cycle against which the South African legal framework is examined. Some provisions of additional South African laws and policies will be applicable to CCS depending on the nature of the specific CCS project, but specific regulations may have to be developed for South Africa. Policy documents have been gradually bringing clarity to the way forward in arriving at a legal framework for CCS, and by reference to existing local legislation and international guidance, an environmental law framework for CCS can be developed for South Africa.
- Law