The Policy Group is responsible for carrying out the following functions of the CSLF:
- Identify key legal, regulatory, financial, public perception, institutional-related, or other issues associated with the achievement of improved technological capacity
- Identify potential issues relating to the treatment of intellectual property
- Establish guidelines for the collaborations and reporting of results
- Assess regularly the progress of collaborative projects and, following reports from the Technical Group, make recommendations on the direction of such projects
- Ensure that CSLF activities complement ongoing international cooperation in this area
- Consider approaches to address issues associated with the above functions
Other responsibilities include the following:
- Review all projects for consistency with the CSLF Charter
- Consider recommendations of the Technical Group for appropriate action
- Review the Policy and Technical Groups’ overall program and activities annually
- Review the Terms of Reference and Procedures periodically
At the 5th CSLF Ministerial Meeting in 2013, the CSLF Ministers charged the Policy Group to establish an exploratory committee to discuss policy issues concerning actions where international collaboration could globally advance carbon capture and storage (CCS). After numerous discussions, the Policy Group established working committees in four areas:
- Enhanced communications
- Global collaboration on large-scale CCS projects
- Financing for CCS projects
- Development of second and third generation CCS technologies
Over the past two years, the committees developed, and are now implementing, a work plan around each major action.
Since the CSLF is the only ministerial body focused solely on CCS, it is well-positioned to communicate with Ministers. Thus, the CSLF has investigated and proceeded to communicate key CCS messages directly in other Ministerial-level meetings, such as the Clean Energy Ministerial, Mission Innovation, and even the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. These messages highlight the need to view CCS on a “level playing field” with other clean energy technologies, the need to give CCS “policy parity,” and the need for CCS in industrial sector applications such as the cement and steel industries. To help prepare a communications strategy to distribute key CCS messages, the CSLF has engaged a communications expert and continues to coordinate with the IEA and the Global CCS Institute on high-level messages and communications on CCS.
Large-Scale CCS Projects
The CSLF is well positioned to facilitate global collaboration efforts for large-scale CCS projects, whether by adding new greenfield projects or adding additional functionality and value to existing or planned commercial projects. Furthermore, as many of the recently deployed large-scale CCS projects are focused on storage via enhanced oil recovery, the needs of large saline formation storage has remained underserved. Therefore, the CSLF formed the Large-Scale Saline Storage Project Network to (1) facilitate collaborative testing of advanced technologies at large-scale saline storage sites and (2) to form a global network of large-scale injection sites that can share best practices, operational experience, and key learnings. As a first step in this effort, the U.S. Department of Energy and the Shell Quest project have collaborated over the past year on identifying opportunities to field test advanced technologies.
The Financing for CCS Projects committee has hosted a series of workshops and discussions on the business case for CCS, including discussions of what business-to-business connections and government-to-government actions the CSLF should facilitate. These workshops have demonstrated that there is growing interest in CCS; concluded that lessons learned from existing projects have important impacts; and shown that projects require stable government systems, supporting CCS policy, and legal and regulatory frameworks to succeed. The workshops have resulted in increased dialogue between the CCS community and financial institutions, improving understanding of the issues and risks associated with financing CCS projects.
2nd and 3rd Generation CCS Technologies
The 2nd and 3rd Generation CCS Technologies Task Force identified emerging technologies for carbon capture and testing facilities through a technical literature review and assessed policy and funding mechanisms through interviews with CCS stakeholders. A set of recommendations for Ministerial consideration has been put forth based on the Task Force’s analysis. The recommendations call for the CSLF to continue to enhance collective efforts among governments, technology developers and adopters, and academia/researchers by enhancing networks, sharing best practices, and fostering research cooperation and exchanges.
In addition to the four new areas of work mentioned above, the CSLF Policy Group manages and executes efforts under the CSLF Capacity Building Program.
CSLF Capacity Building Government Council
The CSLF Capacity Building Program strives to assist all CSLF Members to develop the information, tools, skills, expertise, and institutions required to implement CCS demonstrations and then move them rapidly into commercial operation. The Program Plan further defines four program initiatives:
- Disseminate practical information
- Build capacity in emerging economies
- Assist government and regulatory agencies
- Build academic and research institutions for CCS
Each of the capacity-building projects undertaken by the CSLF addresses one or more of these program initiatives. To date, 16 capacity-building projects in six countries have been approved and either have been, or will be, conducted. In August 2015, the CSLF sent a new request for additional project proposals for funding under the CSLF Capacity Building Program, and CSLF emerging economy members are encouraged to submit proposals. In addition, workshops and other events are open to participants from all CSLF Members.
CSLF Academic Task Force
Formed in June 2009, the CSLF Academic Task Force works to identify and engage academic programs on CCS throughout the world. Accomplishments include a worldwide mapping and gap analysis of CCS post-graduate academic courses. At the 2015 CSLF Mid-Year Meeting, the Task Force was re-established with a new organizational structure and focus to advance CSLF objectives via academic CCS research programs, international collaborations, research exchanges, networks, and summer schools. With more proactive engagement among the CCS academic community, the CSLF can facilitate and align international research collaborations with priority areas and leverage funding opportunities that advance the CSLF’s mission. The CSLF Academic Task Force has agreed to the following:
- Conduct an initial baseline survey of current CCS academic research and training programs and academic champions among Task Force members
- Assess funding commitments and mechanisms
- Determine opportunities to leverage resources from programs such as the CSLF Capacity Building Program
- Assess resources needed to strengthen and catalyze Task Force activities