The potential to exacerbate or accelerate climate change as a consequence of burning fossil fuels has received considerable international attention in recent years. The Kyoto Protocol emerged as one response to initiate first steps towards stabilisation of atmospheric concentrations of CO2.It is clear that there is no one single technology that can lead to stabilisation in the timeframe that appears to be required. Large-scale implementation of capture and storage of CO2 is being considered as a potential option that could make a material contribution to a portfolio of options for the stabilisation of atmospheric concentrations.

A number of hurdles require to be overcome before this technology will be widely applied. These include i) significant reductions in the cost of capture of CO2 from combustion processes, ii) acceptance that geological storage can be a safe and effective mitigation option, iii) the development of commercial mechanisms that enable viable projects to emerge and iv) clarification of a number of regulatory and legal issues.


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was jointly established in 1988, by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Its present terms of reference are to:

  • Assess available information on the science, the impacts, and the economics of - and the options for mitigating and/ or adapting to - climate change.

  • To provide, on request, scientific/technical/socio-economic advice to the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The Third Assessment Report from the IPCC [1] was published in 2001.This detailed review of the scientific, technical and socio-economic aspects of climate change concluded that there is clear evidence to show that global climate has changed over the last 100 years and that a significant proportion of that change could be attributed to the release of anthropogenic CO2 into the atmosphere during the combustion of fossil fuels.

This content is only available via PDF.
You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.