With support from Sciencewise, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have commissioned a public dialogue project to explore citizens’ attitudes towards Carbon Capture Usage and Storage (CCUS). The project is using deliberative online workshops to understand the public’s views towards this technology, and involves a diverse group of participants from locations both proximate and distant to potential CCUS development sites. The first online workshop event took place on 1st October.
What is Carbon Capture Usage and Storage and why is it being developed?
The Government has committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050. This means, by 2050, the amount of greenhouse gases we release into the atmosphere has to be balanced with the amount of greenhouse gases we remove from the atmosphere.
BEIS recognise that a range of technologies and methods will help the UK achieve its net zero target and see carbon capture usage and storage technology as playing an essential role in meeting this target.
Carbon capture usage and storage involves capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from large point sources, such as at power stations and industrial facilities, the transport of CO2 via ship or pipeline, and either the storage of CO2 in geological formations deep under the sea, or its use as a resource to create products.
Why a public dialogue now?
Whilst the UK Government is committed to deploying carbon capture and storage in the UK this decade, there is currently an evidence gap in the understanding of citizens’ views towards the technology and how it could be deployed.
BEIS is committed to listening to members of the public and understanding their views towards this technology to help inform policy development over the coming months and years.
How will the dialogue be structured?
This deliberative public dialogue is taking place online, with participants from five locations across the UK: Aberdeen, Teesside, Liverpool, Port Talbot and Nottingham. Four of the locations are near to industrial clusters, where CCUS facilities are more likely to be developed and one location (Nottingham) is an area less likely to be directly involved in CCUS deployment.
The project will bring together a diverse group of citizens from the different locations, who are broadly reflective of local and national demographics.
The planning for the public dialogue started long before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. Originally the plan was to hold face-to-face workshops in the five locations. But due to social distancing restrictions, this dialogue is now taking place online using video conferencing for group deliberations and an online platform for individual reflections.
The dialogue will involve a programme of events, starting on 1st October and continuing through October into early November. Participants will have the opportunity to hear from specialists, ask questions, deliberate together and share their thoughts on CCUS.
An Oversight Group has been involved from the outset of the project, bringing independent oversight from a range of perspectives to the process and development of materials, and providing input on the move from face-to-face to online engagement. At the start of the project, stakeholder interviews were also held to inform the design of the dialogue and the workshop materials.
It is intended that a report will be published in 2021 summarising the findings of the workshops.
The dialogue process is being designed and managed by Traverse, following a mini competition run through the Sciencewise framework. The dialogue is being independently evaluated by URSUS Consulting.
How will the outputs be used?
The outputs are expected to be a resource for those responsible for producing and delivering CCUS policy in the coming months and years.
A briefing will be held in early 2021 for stakeholders interested in learning about the findings of this public dialogue. To register your interest, please email Laura Jackson.
Find out more
For further information on the dialogue project, please contact:
Laura Jackson, BEIS. Laura.Jackson2@beis.gov.uk
Philippa Lang, UK Research and Innovation. firstname.lastname@example.org