6C Panel Discussion - Ethical considerations for CCS deployment in developing countries?

In most developing countries many people still lack access to modern energy services, clean water, and basic sanitation. As an example, India’s new President Narendra Modi inherited the ongoing problem of supplying energy to one of the world’s largest economies (the electricity sector in India is the fourth largest in the world). The challenge is made even bigger by India’s ambitions to meet rigorous renewable energy and carbon reduction targets. And yet 300 million Indians remain unconnected to the electricity grid with India’s current energy deficit – where demand exceeds supply by 10%.  The scenario outlined above is not limited to India but one that is faced in many developing countries and more broadly the globe as we try to address the challenges of affordable, secure and low carbon energy supply. Increasing renewable energy is one way of overcoming the gap in supply and demand for developing countries. However, due to the intermittency of renewable energy generation, doing so often increases problems of supply. This continues to make coal attractive for many countries due to its low cost and security of supply, but of course will increase greenhouse gas emissions. Implementing CCS projects under these circumstances creates challenges not experienced in countries where the majority already have access to reliable and affordable electricity. Challenges range from practical issues such as lack of technological capacity to execute these projects and legal frameworks for regulatory oversight to ethical issues about implementing costly CCS projects while basic energy needs remain unmet. 
With firsthand accounts from those working in developing countries, along with an overview of the energy sustainability index and the implications arising from this, this session will explore the ethical considerations for CCS deployment in developing countries. Encouraging interaction from those on the panel and also the audience it hopes to consider what are the responsibilities of those working in the CCS space to enable its development under developing country conditions?
 
The panel will address issues such as:
•Under what circumstances should CCS be included in the mix when there are obviously so many unmet needs in relation to energy?
•How technologically mature should CCS be before it is deployed in developing countries?
•What is the appropriate approach for public engagement in developing countries, especially in regions lacking basic energy services?
•Who should decide whether CCS is implemented or not?
•How do opportunities presented by the CDM weigh in the overall considerations about whether or not to implement CCS?
•Which kind of opportunities are most appropriate for pursuing in developing countries:  power generation, gas cleanup, BECCS, industrial sources?

Moderator

Ms Peta Ashworth, University of Queensland/CSIRO, Australia

Panelists

Professor Sally Benson, Stanford University, USA
Ms Polly Modiko, South African Centre for CCS, South Africa
Dr Xi Liang, UK – China (Guangdong) CCUS project, China
Dr Mark Budolfson, Stanford University, USA 

  • Tuesday, 21 July 2015