Licences and legislation


Since September 2011, existing Dutch legislation has been adapted to incorporate the requirements of the EU Directive on the geological storage of carbon dioxide (see below). The alterations to the Dutch Mining Act, Decree and Regulation may be found (in Dutch) below:


When storing CO2 in the Dutch subsurface, a storage permit is needed. During the CATO-2 national research program, a “best practice” was developed which describes the process of application for a storage project.

European Union

In 2009, the European Union agreed on a legally binding Directive on to ensure safe and environmentally sound CO2 storage across the EU. The contents of this legislation has been transposed into the national legislation of each Member State:  


To accompany the EU Directive on the geological storage of carbon dioxide, the European Commission sponsored the development of a set of guidance documents to support the implementation of the Directive. This are non-legally binding.

The European Union Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS, Directive 2003/87/EC), was amended to 2009 to allow carbon capture and storage projects to become part of the scheme from 2013, allowing emitters to implement CCS projects and refrain from surrendering emission allowances so long as the CO2 is permanently storage in-line with Directive 2009/31/EC. The amendment can be found here:

Directive 2009/29/EC amending Directive 2003/87/EC so as to improve and extend the greenhouse gas emission allowance trading scheme of the Community

The amendment to the EU ETS Directive, was followed in 2010, by an amendment to the Commission Decision 2007/589/EC, establishing guidelines for the monitoring and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions pursuant to Directive. These had to be adjusted to provide activity specific guidelines for monitoring and reporting emissions relating to the capture, transport and storage of CO2, also combined with enhanced oil recovery (EOR).


Legislation related to CO2 storage has also be enacted in other jurisdictions outside of Europe, and an overview of the most comprehensive regulatory frameworks can be found here:

United States
In the US, the injection of substances into the subsurface is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Underground Injection Control (UIC) program. The UIC stipulates six classifications of wells, each with specific regulatory requirements, in order to protect underground sources of drinking water (USDW). To inject CO2 for the purposes of geological storage into the subsurface, Class VI wells must be used. Injection of CO2 for the purposes of enhanced oil recovery can be completed using Class II wells. There are also guidance documents for Class VI wells, and also guidance on transitioning from a Class II to a Class VI well.   

Province of Alberta, Canada 
The government of Alberta is financially supporting the demonstration of CCS projects across the province. To enable that, a regulatory framework has been established, with the key piece of legislation being the 2010 Carbon Capture and Storage Statues Amendment Act. The Dutch CATO-2 project has completed a comprehensive regulatory and policy review of CCS in Alberta.  

Australia has implemented a comprehensive regulatory framework for CO2 transportation and storage, facilitated through the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006. Further information on the CCS regulation in Australia can be found here.


International regulation on the offshore storage of CO2

OSPAR is the mechanism by which 15 Governments & the EU cooperate to protect the marine environment of the North-East Atlantic. The regulations of OSPAR initially prevented the storage of CO2 in geological formations under the sea-bed, but this has been amended to allow offshore CO2 storage to be implemented legally. Information on the CO2 storage in the OSPAR convention can be found in the links below:

The London Convention and Protocol
The London Convention is one of the first global conventions to protect the marine environment from human activities and has been in force since 1975. In 1996, the "London Protocol" was agreed to further modernize the Convention and, eventually, replace it. Under the Protocol all dumping is prohibited, except for possibly acceptable wastes on the so-called "reverse list". In 2006 a resolution was passed to add CO2 for the purposes of geological storage onto the reverse list to allow CCS projects to move forward. Information on this decision, including the adoption into Dutch law can be found in the links below, :