20 Nov 2012

Professor working on carbon legal framework

3:04 pm on 20 November 2012

A Waikato University law professor is working on a legal framework for future carbon capture and storage.

New Zealand law does not cover the process of capturing carbon dioxide emissions from coal fired power stations and other industrial sources and injecting them deep under ground in a suitable geological structure to stop them from entering the atmosphere.

Barry Barton, the director of the university's Centre for Environmental, Resources and Energy Law, says it is not clear when that process might be used in New Zealand, but there needs to be a legal system in place to make it possible.

Professor Barton says for something like this to happen, a variety of issues need to be sorted out, including the lawfulness of injecting substances underground, Resource Management Act considerations and issues regarding liability.

Professor Barton will work with Government and industry people, and overseas experts to draft a legal framework.

He has been awarded a $245,000 grant from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment for the project.