London Protocol and carbon capture

The London Protocol was initially enacted in 1996 to prohibit disposal of waste at sea. In the interim, urgency has increased a global transition to a low carbon economy. As such, the Protocol was amended in 2006 and 2009 to define high standards of environmental stewardship for the safe and secure sequestration of CO2 streams in geologic formations below the seabed, and cross-border transportation of CO2 to provide land-locked areas access to the sea for carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) activity.


London Protocol: where it stands today

The latest amendment from 2009, which allows transborder export of CO2 streams, is ratified by ten countries; however, it requires ratification by 36 countries to become legally binding for all signatory countries. This ratification is vital because legal instruments like the London Protocol are proven tools to advance safe, effective technology that will promote decarbonization.


How the London Protocol can support decarbonization

Until sufficient ratifications are completed, provisional applications to transport CO2 to offshore storage sites may be requested by contracting parties, provided they notify the International Maritime Organization (IMO). With the IMO and others, GE supports setting legally recognized global rules and enforcement of responsible CCS processes. The London Protocol can open the door to clean, reliable CCS standards worldwide. Full ratification of the London Protocol is a priority.


Carbon capture for sustainability

Carbon capture is an underutilized technology with great potential to support a low carbon future. In addition to renewable power technologies, CCS is a necessary part of the technology mix, helping make energy generation cleaner, affordable, and sustainable. 

What is CCS exactly? This video is an overview of just what CCS is and how it works. The London Protocol is a key policy mechanism that connects the CO2 at the point of capture to its geologic storage site deep below the Earth’s crust. 

Frequently asked questions

London Protocol and CCS: Top Three Questions

Is offshore CO2 storage safe for the marine environment?

Yes, offshore CO2 storage is safe—underground CO2 storage has been proven over more than 50 years. Multiple international research studies have agreed that carbon can safely be returned underground for storage. The London Protocol strengthens marine environmental legal protections.

How can you ensure safety when storing CO2 offshore?

The London Protocol outlines strict monitoring and safety measures for the transnational export and storage of CO2. This legal framework ensures contracting parties must abide by the rules and restrictions to ensure marine protection while working towards the global energy transition. 

Why should CCS stakeholders care about the London Protocol?

The London Protocol is essential to unleashing the potential of CCS projects transnationally. CCS stakeholders can play a major role in promoting the ratification of the treaty, and contribute to the definition of rules specific to CCS. This can continue to move the energy industry towards reducing CO2 emissions globally. 


The London Protocol: Is it the answer to carbon capture?

Feb 28, 2023 3pm Kuala Lumpur, 10am London, 1pm New York

The London Protocol is an international treaty with high environmental protection standards over disposal of products at sea. Panelists discuss how the protocol may help transnational carbon capture projects.

Contact us

Have more questions on carbon capture?