The pore space scramble; challenges and opportunities for subsurface governance

Gormally, Alexandra M.; Markusson, Nils O.; Bentham, Michelle. 2018 The pore space scramble; challenges and opportunities for subsurface governance. Geoforum, 95. 70-77.

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There is a rich literature on environmental governance that provides critiques and conceptual tools on how various environmental ‘arenas’ or overlapping global systems should be governed e.g. climate, energy, oceans (Cherp et al., 2011; Berkes, 2006; Underdal, 2010). In this paper we argue that the geological subsurface should be considered as a new arena for governance in its own right. The arguments for this are presented by considering current and future challenges the subsurface will face as its utilisation evolves and intensifies, particularly in the context of both energy security and low carbon energy. Three main challenges are highlighted; ownership, access and long term stewardship. These challenges are presented using the illustrative context of subsurface pore space for the long term storage of CO2 from Carbon Capture (CCS). This is presented in the UK context but ultimately has implication for global subsurface governance going forward.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 00167185
Date made live: 01 Feb 2019 15:36 +0 (UTC)

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