Characterizing the international carbon capture and storage community

Jennie C. Stephens, Anders Hansson, Yue Liu, Heleen de Coninck, Shalini Vajjhala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a controversial climate change mitigation technology that has been receiving increased public and private investment over the past decade in several countries. During this time, a diverse international network of professionals focused on the advancement of CCS technology has emerged. Within this international CCS community, a shared perception of the value of advancing CCS technology is generally assumed, and this community has been influential in lobbying for increased support for the development of CCS in many countries and at the international level. The phenomenon of an apparently shared perspective within a specific community relates to Haas' (1992a) description of the evolution of an epistemic community, or a knowledge-based network of recognized experts who "not only hold in common a set of principled and causal beliefs but also have shared notions of validity and a shared policy enterprise" Understanding the extent to which a given community can be characterized as an epistemic community can provide insights about the effectiveness of its policy intervention, its association with the broader public, and the success of communicating the messages that it wants to convey. The goal of this research is to begin to explore the nature of the CCS community; to provide a preliminary characterization of the community, and to consider whether and in what ways the community might be considered to be an epistemic community or a compilation of multiple different epistemic communities. This characterization suggests that although the CCS community may be influencing decision-makers and successfully garnering political support for advancing CCS technology, a potential disconnect with the concerns of a broader public is deserving of more attention and social science research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-390
Number of pages12
JournalGlobal Environmental Change
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS)
  • Climate mitigation
  • Climate policy
  • Public perception
  • Risk perceptions
  • Epistemic communities


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