Developments in public communications on CCS

Peta Ashworth, Sarah Wade, David Reiner, Xi Liang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


When the IPCC SRCCS report was released there was very little information in relation to public acceptance and communication. Ten years later, there has been a sizeable increase in the outputs from the social sciences with numerous papers, reports, and presentations, case reviews, toolkits, best practice guides, and other materials that have also been released in the public domain. This paper collectively examines many of the outputs from this research. It finds that much of the work can be loosely grouped into four main areas that include assessment and concerns of the general public, assessment and concerns of key stakeholders, assessment of the role of communication style and content, and assessment of experiences from real-life projects. Reflecting on the large body of work, it shows that there has been great progress in many areas of social science research, and the findings from this work possibly has greater, far reaching application than just for CCS projects. However, despite the positive progress the IPCC SRCCS identified two essential pre-conditions for CCS to be seen as credible. The pre-conditions were the recognition that: (1) anthropogenic global climate change is a serious problem and (2) there is a need for large reductions in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Unfortunately, this has not been the case. While public awareness of CCS has increased slightly from ten years ago, it remains low unless there has been some controversy about the technology in the local context. Given the lack of consistent, robust climate policy and the ensuing call for large amounts of GHG reductions, the larger public concern may be whether there will be the political will to address climate change at levels necessary to stabilize climate, that would make CCS a useful and more viable option. Despite this concern, as projects move to implementation stage the body of social science research that has focused on CCS provides a useful database of reference materials and ideas to help move projects forward.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-458
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control
Early online date22 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Public perception
  • Communication
  • Carbon capture and storage
  • Climate change
  • Social science


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