International Carbon Capture and Storage Project


Attendees at the CAGS 2 Carbon
Storage Training School 1, Chengdu,
China, October 2013

The Australian Government recognises carbon capture and storage (CCS) as an important greenhouse gas mitigation option. It also recognises that international effort will be required to achieve widespread uptake of CCS technology in order to significantly reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to the atmosphere. In addition to considerable domestic CCS programs, including Geoscience Australia's Greenhouse Gas Storage and Greenhouse Gas Monitoring projects, Australia is involved in a number of international forums which aim to accelerate the development and deployment of CCS.

The International CCS Project at Geoscience Australia provides technical and advisory support to the Department of Industry  on CO2 capture and geological storage at an international level and is engaged in the development of international collaborative activities.


The International CCS Project aims to promote and enable Australian Government engagement in international CCS activities, leading to improved economic and environmental outcomes. Through the project, Geoscience Australia provides technical and advisory support to the Department of Industry for CCS activities in international forums, including the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF) , the now concluded Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate (APP) , the Australia-China Joint Coordination Group on Clean Coal Technology and others within and beyond the Asia Pacific region. We represent the Australian Government at several significant international CCS forums and meetings and develop opportunities for collaborative work on CCS with other countries directly and via international organisations such as the International Energy Agency's (IEA) Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme  and the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute .

Activities in International Forums

One of our key engagements internationally is our involvement with the intergovernmental Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF). The CSLF, which is a 25-member forum made up of 24 countries and the European Commission, is aimed at making CCS technology broadly available internationally. Geoscience Australia supports the Department of Industry as the Australian Government's Technical Group delegate and Vice-Chair of the Technical Group. Geoscience Australia is involved also in a number of CSLF Task Forces, including Chairing the Projects Interaction and Review Team (PIRT).

Geoscience Australia is also involved on a technical basis with groups such as the International Energy Agency and the IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme and various other foreign and international agencies and initiatives all aimed at developing CCS technology.

China-Australia Collaboration on CCS

The major activity within the International CCS Project is a bilateral project between Australia and China on geological storage of CO2.

CAGS Phase I

The China Australia Geological Storage (CAGS)  Project was developed and funded ($2.86 million) by the Australian Government under the Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate. The project focused on capacity building in the area of geological storage of CO2 in both China and Australia. CAGS began in 2009 and concluded in mid 2012. Many of the materials generated through the project, including educational material, are available for download through the CAGS website.

Geoscience Australia and the Administrative Centre for China's Agenda 21 at the Ministry of Science and Technology lead the project with major partners including the Chinese Academy of Sciences, China University of Petroleum, Chinese Geological Survey, Ministry of Environmental Protection and Tsinghua University. Many other Chinese and Australian organisations, including government, academia and industry were involved in the various project activities. Geoscience Australia also collaborated with other international CCS projects in China including the EU/UK-China Near Zero Emissions Coal (NZEC)  and the COoperation Action within CCS CHina-EU (COACH) .

CAGS I - Achievements

Activities completed within the first phase of the CAGS project include:

  • Three technical workshops on geological storage of CO2, involving more than 50 Chinese and 20 Australian or International organisations as well as a final symposium that brought together the research and researchers from CAGS phase I as well as international experts to discuss the project’s outcomes and future directions
  • Three 'CCS schools' in China for around 100 students
  • A visiting scholar program through which nine Chinese researchers have spent between one and six months working on storage at an Australian organisation
  • Supporting more than 30 Chinese researchers and students to attend significant CCS conferences around the world
  • Three successful research projects within China focusing on storage site characterisation, storage with enhanced oil recovery, and risk management for storage which have produced outputs such as criteria for storage site evaluation and advice regarding the development of a risk assessment and regulatory regime for CO2 storage in China
  • A website and other forums to foster information sharing and networking, including publishing materials from our workshops and schools for wide distribution within the CCS community in China.


Funding for a second phase of the project was approved under the Australia-China Joint Co-ordination Group on Clean Coal Technology. CAGS II began in mid-2012 and will conclude in 2014 building on the relationships and work completed in the project’s first phase. To date, the project has completed two major capacity building activities. The first workshop on monitoring was held in Melbourne in May 2013 and the first carbon storage training school in Chengdu, China in October 2013. The project has also established exchange programs and has four research projects underway. Please see the CAGS website   for more details about the project.