Practising public engagement at North Sea CCUS event

A recent international event in the Netherlands, focusing on the delivery of carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) in the North Sea region, provided delegates with the opportunity to practise methods for engaging effectively with local stakeholders.

The public perception workshop, run twice by ALIGN-CCUS research partners from the University of Leiden and TNO, was one of five parallel sessions organised as part of the CATO conference, CCUS developments in the North Sea region, hosted in June by the Port of Rotterdam Authority and TKI Nieuw Gas.

Dr Emma ter Mors and Dr Christine Boomsma of Leiden, and Dr Kevin Broecks of TNO, began the workshop with an overview of EU-funded research on public perception and approaches to delivering CCUS as part of Europe’s climate action.

Participants were then tasked with engaging with a fictional community, where they had to select methods best suited to local stakeholders while balancing available time and resources.

The organisers wrapped up the workshop with a discussion of the methods and approaches chosen by each of the groups, which brought in recent findings from work package 6: Implementing CCUS in Society of the ALIGN-CCUS project.

Dr Kevin Broeks said: "Seeing how the participants were able to apply our findings to community engagement was thought-provoking. The diverse groups sometimes had heated debates about the various approaches, but all groups converged on well-balanced and intricate plans for community engagement."

The conference was organised by CATO, the Dutch research and development programme for carbon capture and storage, as part of its commitment to bringing together national and international stakeholders for the purpose of knowledge sharing.

Other workshops covered different issues relating to CCUS delivery, including transport and storage, carbon capture and utilisation and legal aspects.

View the workshop presentation

(Photos: CATO conference delegates take part in two public engagement workshops on 26 June 2019. Credit: Geeke Wiltink (TNO))