Scrutinizing the Impact of CCS Communication on the General and Local Public

  • Project no.3118
  • Duration 01/2009 - 03/2010

The public acceptance of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is an important precondition for the large-scale deployment of these technologies. At present it can be assumed that the majority of the public is neither for nor against CCS, because the level of awareness among the public is very low or virtually nonexistent. Hence, the pivotal question is how information on CCS has to be communicated in order to increase the stability and consistency of public opinion to better predict future public support or opposition.

The main assumption of the project is that communication on CCS should enable the public to develop its own well-considered opinion on these technologies. This assumption bases on empiric results from former studies on CCS acceptance showing that laymen without targeted communication may develop so-called "pseudo-opinions" basing neither on knowledge nor on indipendent judgement of the technologies. Consequently, these opinions are mostly instable and rather worthless for predicting the possible public support or refusal of CCS.

Therefore, the aim of the project is to develop recommendations how to communicate information about CCS enabling the public to establish a stable and consistent opinion about the relevant technologies. In a first step, the project will analyse and compare the effectiveness of two different communication strategies to see in how far they contribute to the objective target. In a second step, the awareness of CCS technologies will be assessed by a representative survey of the citizens on national and local level. The empiric results will help to develop recommendations for the communication of the thematic complex CCS.

This research is a collaborative project, supported by FENCO ERA-NET and realised in six EU countries. The project will be conducted under the leadership of the Institute of Energy Research - Systems Analysis and Technology Evaluation (IEF-STE Forschungszentrum Jülich). Within the consortium the Wuppertal Institute, in cooperation with SINTEF, acts as the responsible coordinator of work package 3 "Representative Survey on CCS on national and regional level".

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