• Psychologists studying Europeans’ perception of carbon storage

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

A research project is underway across Europe to understand the perception of citizens towards the geological storage of captured carbon. The European Commission is funding the project, which is being led by psychologists Emma Ter Mors and Christine Boomsma, splitting the question of perception into three parts – what people currently think of the storing carbon, what objections they have to it, and what are the psychological mechanisms behind those objections. Gathering answers to these questions will allow communications materials to be designed that are more persuasive in garnering public acceptance. As Ms Ter Mors points out, “if society doesn’t want the technology, it will be difficult to implement”. Questionnaires, interviews and media analysis are being conducted as part of the research project, with media analysis having commenced in August 2017, initial findings being around doubts about carbon storage taking away funding from other potential energy related technologies. The team is also to look at possible financial compensation mechanisms for people living near CCUS facilities.