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PilotSTRATEGY reaches out to stakeholders

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Workshop photo

PilotSTRATEGY entered a phase of exploring local perspectives and needs, offering a platform for potential stakeholders to express themselves. 

To establish a dialogue with local stakeholders, the PilotSTRATEGY teams in Spain, Portugal and France have conducted ‘regional stakeholder committee’ (RSC) meetings over the past months.  

“The purpose of the RSCs is to gather together national and local stakeholders in order to engage them with the project, to collect the viewpoints of the local community, to create a network that will live on after the project, to work together to prepare a feasible proposal for CCS in this region and to keep them informed of the developments of the project,” says PilotSTRATEGY researcher Ana Delicado, a social scientist at the University of Lisbon.

Participants have included local and national government officials, community representatives, industry members (both potential suppliers of CO2 and those that might use it), CCS project developers, CCS researchers, environmental groups, port associations and support organisations. During the meetings, participants have had the opportunity to build relationships and communicate their views, as well as present policy needs and discuss drivers and barriers to CCS implementation. Furthermore, it is hoped that they will disseminate information about the project and about CCS within their regions.

Good participation numbers

Participation in the two-hour virtual meetings has been good. In Portugal, 17 stakeholders from 14 different organisations attended; in Spain there were 14 stakeholders and in France there were 18 stakeholders.

“We were pleased with the number and diversity of stakeholders who responded to our invitation. The meeting had a pleasant atmosphere according to the feedback we received. Discussions were held to understand participants’ views and concerns about geological storage of CO2 and a potential project in the region,” says PilotSTRATEGY researcher Paula Canteli of Instituto Geológico y Minero de España, the Spanish Geological Survey. “Overall, participants shared their impressions of the project and contributed to mapping its perceived risks and benefits. They also showed interest in continuing the discussion at future meetings.”

The RSCs will meet twice a year for the remainder of the project, with the next meeting due to take place in-person later this year.

The team in Portugal was also pleased with how the first meeting went.

“The group of participants was diverse and represented different social groups, at local, regional, and national levels. The stakeholders were engaged, asked several questions about the pilot and CCS, and provided relevant information for the next steps of the project,” says Dr Delicado. 

In France, a good variety of roles and sectors was also present, says Claire Mays of PilotSTRATEGY partner Symlog. This included elected officials, farmers, a local business association, local industry and regional and national officials.

“The French team devoted large efforts to planning and preparation, and interacted with many of the invited stakeholders by phone before the meeting. We’re very pleased that a range of stakeholders accepted to come together to give guidance and insight to the PilotSTRATEGY researchers.” she says. “The relationship-building laid a good foundation for the virtual meeting where despite their differences the majority of participants spoke up, gave their particular input, and interacted in good humor. The majority also evaluated the work positively and stated their willingness to return for the next meeting.”



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