The Australian-sponsored amendment to a protocol was passed last week at a meeting of the London Convention in a vote of 17 member countries. Five nations abstained after seeking more time to set technical guidelines.
Environment Minister Ian Campbell said the amendments would allow member countries to capture carbon dioxide streams and store them in geological formations under the ocean floor.
“Like onshore geosequestration, storing carbon dioxide beneath the ocean floor will be an important part of our ‘multi-track’ response to climate change,” Campbell said.
In Australia, the Bass Strait is currently considered one of the most favourable sites for subsea geosequestration. Its oil and gas reservoirs are depleting and it is located close to the La Trobe Valley coal hub.
The amendment was adopted on Thursday at a meeting in London of the Protocol to the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter. The London Protocol has 29 members.