Agenda-setting and the Policy-making process: The case of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technologies in the UK

Gloria Mensah

As countries continue to pursue efforts to curb climate change and move towards sustainable development, it has become increasingly important to consider not only what technology is available but also how social and political barriers to the advancement of technology can be overcome.

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technologies represent a broad range of technologies that have become prominent for attempts to tackle climate change. CCS involves the capture of carbon dioxide emissions from large point sources, for instance, power stations and industrial sectors (e.g. cement, steel and iron) combined with transport through pipelines and subsequent storage in geological reservoirs.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimate that CCS could lead to 19% reduction of global carbon dioxide emissions required by 2050. Despite the stated ambitions of CCS in effecting change, there have been variations in the levels of investment experienced in the UK over the past decade, with CCS projects often appearing to be frustrated in practice. This makes an interesting focus for an analysis of how ideas emerge on the government agenda to be taken seriously by policy makers and what leads to policy change.

This interdisciplinary project, therefore employs insights from policy theory to explore and understand the political process, to draw lessons from the CCS case which will be valuable to proponents of other emerging technology options designed to fight climate change.

Outreach and impact

Gloria working to reduce waste with Sheffield Students’ Union

Gloria has worked with Sheffield Students’ Union to make them more sustainable and produce less waste. She wrote a blog about her experiences.

Read: Did you know that Sheffield Students’ Union plans to be Zero Waste?

Gloria wrote about her experiences at a conference that gathered international experts to work out how to deliver a new agenda for Carbon Capture & Storage technology. Read her blog about it here.



Dr Chris Jones

Department of Psychology

Professor Peter Styring

Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering