Open Access Article

Title: Risk communication and public engagement in CCS projects: the foundations of public acceptability

Authors: William Leiss; Patricia Larkin

Addresses: McLaughlin Centre for Population Health Risk Assessment, University of Ottawa, Room 216A, 600 Peter Morand Crescent, K1G 5Z3, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada ' McLaughlin Centre for Population Health Risk Assessment, University of Ottawa, Room 216A, 600 Peter Morand Crescent, K1G 5Z3, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Abstract: This paper posits that an important goal of public engagement for carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects as being public and social acceptance for those projects. It argues that acceptability is the end of a long, logical chain of social interactions, which ideally starts with: 1) the public perception of the risks and benefits associated with CCS; moves through 2) effective communication of risks and benefits by project proponents; 3) involves robust and credible measures for public engagement; 4) results in authoritative decision processes that transparently reflect the results of engagement. Each of these components of acceptability is described with respect to both actual experience with CCS projects to date and the relevant literature. Conclusions point to the special importance of full transparency and public understanding of credible risk assessments for these projects.

Keywords: risk perception; benefit perception; risk communication; public engagement; stakeholder engagement; decision processes; public acceptability.

DOI: 10.1504/IJRAM.2019.103339

International Journal of Risk Assessment and Management, 2019 Vol.22 No.3/4, pp.384 - 403

Available online: 25 Oct 2019 *