Session 4: 19 August

Utilising the subsurface to achieve net zero: Regulations and best practice

Session Chair: Professor Anthony Zito (Newcastle University)

Professor Tina Soliman Hunter (Macquarie University, Australia)
Talk Title: The concept of best practice: regulatory or engineering concept, or a hybrid of both?
Dr Joanne Hawkins (University of Leeds)
Talk Title: Regulating in context: integrating social, economic and environmental objectives

Our excellent panellists have issued a number of very timely warnings for all of those interested in subsurface energy extraction and its regulation.  They remind us that a great deal of all regulatory practices hinges on the importance of the definitions in place (e.g. hydraulic fracturing, best practice) that may or may not encompass the activity in question. They also stress the importance that context can make, as well as the fact that regulatory design and planning may have been developed with very different contexts in mind. Finally they underline the challenge of regulating these activities in the context of uncertainty, where it may prove difficult to assess what are the best choices when the potential consequences and alternatives to the activity remain imperfectly understood and/or uncertain.