Publication - FOI/EIR release

Correspondence relating to CCS, CCUS and COP26: EIR release

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004

Published:
24 Nov 2021
Correspondence relating to CCS, CCUS and COP26: EIR release
FOI reference: FOI/202100239061
Date received: 28 Sep 2021
Date responded: 5 Nov 2021
Information requested

Correspondence and/or minutes of meetings with stakeholders in which the topics of hydrogen and/or carbon capture and storage (CCS) or carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) were discussed in relation to COP26, since 1 January 2021. You later provided a clarification that this can be taken to mean Ministerial-level meetings/correspondence in which COP26 was discussed in addition to either or both of the topics of CCS/CCUS and hydrogen, with hydrogen being limited to hydrogen made from fossil gas, either 'grey hydrogen' (produced via steam methane reforming without CCS) or 'blue hydrogen' (produced via steam methane reforming with CCS, i.e. what you have termed Low Carbon Hydrogen which requires alignment with CCUS).

Response

As the information you have requested is 'environmental information' for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations. We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), so that we do not also have to deal with your request under FOISA.

This exemption is subject to the 'public interest test'. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption, because there is no public interest in dealing with the same request under two different regimes. This is essentially a technical point and has no material effect on the outcome of your request.

Attached is a copy of some of the information requested.

An exception under regulation 11(2) of the EIRs (personal information) applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018. This exception is not subject to the 'public interest test', so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exception.

An exception under regulation 10(5)(e) of the EIRs applies to some of the information you have requested. Regulation 10(5)(e) relates to the confidentiality of commercial or industrial information and it applies in this instance because the information is commercial or industrial in nature and its disclosure could cause harm to a legitimate economic interest.

This exception is subject to the 'public interest test'. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exception. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exception. We recognise that there is some public interest in release because of the general public interest that information is accessible. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in not releasing highly commercially sensitive information that could cause harm to a legitimate economic interest. 

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Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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Edinburgh
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