An electrochemical energy storage device comprising a primary positive electrode, a negative electrode, and one or more ionic conductors. The ionic conductors ionically connect the primary positive electrode with the negative electrode. The primary positive electrode comprises carbon dioxide (CO.sub.2) and a means for electrochemically reducing the CO.sub.2. This means for electrochemically reducing the CO.sub.2 comprises a conductive primary current collector, contacting the CO.sub.2, whereby the CO.sub.2 is reduced upon the primary current collector during discharge. The primary current collector comprises a material to which CO.sub.2 and the ionic conductors are essentially non-corrosive. The electrochemical energy storage device uses CO.sub.2 as an electroactive species in that the CO.sub.2 is electrochemically reduced during discharge to enable the release of electrical energy from the device.