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Rapid scale-up of negative emissions technologies: social barriers and social implications


  • Holly Jean Buck

    (Cornell University)


Negative emissions technologies have garnered increasing attention in the wake of the Paris target to curb global warming to 1.5 °C. However, much of the literature on carbon dioxide removal focuses on technical feasibility, and several significant social barriers to scale-up of these technologies have been glossed over. This paper reviews the existing literature on the social implications of rapidly ramping up carbon dioxide removal. It also explores the applicability of previous empirical social science research on intersecting topics, with examples drawn from research on first- and second-generation biofuels and forest carbon projects. Social science fieldwork and case studies of land use change, agricultural and energy system change, and technology adoption and diffusion can help in both anticipating the social implications of emerging negative emissions technologies and understanding the factors that shape trajectories of technological development. By integrating empirical research on public and producer perceptions, barriers to adoption, conditions driving new technologies, and social impacts, projections about negative emissions technologies can become more realistic and more useful to climate change policymaking.

Suggested Citation

  • Holly Jean Buck, 2016. "Rapid scale-up of negative emissions technologies: social barriers and social implications," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 139(2), pages 155-167, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:climat:v:139:y:2016:i:2:d:10.1007_s10584-016-1770-6
    DOI: 10.1007/s10584-016-1770-6

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Anders Hansson & Simon Haikola & Mathias Fridahl & Pius Yanda & Edmund Mabhuye & Noah Pauline, 2021. "Biochar as multi-purpose sustainable technology: experiences from projects in Tanzania," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 23(4), pages 5182-5214, April.
    3. Pianta, Silvia & Rinscheid, Adrian & Weber, Elke U., 2021. "Carbon Capture and Storage in the United States: Perceptions, preferences, and lessons for policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 151(C).
    4. Kimberly S. Wolske & Kaitlin T. Raimi & Victoria Campbell-Arvai & P. Sol Hart, 2019. "Public support for carbon dioxide removal strategies: the role of tampering with nature perceptions," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 152(3), pages 345-361, March.
    5. Toby Bolsen & Risa Palm & Russell E. Luke, 2023. "Public response to solar geoengineering: how media frames about stratospheric aerosol injection affect opinions," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 176(8), pages 1-21, August.
    6. Cotterman, Turner & Small, Mitchell J. & Wilson, Stephen & Abdulla, Ahmed & Wong-Parodi, Gabrielle, 2021. "Applying risk tolerance and socio-technical dynamics for more realistic energy transition pathways," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 291(C).
    7. Wim Carton & Adeniyi Asiyanbi & Silke Beck & Holly J. Buck & Jens F. Lund, 2020. "Negative emissions and the long history of carbon removal," Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 11(6), November.
    8. Vassilis Daioglou & Steven K. Rose & Nico Bauer & Alban Kitous & Matteo Muratori & Fuminori Sano & Shinichiro Fujimori & Matthew J. Gidden & Etsushi Kato & Kimon Keramidas & David Klein & Florian Lebl, 2020. "Bioenergy technologies in long-run climate change mitigation: results from the EMF-33 study," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 163(3), pages 1603-1620, December.
    9. Laurie Waller & Tim Rayner & Jason Chilvers & Clair Amanda Gough & Irene Lorenzoni & Andrew Jordan & Naomi Vaughan, 2020. "Contested framings of greenhouse gas removal and its feasibility: Social and political dimensions," Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 11(4), July.
    10. Benjamin K. Sovacool & Chad M. Baum & Sean Low, 2022. "Determining our climate policy future: expert opinions about negative emissions and solar radiation management pathways," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 27(8), pages 1-50, December.
    11. Anders Hansson & Mathias Fridahl & Simon Haikola & Pius Yanda & Noah Pauline & Edmund Mabhuye, 2020. "Preconditions for bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) in sub-Saharan Africa: the case of Tanzania," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 22(7), pages 6851-6875, October.
    12. Cotterman, Turner, 2019. "Why Rapid and Deep Decarbonization isn’t Simple: Linking Bottom-up Socio-technical Decision-making Insights with Top-down Macroeconomic Analyses," Conference papers 333088, Purdue University, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Global Trade Analysis Project.
    13. Hanak, Dawid P. & Jenkins, Barrie G. & Kruger, Tim & Manovic, Vasilije, 2017. "High-efficiency negative-carbon emission power generation from integrated solid-oxide fuel cell and calciner," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 205(C), pages 1189-1201.
    14. Cohen, Francois & Pfeiffer, Alexander, 2018. "The Impact of Negative Emissions Technologies and Natural Climate Solutions on Power-Sector Asset Stranding," INET Oxford Working Papers 2018-02, Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford.
    15. Daniel M. Hueholt & Elizabeth A. Barnes & James W. Hurrell & Ariel L. Morrison, 2024. "Speed of environmental change frames relative ecological risk in climate change and climate intervention scenarios," Nature Communications, Nature, vol. 15(1), pages 1-11, December.
    16. Wil Burns & Simon Nicholson, 2017. "Bioenergy and carbon capture with storage (BECCS): the prospects and challenges of an emerging climate policy response," Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Springer;Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences, vol. 7(4), pages 527-534, December.
    17. Victoria Wibeck & Anders Hansson & Jonas Anshelm & Shinichiro Asayama & Lisa Dilling & Pamela M. Feetham & Rachel Hauser & Atsushi Ishii & Masahiro Sugiyama, 2017. "Making sense of climate engineering: a focus group study of lay publics in four countries," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 145(1), pages 1-14, November.
    18. Nico Bauer & Steven K. Rose & Shinichiro Fujimori & Detlef P. Vuuren & John Weyant & Marshall Wise & Yiyun Cui & Vassilis Daioglou & Matthew J. Gidden & Etsushi Kato & Alban Kitous & Florian Leblanc &, 2020. "Global energy sector emission reductions and bioenergy use: overview of the bioenergy demand phase of the EMF-33 model comparison," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 163(3), pages 1553-1568, December.
    19. P. A. Turner & K. J. Mach & D. B. Lobell & S. M. Benson & E. Baik & D. L. Sanchez & C. B. Field, 2018. "The global overlap of bioenergy and carbon sequestration potential," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 148(1), pages 1-10, May.

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