Carbon Dioxide Removal after Paris
57 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2018
Date Written: February 26, 2018
Notwithstanding adoption of the Paris Agreement on climate change, mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions appears unlikely to achieve the stated goal of limiting the mean global temperature increase to 2°C. Under many scenarios, achieving this goal would require not only vigorous mitigation efforts, but also the deployment of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technologies or solar geoengineering. While serious consideration of solar geoengineering remains fraught with peril, the use of CDR to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it elsewhere appears increasingly likely. CDR techniques generally would have to be undertaken on a massive scale to be effective. However, the techniques are not ready for deployment, and their widespread use would impact land use, biodiversity, food security, water availability, and other resources.
The potential impacts of widespread CDR deployment demand greater attention to managing CDR efforts and their effects. The Paris Agreement does not directly mention CDR, however, and relatively little attention has been directed to CDR governance thus far. This Article explores key issues of CDR governance, such as promoting the generation of information, mainstreaming CDR into public and policy discussions, and furthering CDR development while avoiding lock-in of suboptimal technologies.
Keywords: climate change, climate engineering, geoengineering, Paris Agreement, environmental law
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation