Presented by Prof. Duncan McLaren,
Greenhouse gas removal (GGR) technologies have the potential to help counter global warming by lowering the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. They might therefore be needed alongside mitigation technologies (e.g. solar panels) that help reduce emissions of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere in the first place. However, there is reason to think that the two kinds of technologies interact, and that GGRs might delay or deter the use of mitigation technologies in various ways. In fact, it is possible that even doing research about GGRs, even just talking about their potential, could have such a deterrence effect. In this way, effectively combining GGRs and mitigation technologies may be more difficult than often assumed.
And this matters, because current climate policy targets - necessary if we are to avoid dangerous climate change - are based on scenarios that rely on the promise of GGR technologies becoming available and being deployed at large scale. They also rely on the (implicit) assumption that there will not be a substantive mitigation deterrence effect. Therefore, this project sets out to study the likelihood and significance of any such effects, to learn more about how they might work, how serious they might become, and what could be done to counter them.