Climate dreaming: negative emissions, risk transfer, and irreversibility
Henry ShueSenior Research Fellow; Emeritus Fellow, Merton College, University of Oxford

Search for other papers by Henry Shue in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Restricted access

The integrated assessment models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change rely heavily on negative emissions technologies (NETs) for scenarios that keep global temperature rise to 2°C or lower. One favoured NET is bio-energy combined with carbon capture and storage (BECCS). Firstly, it is not established that BECCS is feasible at a scale sufficient to matter, nor that BECCS at sufficient scale is compatible with sustainable development. Secondly, substituting the prospect of BECCS later for ambitious mitigation of emissions now unjustifiably transfers risks from the present to the future. Thirdly, no NET can ‘buy time’ for unambitious mitigation because the later reduction of ‘over-shoots’ in emissions cannot reverse the passing of tipping points in the interim. The substitution of the dream of later negative emissions for immediate mitigations is therefore completely unjustified.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Purchase

Pay to Access Content (PDF download and unlimited online access)

Other access options

Redeem Token

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institutional Access

Personal login

Log in with your Elgar Online account

Login with your Elgar account