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Geoengineering : neither economical, nor ethical—a risk–reward nexus analysis of carbon dioxide removal

Faran, Turaj S. LU and Olsson, Lennart LU (2018) In International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics 18(1). p.63-77
Abstract

This article addresses a central debate in combatting climate change: whether we should focus on reducing CO2 emissions or on removing the emitted CO2 from the atmosphere. We favor the former by arguing against the economic viability of the carbon dioxide removal (CDR) branch of geoengineering. This is of course not a question of either or, but we argue that the perception of CDR as a viable option reduces the willingness to reduce CO2 emissions. Using the recently developed approach of risk–reward nexus (RRN) in the economics of innovation, we question the economic viability of CDR. The main argument is simple: if one uses the new framework of RRN in evaluating the innovations involved in the CDR branch... (More)

This article addresses a central debate in combatting climate change: whether we should focus on reducing CO2 emissions or on removing the emitted CO2 from the atmosphere. We favor the former by arguing against the economic viability of the carbon dioxide removal (CDR) branch of geoengineering. This is of course not a question of either or, but we argue that the perception of CDR as a viable option reduces the willingness to reduce CO2 emissions. Using the recently developed approach of risk–reward nexus (RRN) in the economics of innovation, we question the economic viability of CDR. The main argument is simple: if one uses the new framework of RRN in evaluating the innovations involved in the CDR branch of geoengineering, not only does one include more areas of risk but also one has to consider a broader base for distributing the rewards. Consequently, from RRN’s point of view, it would be less likely to find investing in CDR economically viable for the investor firms. Although the core argument of the paper concerns the economics of CDR, in a final section the paper tries to show that the economic argument has also ethical implications against relying on CDR.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Carbon dioxide removal, Economics of geoengineering, Hegelian ethics, Justice and economics, Risk-reward nexus
in
International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics
volume
18
issue
1
pages
63 - 77
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • scopus:85040053732
ISSN
1567-9764
DOI
10.1007/s10784-017-9383-8
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
d1f09cdc-35b5-4872-9c58-c389d5c2c9a2
date added to LUP
2018-01-15 08:32:22
date last changed
2018-02-18 22:51:25
@article{d1f09cdc-35b5-4872-9c58-c389d5c2c9a2,
  abstract     = {<p>This article addresses a central debate in combatting climate change: whether we should focus on reducing CO<sub>2</sub> emissions or on removing the emitted CO<sub>2</sub> from the atmosphere. We favor the former by arguing against the economic viability of the carbon dioxide removal (CDR) branch of geoengineering. This is of course not a question of either or, but we argue that the perception of CDR as a viable option reduces the willingness to reduce CO<sub>2</sub> emissions. Using the recently developed approach of risk–reward nexus (RRN) in the economics of innovation, we question the economic viability of CDR. The main argument is simple: if one uses the new framework of RRN in evaluating the innovations involved in the CDR branch of geoengineering, not only does one include more areas of risk but also one has to consider a broader base for distributing the rewards. Consequently, from RRN’s point of view, it would be less likely to find investing in CDR economically viable for the investor firms. Although the core argument of the paper concerns the economics of CDR, in a final section the paper tries to show that the economic argument has also ethical implications against relying on CDR.</p>},
  author       = {Faran, Turaj S. and Olsson, Lennart},
  issn         = {1567-9764},
  keyword      = {Carbon dioxide removal,Economics of geoengineering,Hegelian ethics,Justice and economics,Risk-reward nexus},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {63--77},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics},
  title        = {Geoengineering : neither economical, nor ethical—a risk–reward nexus analysis of carbon dioxide removal},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10784-017-9383-8},
  volume       = {18},
  year         = {2018},
}