Professor Duncan McLaren from Lancaster University presented on the Assessing the Mitigation Deterrence effects of GGRs project in the last webinar of the current series.
Professor McLaren summarised research that aims to unpick the interactions between climate polices and technology, not only in terms of GGR’s material deployment but in terms of the promises and expectations surrounding its technologies. Using this approach the project’s research has sought to understand how GGR might impact climate change mitigation, not with the aim of delivering arguments against GGR but with the goal of maximising the chances that these technologies can be deployed effectively as a supplement to increasing mitigation.
To try and assess the level of the problem of mitigation deterrence, the project took an approach based on carbon modelling to quantify three types of risks. Firstly the risk that the promised removal of CO2 fails to happen, secondly the risk of rebound effects that might arise from land use change or use of enhanced oil recovery associated with GGR, and thirdly the risk that expectations that GGR can deliver more than is possible will cause delay in mitigation. In a worst case scenario researchers estimated that these three forms of risk could mean an additional 1.4 C in warming, bringing us closer to 3 C above pre-industrial levels.
Through stakeholder workshops the project also explored how and where mitigation deterrence might happen. By thinking of four future political scenarios, stakeholders were invited to explore different GGR technologies and a generic GGR option. Analysis of their responses identified possible drivers and outcomes of mitigation deterrence, alongside insight into which technologies and political settings were more vulnerable. Bringing these understandings together the project set out policy recommendations and reflections on research in this area.
The full set of videos from the webinar series can be seen on our youtube channel.