Carbon Dioxide Removal Options: Policies and Ethics

The CDR-PoEt project examines policy instruments for carbon dioxide removal (CDR) from the atmosphere and their fairness implications based on recognized policy principles and stakeholder deliberations.

Project managementProf. Dr. Jürgen BauhusAlbert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Project duration11/1/2021 - 10/31/2024
Project partnerJun.-Prof. Dr. Christian Baatz, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel (CAU)Matthias Honegger, Perspectives Climate Research Claire Fyson, Climate AnalyticsDennis Taenzler, Adelphi

Project goals

The focus of the CDR-PoEt project is to analyse possible political instruments for carbon dioxide removal (CDR) and their fairness implications. Specifically, the project examines the economic, socio-cultural and institutional feasibility of CDR in five work packages. These serve as the basis for policy recommendations at local and (inter) national level.

When developing concrete policy options, CDR-PoEt refers to recognized policy principles and considers the views of central stakeholders, at all research steps through a deliberative process: the identification and formulation of governance principles, the operationalization of evaluation criteria, the definition and evaluation of CDR policy instruments and scenarios for a fair distribution of responsibility for the implementation of CDR.

In this way, possible practical ways are shown which allow deliberative political learning and thus offer a basis for the responsible design of policies as well as research and innovation. The project team applies the conceptual considerations to three CDR cases: direct CO₂ extraction from the air (DACCS), use of biomass with CO₂ storage and agroforestry approaches. Our comparative and evidence-based analysis helps to identify key elements and distribution policy implications.

We work out similarities and differences between CDR policies, which should be reflected in policy making as well as in technology-specific policy elements. Taking a socio-technical system perspective that goes beyond economic and technical calculations of costs and potentials, this research will contribute to the refinement of the understanding of “CDR feasibility” or “potentials”. With this perspective on acceptance and acceptability as well as fairness, an alternative, socially more robust way of determining the design and potential of successful policy instruments is shown, which should stimulate both research and political deliberation.