On the Permissibility (Or Otherwise) of Negative Emissions
in Ethics, Policy & Environment, 15.02.2021
Peer Review , Scientific Assessments, Ethics, and Public Policy
Limiting dangerous climate change is now widely believed to require negative emissions (NETs), a prospect some believe to be unjust and unacceptably risky. While NETs are not risk-free, I argue that they could be part of minimally just responses to climate change. In doing so, I identify a dilemma between limiting warming to 1.5 ° C, which promises lower climate impacts but implies greater NETs risks, and 2°C, which requires less NETs but promises greater climate impacts. Finally, I consider what the case of NETs reveals about permissibility in the face of non-compliance with principles of climate justice.