About this Research Topic
Efforts to deliver on the ambitions of the Paris Agreement seem set to rely heavily upon carbon dioxide removal (CDR) methods, also known as negative emissions technologies (NETs).
The central questions for CDR governance no longer concern whether or not it should be pursued, but what CDR methods should be pursued, how much of them, when, where, and by whom. Despite this, the governance frameworks and democratic processes that will be needed to responsibly incentivize, develop and sustain CDR remain largely neglected by policymakers and understudied by researchers.
This Research Topic encompasses all aspects of CDR governance addressing critical questions such as:
• How, and by whom, should CDR methods be framed as objects to be governed (e.g. natural/technological, research /deployment, large-scale/ small-scale, contained/uncontained)?
• What policy objectives should CDR methods be expected to achieve (e.g. specified removal targets, offsetting hard-to-abate sectors, enabling carbon utilization or storage)?
• How are policy instruments best amended or designed anew to deliver on those objectives (e.g. economic, regulatory or informational, technology-specific or neutral, technology push or demand-pull) and how they might be combined (e.g. vertically, horizontally, chronologically)?
• Are the institutions that would govern CDR fit for purpose, or must they too be amended or designed anew?
• How might CDR methods themselves be reshaped by those policies and instruments?
These aspects of governance must be brought to bear on a range of issues raised by CDR methods, including their effectiveness, efficiency, scale, risks and synergies with other policy objectives. At the same time, governance frameworks and democratic processes must be capable of dealing with conflicting interests and deep uncertainties around both the technological and social dimensions of these issues. Accounting for diverse societal values and knowledges in relation to technology appraisal and selection, policy instrument choice, and guiding principles, will thus be critical. In turn, this will help to minimize negative trade-offs and identify co-benefits of CDR methods that could spur demand not just from multiple policy angles, but also multiple policy scales. Indeed, CDR methods will likely emerge ‘bottom-up’ from within particular societal contexts, such as individual companies, cities, states or nations, and international governance will thus play various roles, both on its own, but also in supporting diverse local developments.
We welcome contributions on the following research topic sub-themes:
• Different framings of NETs and their governance implications;
• Amending existing policies and policy instruments relevant to NETs governance;
• Design and phase-in of new policies, policy instruments and their combinations for NETs governance;
• Suitability of existing or new institutions that would govern NETs;
• Responses of NETs applications to different policies and instruments, including effectiveness and efficiency;
• Accounting for societal values and knowledges in NETs governance;
• Co-benefits of NETs that may trigger demand pull from different policy angles or scales;
• Policy designs capable of avoiding negative trade-offs;
• Case studies of ‘bottom-up’ NETs governance being led by, for example, companies, cities, states or nations;
• Roles of international governance in supporting NETs as they emerge.
Types of manuscripts:
• Original research articles reporting on primary and unpublished studies about NETs governance;
• Review articles covering topics about NETs governance that have seen significant development in recent years, with comprehensive depth and a balanced perspective;
• Policy and practice reviews of current topics about NETs governance related to policy, regulations, and guidelines;
• Perspective articles presenting a viewpoint on a specific area of NETs governance;
• Policy briefs that provide a practical and evidence-based evaluation of NETs governance.
Keywords: carbon dioxide removal, climate policy, greenhouse gas removal, governance, negative emissions, negative emission technology
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.