Thursday, November 8, 2012: 3:00 PM-4:30 PM
Hanover A (Radisson Plaza Lord Baltimore Hotel)
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
Organizers: Rachel Krause, University of Texas at El Paso
Moderators: Christopher Miller, Indiana University
Chairs: Gregory Nemet, University of Wisconsin - Madison
As part of the global effort to mitigate climate change, Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) has emerged as a potentially effective “bridging technology” able to reduce the impact of current carbon-intensive electricity production and allow society more time to develop new low carbon options. In its international least cost strategy for achieving the greenhouse gas emission reductions estimated as able to prevent the average increase in global temperature from exceeding 2 degrees Celsius, the International Energy Agency (IEA) allocates 19% of the necessary abatement in global emissions by 2050 to CCS. The U.S. Department of Energy and Obama administration are likewise proponents of CCS and have supported pilot projects in the United States.
Despite the support it has received from many experts and official entities, the extent of public acceptance for CCS has been varied and the policy framework needed to support its commercial-scale deployment has not yet been developed. Public opposition has led to the recent cancellation of several CCS projects in Europe and has brought increased attention to the technology’s social dimensions. Although the majority of studies on CCS remain in the realms of engineering and geology, its feasibility is largely tied to political and public acceptance. This acceptance intersects with beliefs about climate change, risk perceptions, and beliefs about government spending – as CCS is not economically viable in a free-market without a price on carbon. Moreover, because it is an unfamiliar technology to most people, public opinion appears to be quite malleable to pro or anti-CCS communications, placing a premium on the early use of this tool.
The four papers in this panel examine CCS from policy, political, and behavioral perspectives. Together they increase understanding of the likely “Not Under My Backyard” dynamic that will accompany future facility citing, examine expert and public reaction to the alleged risk from CCS, and assess the policy change needed to facilitate the deployment of large-scale CCS projects.