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Environmental Values

Incumbency, Trust and the Monsanto Effect: Stakeholder Discourses on Greenhouse Gas Removal

Emily Cox, Elspeth Spence, Nick Pidgeon

Environmental Values 29 (2020): 197-220. doi: 10.3197/096327119X15678473650947

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This paper explores factors shaping perceptions of Greenhouse Gas Removal (GGR) amongst a range of informed stakeholders, with a particular focus on their role in future social and political systems. We find considerable ambivalence regarding the role of climate targets and incumbent interests in relation to GGR. Our results suggest that GGR is symbolic of a fundamental debate - occurring not only between separate people, but sometimes within the minds of individuals themselves - over whether technological solutions represent a pragmatic or an unethical strategy. We present the idea of a 'Monsanto effect', whereby an entirely separate debate taps into deeper narratives and becomes so pervasive that it spills over into a new topic area. Our findings have significant implications for extant and emergent climate policy as they suggest that, in addition to the considerable practical challenges facing large-scale GGR deployment, there is a deeper psychological challenge in that actors are themselves conflicted about the fundamental desirability of GGR.


Climate change, greenhouse gas removal, negative emissions technologies, perceptions

REFERENCES to other Environmental Values articles

Representing Global Public Concern: A Critical Analysis of the Danish Participatory Experiment on Climate Change. Gwendolyn Blue

The New Prometheans: Technological Optimism in Climate Change Mitigation Modelling.Michael Keary

Meeting the Targets or Re-Imagining Society? An Empirical Study into the Ethical Landscape of Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage in Scotland. Leslie Mabon and Simon Shackley

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Editorial: The Revolution will not be Corporatised! Clive L. Spash

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