Mapping controversy over carbon dioxide removal (CDR): new 3S publication

3S members Laurie Waller and Jason Chilvers have a new paper in Science, Technology and Human Values analysing controversy over proposals for the large-scale removal of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CDR), in collaboration with Tyndall Centre colleague Tim Rayner.

The study combines a digital method (web-querying) with document analysis to map debates about two CDR approaches: bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and afforestation. In the first step, we locate actors using the web to engage with BECCS and afforestation and map their alignments in relation to competing and framings of CDR. In a second step, we examine the devices deployed by UK-based actors to evidence and contest the feasibility of BECCS and afforestation.

Our analysis shows that policy distinctions between “natural” and “engineered” CDR are used flexibly in practice and do not map neatly onto actor engagement with BECCS and afforestation. We highlight the predominance of cross-cutting techno-economic expertise and argue that framings of CDR as a solution to governing climate change may contribute to public disengagement from climate policy processes

The article is titled “Searching for a Public in Controversies over Carbon Dioxide Removal: An Issue Mapping Study on BECCS and Afforestation” is available at: