172. Carbon capture rush: Rethinking climate futures

Ritwick Ghosh, Arizona State University; Rajiv Ghimire, University of Michigan; Janel Jett, University of Missouri; David Guston, Arizona State University;

Decades of inaction on climate change have given way to rapid momentum to embrace carbon capture. Broadly, scholars differentiate two modes of carbon capture: a) nature-based solutions that store carbon in forests, soils, and oceans; and b) technological solutions that use enhanced mineralization or direct air capture to store carbon. Some technologies are already operational, while others remain in various stages of development. These solutions are drawing unprecedented levels of attention, including the massive fiscal injection through the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act. In mere months, the industry has moved from fledgling to mainstream. The rate of capital investment, policy-making, and technological innovation prompts an urgent need to reflect critically and analytically on the socio-technical implications of the large-scale deployment of various carbon capture solutions. We invite papers to explore the narratives and interests shaping carbon capture, as well as the ethical and governance issues carbon capture raises. Panelists could consider solutions independently, speaking to the practical, economic, and geopolitical dynamics of specific approaches, or consider them collectively by addressing common themes such as oversight and accountability, carbon pricing, capital accumulation, and community engagement. The panel is an opportunity to take stock of ongoing research, as well as to identify new theoretical frontiers and explore constructive social-science-driven approaches. How can existing concepts such as unintended consequences, anticipatory governance, socio-technical systems, and infrastructure studies help, and where are the analytical blind spots? Overall, what can the 4S community bring to conversations about carbon capture now that large-scale investments are underway?

Contact: ritwick.ghosh@asu.edu, rajivgh@umich.edu, janel.jett@gmail.com, david.guston@asu.edu

Keywords: Governance and Public Policy, Energy and Extraction, Environmental/Multispecies Studies, Climate change; carbon capture; negative emissions

Published: 04/07/2023