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Progressive supply-side policy under the Paris Agreement to enhance geological carbon storage

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https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14693062.2020.1803039
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
JournalClimate Policy
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Aug 2020

Abstract

As the Paris Agreement moves towards implementation, we explore opportunities it presents to move part of the climate change mitigation challenge upstream into supply-side climate policy. Supply-side climate policies have been sparsely employed to date, although interest is growing in approaches that can curtail and end fossil fuel production. Rather than focussing on fully eliminating fossil fuel production, we set out an alternative supply-side approach that involves fossil fuel producers taking progressive action to reduce and eliminate the climate impacts of their products. Our proposal uses the Paris Agreement’s framework for finance and international cooperation to establish supply-side climate action that supplements demand-side climate policies, and thereby enhance climate ambition. The concepts presented rely on large-scale geosequestration technologies that can deposit carbon into geological reservoirs at rates progressively aligned to those at which carbon is being extracted by fossil fuel producers. Convergence of extraction and deposition rates is a necessary condition for achieving net-zero CO2 emissions while still enabling some essential uses of fossil carbon. We propose an evolutionary approach to policy development, starting as a technology-support mechanism using results-based finance before transitioning into systematic measures under, firstly, Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, and, ultimately, decarbonised fuel standards. Collectively these could incentivise fossil fuel resource holders to manage both outflows and inflows of carbon in the geosphere, and in doing so, create, foster, accelerate and maintain an urgently needed market for geological CO2 storage.

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