Capturing carbon to fight climate change is dividing environmentalists
Environmental activists are teaming up with fresh faces in Congress to advocate for a Green New Deal, a bundle of policies that would fight climate change while creating new jobs and reducing inequality. Not all of the activists agree on what those policies ought to be.
Some 626 environmental groups, including Greenpeace, the Center for Biological Diversity and 350, recently laid out their vision in a letter they sent to U.S. lawmakers. They warned that they "vigorously oppose" several strategies, including the use of carbon capture and storage — a process that can trap excess carbon pollution that’s already warming the Earth, and lock it away.
In our view, as a political philosopher who studies global justice and an environmental social scientist, this blanket opposition is an unfortunate mistake. Based on the need to remove carbon from the atmosphere, and the risks in relying on land sinks such as forests and soilsalone to take up the excess carbon, we believe that carbon capture and storage could be a powerful tool for making the climate safer and even rectifying historical climate injustices.
We think the United States and other rich countries should accelerate negative emissions research for two reasons.
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