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

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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.
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Keywords: Climate change; greenhouse gas removal; negative emissions technologies; perceptions

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2020

This article was made available online on October 30, 2019 as a Fast Track article with title: "Incumbency, Trust and the Monsanto Effect: Stakeholder Discourses on Greenhouse Gas Removal".

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  • Environmental Values is an international peer-reviewed journal that brings together contributions from philosophy, economics, politics, sociology, geography, anthropology, ecology and other disciplines, which relate to the present and future environment of human beings and other species. In doing so we aim to clarify the relationship between practical policy issues and more fundamental underlying principles or assumptions.

    Environmental Values has a Journal Impact Factor (2019) of 2.158. 5 Year Impact Factor: 2.047.
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