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Which Net Zero? Climate Justice and Net Zero Emissions

Which Net Zero? Climate Justice and Net Zero Emissions
Which Net Zero? Climate Justice and Net Zero Emissions
In recent years the target of Net Zero emissions by 2050 has come to the forefront of global climate politics. Net Zero would see carbon emissions matched by carbon removals, and should allow the planet to avoid dangerous climate change. But the recent prominence of this goal should not distract from the fact that there are many possible versions of Net Zero. Each of them will have different climate justice implications, and some of them could have very negative consequences for the world’s poor. This paper demonstrates the many ambiguities of Net Zero, and argues in favour of a Net Zero strategy in which those who can reasonably bear the burden of doing so act to pursue early and aggressive mitigation policies. We also argue for a Net Zero strategy in which countries place the lion’s share of their faith in known emissions reduction technologies, rather than being heavily reliant on as-yet unproven Negative Emissions Techniques. Our overarching goal is to put Net Zero in its place, by providing a clear-sighted view of what Net Zero will achieve, and where the ‘Net’ in Net Zero needs to be tightened further if the world is to achieve climate justice.
0892-6794
Armstrong, Christopher
2fbfa0a3-9183-4562-9370-0f6441df90d2
McLaren, Duncan
432acf9b-bcfb-4bba-b0b0-cdae63222aa8
Armstrong, Christopher
2fbfa0a3-9183-4562-9370-0f6441df90d2
McLaren, Duncan
432acf9b-bcfb-4bba-b0b0-cdae63222aa8

Armstrong, Christopher and McLaren, Duncan (2022) Which Net Zero? Climate Justice and Net Zero Emissions. Ethics & International Affairs. (In Press)

Record type: Article

Abstract

In recent years the target of Net Zero emissions by 2050 has come to the forefront of global climate politics. Net Zero would see carbon emissions matched by carbon removals, and should allow the planet to avoid dangerous climate change. But the recent prominence of this goal should not distract from the fact that there are many possible versions of Net Zero. Each of them will have different climate justice implications, and some of them could have very negative consequences for the world’s poor. This paper demonstrates the many ambiguities of Net Zero, and argues in favour of a Net Zero strategy in which those who can reasonably bear the burden of doing so act to pursue early and aggressive mitigation policies. We also argue for a Net Zero strategy in which countries place the lion’s share of their faith in known emissions reduction technologies, rather than being heavily reliant on as-yet unproven Negative Emissions Techniques. Our overarching goal is to put Net Zero in its place, by providing a clear-sighted view of what Net Zero will achieve, and where the ‘Net’ in Net Zero needs to be tightened further if the world is to achieve climate justice.

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Revised Tightening the Net REVISED - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 10 June 2022

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 468700
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/468700
ISSN: 0892-6794
PURE UUID: cf58edde-a1d7-4f70-b122-4a9a76e76c5c
ORCID for Christopher Armstrong: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7462-5316

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Date deposited: 23 Aug 2022 16:45
Last modified: 30 Sep 2022 04:02

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Contributors

Author: Duncan McLaren

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