06 December 2013 - 07 December 2013
Tokyo, Japan

Climate risk management and negative emission workshop

IIASA is co-organizing a meeting of the Global Carbon Project, bringing together experts to discuss development and follow up from a previous meeting at IIASA.

GCP logo

GCP logo

IIASA's Nebojsa Nakicenovic, Florian Kraxner, and Sabine Fuss are part of the team co-organizing the meeting, which follows up on a previous workshop at IIASA.

Workshop Motivation & Objectives

In the first half of this year Earth’s CO2 level has surpassed 400ppm, which is the highest level in our history since the Pliocene. It thus appears that we are indeed steering towards an overshoot by which the new IPCC Report’s climate change mitigation scenarios are characterized, before stabilizing at ppm levels allowing us to restrict global warming to 2 degree C above pre-industrial levels. How can this stabilization still be achieved?

One core ingredient in the mitigation mix are negative emissions (NE), mostly based on carbonneutral bioenergy (due to the same amount being sequestered by feedstock growth as being emitted when combusting biomass for energy generation) combined with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), which in addition captures CO2 during the energy production phase. Yet, while having long appeared to be an attractive option for climate risk management, many uncertainties remain – both socio-economically/technologically and on part of the climate science.

While previous workshops have been partially targeted the incentivization of BECCS diffusion in specified countries, the GCP workshop at IIASA highlighted in a much more explicit way also the uncertainties on the climate side such as the uncertainty whether negative emissions indeed decrease the airborne fraction and what happens to other GHGs and radiatively active substances. Also, it is questionable what large-scale BECCS would imply for global ecosystems services.

In this workshop, we would touch on these questions, but newly focus on the “technology and human-ecosystem perspectives” including political, economic and ecosystem service dimensions.

One important aspect which will be discussed is whether negative emissions technologies – by acting as an “insurance” mechanism against severe climate change and its impacts – will create a situation of moral hazard, where costly transitions to carbon-free technologies are postponed in expectation of future cost reductions in abatement costs and containment of climate risks through BECCS. 

More information

Meeting Agenda (PDF)

Global Carbon Project Web site

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Last edited: 13 June 2017

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