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Carbon capture alone is not enough to combat climate change

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Design by Caitlin Martens. Buy this photo. Carbon capture technology, which includes ocean fertilization, enhanced weathering and carbon capture and storage, has become a center point of the conversation around solutions to mitigate the effects of climate change. Oil companies are pushing to further research and invest in carbon-capture technology. While research has progressed the development of carbon capture technologies, it must get cheaper and more efficient to be effective.

However, climate scientists and advocates have been wary of promoting carbon capture research. They express concerns including the possibility that the technology is seen as a sort of guaranteed insurance against climate change, which may promote less climate-conscious behavior, ultimately establishing a moral hazard. A moral hazard is when an individual engages in riskier behavior because they have the safety net of insurance. Carbon capture causes moral hazard because people, corporations and politicians may not address climate change because they believe that an easy technological fix will eventually solve the problem of global warming.

In 2020, 40 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide were released into the atmosphere worldwide. This number needs to be cut to zero by 2050, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, to avoid the worst […]

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