Global warming ice caps melting Mario Tama / Getty Images

Radicaal realisme qua klimaatverandering

BERLIJN – De gevestigde politiek is per definitie slecht uitgerust om zich fundamentele verandering voor te stellen. Maar afgelopen december in Parijs werden 196 regeringen het eens over de noodzaak de opwarming van de aarde te beperken tot 1,5° Celsius boven pre-industriële niveaus – een doelstelling die de belofte in zich draagt om precies dat soort verandering te bewerkstelligen. Deze te bereiken zal het overkomen van serieuze politieke uitdagingen vereisen, weerspiegeld in het feit dat sommigen oplossingen bepleiten die uiteindelijk meer kwaad dan goed zullen doen.

Een strategie die momenteel veel momentum heeft richt zich op de noodzaak om grootschalige technologische interventies te ontwikkelen om de mondiale thermostaat te controleren. Voorstanders van geo-engineering technologieën betogen dat conventionele maatregelen voor aanpassing en verlichting de uitstoot simpelweg niet snel genoeg verminderen om gevaarlijke opwarming te voorkomen. Technologieën zoals ‘koolstofafvang en -opslag’ (Carbon Capture and Storage, afgekort CCS), zo zeggen ze, zijn noodzakelijk om schade en menselijk lijden te beperken.

Het Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change lijkt het hiermee eens te zijn. In zijn vijfde evaluatieverslag bouwt het zijn scenario’s om te voldoen aan de klimaatdoelen van Parijs rond het concept van ‘negatieve uitstoot’; dat betekent de mogelijkheid om overtollige CO2 uit de atmosfeer te zuigen.

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