Journal article

Undoing Equivalence: Rethinking Carbon Accounting for Just Carbon Removal

Wim Carton, Jens Friis Lund, Kate Dooley

Frontiers in Climate | Frontiers Media SA

Abstract

Concerns are increasingly raised over the centrality of carbon removal in climate policy, particularly in the guise of “net-zero” targets. Most significantly perhaps, treating emissions and removals as equivalent obscures emission reductions, resulting in “mitigation deterrence.” Yet the conflation of emission reductions and removals is only one among several implicit equivalences in carbon removal accounting. Here, we examine three other forms—carbon, geographical, and temporal equivalence—and discuss their implications for climate justice and the environmental risks with carbon removal. We conclude that “undoing” these equivalences would further a just response to the climate crisis and te..

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