Aspects of public perception

In the past, there have been repeated protests by the public and environmental organizations against research projects on marine CDR, such as LOHAFEX for iron fertilization of the ocean in the Southern Ocean (Schiermeier, 2009) or a project on CO2 injection into the deep sea off Hawaii and Norway (Figueiredo et al., 2003). These demonstrate the strength of societal opposition to marine CDR exploration and deployment in the future. To date, research has focused on perceptions of ocean fertilization and direct CO2 injection, whereas perceptions of newer proposals such as artificial downwelling or upwelling, biomass dumping, or increasing ocean alkalinity have not been studied (Bertram and Merk, 2020). Ocean fertilization and CO2 injection have been negatively evaluated compared to abatement technologies such as renewable energy and energy efficiency (CO2 injection, Palmgren et al., 2004), geological storage, i.e., CCS (CO2 injection, Palmgren et al., 2004), or marine layer cloud brightening (ocean fertilization, Amelung & Funke, 2015). Acceptance of technologies such as CCS, radiation management, and land-based CDR is particularly influenced by perceptions of their attributes, such as naturalness, controllability, containability, duration of storage, environmental impacts, and risks (Amelung and Funke, 2015; Bertram and Merk, 2020; Cox et al., 2020; IPSOS Mori, 2010; Pidgeon et al., 2013). Resistance from local communities can severely limit the deployability of marine CDR (Bertram and Merk, 2020; Gannon and Hulme, 2018; Myatt et al., 2003; West, 2010). Research gaps exist particularly in the relationship between local and global effects of marine CDR—in part because, from a scientific and economic perspective, it is usually still unclear what effects marine CDR has on local populations and ecosystems, as well as what interactions may occur transregionally or even globally. New approaches can be evaluated based on their characteristics and ex-ante potential conflicts with public perceptions.


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