GASCON (GGRs: Governance and Standards for Carbon Neutrality)

The immediate predecessor to GASCON is the Greenhouse Gas Removal Incentives and Policies Project (GRIP 2016-19), also supported by ClimateWorks. GRIP assumed a role for GGR technologies in combating climate change, and aimed to shift debate on GGR governance from an emphasis on control to that of responsible innovation.  It thus focused on what policy incentives and policy pathways might accelerate and improve the assessment of Greenhouse Gas Removal (GGR) techniques, and what criteria they may need to meet in order to be acceptable.

GRIP focused on the UK, exploring a wide range of GGR technology options with experts and stakeholders and making some recommendations as to broad policy pathways to encourage innovation and clarify policy options.  Though GRIP started to develop a comparative perspective through reviews of GGR policy in some other jurisdictions, GASCON has been designed to extend this comparative approach in scope and detail.

Detailed research on individual jurisdictions is important because different countries have very different views on the role GGRs should play in any effort to tackle climate change, as they will be differently affected by their deployment and will bear different risk burdens and/or local development opportunities. 

Working across a number of federal and state jurisdictions, and with non-state actors, GASCON will explore how different policy systems interpret the relevance of large-scale carbon dioxide removal, and the suitability of different GGR approaches, as part of their respective climate change mitigation strategies. 

In its initial phase, the project focuses on:

  • Possible GGR developments that are congruent with national environmental resources, industrial capacities, and political and cultural values and priorities, and which maximise co-benefits with other development priorities, including other Sustainable Development Goals;
  • Locally appropriate policy instruments and policy incentives that may help to achieve these goals;
  • Analyse the gap between highly specific and diverse local approaches and emerging global capacities in GGR research, development and governance, and explore transnational mechanisms for risk assessment, monitoring and reparation.
  • Analyse how GGR agendas are being impacted by the proliferation of commitments to ‘carbon neutrality’ or ‘net zero.’