GASCON (GGRs: Governance and Standards for Carbon Neutrality)

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With the support of ClimateWorks Foundation, the project Greenhouse Gas Removal: Governance and Standards for Carbon Neutrality (GASCON) researches the fit of greenhouse gas removal (GGR) techniques to specific national and regional contexts. Our objective is to devise principles for GGR governance that are adapted to the specific conditions and constraints of individual countries, and are in line with UN climate and sustainable development goals.

Government and civil society actors have very different views on the role GGR should play, if any, in efforts to tackle climate change. Countries and communities are also likely to be differentially affected by their deployment, and will bear different risk burdens and/or local development opportunities in pursuit of a global public good.  Our work will examine locally appropriate incentives and regulations.

We take account of the recent adoption of targets for carbon neutrality/net zero by countries, companies and local government. We examine, in particular, their impact on developing countries, since emerging global policies often assume that their land and environmental resources will play a crucial role in offsetting recalcitrant emissions in high-emitting countries.

GASCON expands the work carried out under our Greenhouse Gas Removal Incentives and Policies Project, which followed on policy pathways for the responsible development of GGR techniques in the United Kingdom (GRIP 2016-19).

GASCON comprises several interrelated research initiatives:

  1. A comparative study of policy-makers’ views on the potential role of GGR in the climate strategies of their respective countries


  1. In-depth case studies exploring the conditions under which GGR can contribute to sustainable development, effective climate action, and economic re-distribution in emerging economies. Currently our case studies include:

a. Brazil: with a focus on the role of agriculture in meeting domestic net-zero targets and the governance conditions for a responsible development of nature-based solutions.

b. Chile: with a focus on the role of GGR techniques in domestic understandings of climate ambition and their impact of extractive sectors and value chains.

c. Mexico: with a focus on the interplay between domestic dynamics and international factors in the development of national GGR capacities.

Through these and potentially some additional cases we plan to develop a comparative political economy of GGR in emerging economies, and a better of understanding of governance models and policy frameworks for their responsible development adapted to the respective political context.

Research team: Javier LezaunPeter Healey, Jose Maria ValenzuelaTim Kruger