Moral Conflicts of several “Green” terrestrial Negative Emission Technologies regarding the Human Right to Adequate Food – A Review
Several terrestrial Negative Emission Technologies (tNETs), like Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS), Afforestation/Reforestation (AR) and Enhanced Weathering (EW), rely on natural processes and could therefore be designated as “green” forms of geoengineering. However, even those “green” tNETs may lead to undesirable side effects and thereby provoke moral concerns and conflicts. In this paper, I investigated whether BECCS, AR and EW would cause moral conflicts regarding the human right to adequate food if implemented on a scale sufficient to limit global warming “to well below 2 ∘C”. Reviewing recent publications concerning BECCS, AR and EW, I found that EW would not conflict with the human right to adequate food but would likely even promote agricultural food production due to a higher nutrient provision. However, EW does not provide a feasible solution to limit global warming “to well below 2 ∘C”, since a large-scale deployment of EW would require large investments and considerable amounts of energy to grind suitable rock-material. In regard of BECCS and AR, I found that even under the optimistic Representative Concentration Pathway 2.6 (RCP2.6), as assessed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its latest assessment report from 2013, a large-scale deployment of BECCS and/or AR would cause moral conflicts regarding the human right to adequate food for present and future generations. Due to this, I advocate for more and stronger mitigation efforts in line with efficient land management actions concerning, e.g. peats and soils, designated as “natural climate solutions” (NCS) and a deployment of multiple tNETs in near future.