Overline: Scenario Workshop
Headline: Future Governance of Ocean-Based Negative Emissions Technologies

Overview of ocean-based negative emissions technologies researched in EU-Horizon Project “OceanNETs”.
Overview of ocean-based negative emissions technologies researched in EU-Horizon Project “OceanNETs”. CC BY 4.0, Artwork: Rita Erven, GEOMAR/OceanNETs


Pathways published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for the timely achievement of climate targets set under the Paris Agreement, especially the 1.5°C goal, demonstrate a potential need to remove excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in the future and create so-called ‘negative emissions’. A range of technological options that aim to enhance the natural function of the earth’s ecosystems to sequester and store additional carbon has been proposed for the purpose of carbon dioxide removal, including through ocean-based negative emissions technologies (“NETs”).

Within the EU-H2020 OceanNETs project, researchers aim to determine to what extent, and under what conditions, ocean-based NETs (see Figure 1) could contribute to achieving climate targets and stay within the limits set by the Paris Agreement. The research of Task 2.2 of OceanNETs in particular addresses the ocean-related governance dimension of these technologies. The aim is to identify how ocean-based NETs fit into the current global ocean governance framework, what should be considered for the good governance of the deployment of such technologies in the ocean, and to develop future governance scenarios.

Aim of this workshop:

The deployment of ocean-based ‘negative emissions technologies’ (NETs) to enhance the natural function of the ocean to sequester and store carbon has been proposed to keep within temperature limits as agreed upon by the global community. While the deployment of NETs for large-scale carbon dioxide removal (CDR) holds potential also for alleviating climatic pressures on the ocean, a range of challenges have been identified, including related specifically to governance of the technologies. The aim of this in-person two-day workshop is to look towards the future and identify opportunities within the global ocean governance regime to govern ocean-based NETs in a comprehensive manner.  

The workshop is organised by the Research Institute for Sustainability – Helmholtz Centre Potsdam (RIFS – formally Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies / IASS) as part of the OceanNETs project and follows a first workshop that identified challenges within the current governance framework for ocean-based NETs. This second workshop will ask participants to take part in both breakout groups and plenary discussions to explore scenarios that reflect on identified governance challenges within the current and alternative global ocean governance regimes. Participants will be asked to develop "good governance" responses within given prompts and interactively advance discussions on the future governance of ocean-based NETs.