Social

From the existing research on public attitudes to innovation, we can identify a set of commonly shared beliefs and values about technology. These are known to be typically less susceptible to change across different situations. They can be used to flag technology characteristics or modes of implementation which are associated with more positive or negative perceptions. In addition, we include indicators which reflect the ways in which different people might respond differently to different GGR proposals or different ways in which GGRs are developed and implemented.

To make this as user-friendly as possible, we have simplified the indicators into a questionnaire, comprising 12 ‘yes/no’ questions relating to commonly-shared social readiness factors, and 5 multiple choice questions relating to socio-cultural worldviews. The questions enable identification of areas in which a project might encounter such risks, so that innovators can take action, and enable better alignment of GGR approaches with preferred implementation contexts. 

It is important that the answers to these questions are supported by robust evidence, and ideally by empirical data on the specific project or proposal, conducted by social science experts. Therefore for each of the 17 questions, proposals score an ‘X’ if no data is available. A large number of ‘X’ scores shows that social considerations are under-considered by this project, and action must be taken to support the evidence base and to identify societal risks. 

diverse group mates and creating new project in team

Approach

First, the existing research on this topic was used to identify theoretically-informed criteria for the ‘social readiness’ of technologies and innovations, and the ways in which they might be implemented and interact with society. We identified four broad dimensions, each of which encompasses a specific body of knowledge about societal considerations: Psychometric Risk Factors; Inflexibility Indicators; factors relating to Responsible Innovation; and Socio-cultural preferences. Each of these dimensions contains multiple proposed indicators. 

Within these four dimensions, a long-list of indicators was developed, adapted from previous work on evaluating climate innovations. From the long list, indicators were assessed for their suitability and applicability to GGRs and to demonstration projects. Empirical work in the field of public perceptions of GGR, and of analogous areas such as CCS, has identified several factors influencing public perceptions, such as ‘naturalness’, ‘justice’ and ‘co-benefits’; these have been included, whilst maintaining the theoretical focus stemming from the four dimensions. Another important factor is public trust; however, rather than an indicator in its own right, this is best thought of as an overarching principle which informs several of the indicators in the table. 

Indicators

Dimension Indicator Question Scoring
1 Psychometric Familiarity Does the proposal use any materials which might be considered unfamiliar?

Y=0

N=1

No data=X

1b Please explain the reasons for your choice Open-ended
2 Psychometric Voluntariness Will members of the public be involved in decisions to deploy?

Y=1

N=0

No data=X

2b Please explain the reasons for your choice, including how you have defined ‘the public’ Open-ended
3 Psychometric Observability Does the proposal involve visible infrastructure at large scale, visible land-use changes, or create aesthetic impacts?

Y=0

N=1

No data=X

3b Please explain the reasons for your choice Open-ended
4 Psychometric Catastrophic Potential Does the proposal have any risk (even small) of catastrophic impacts? (i.e. involving or causing a sudden disaster)

Y=0

N=1

No data=X

4b Please explain the reasons for your choice, including how you have defined ‘catastrophic’ Open-ended
5 Inflexibility Capital Intensity Does your innovation require large amounts of capital investment and/or capital cost subsidy?

Y=0

N=1

No data=X

5b Please explain the reasons for your choice Open-ended
6 Inflexibility Lead times Does the proposal require new infrastructure or substantial changes to existing infrastructure with a long lead time?

Y=0

N=1

No data=X

6b Please explain the reasons for your choice Open-ended
7 Inflexibility Irreversibility Does the proposal release material into the environment?

Y=0

N=1

No data=X

7b Please explain the reasons for your choice Open-ended
8 Inflexibility Co-benefits Does the proposal have a narrow focus on a single mission, for example to remove GHGs?

Y=0

N=1

No data=X

8b Please explain the reasons for your choice Open-ended
9 Responsibility Distribution of Risks Are the risks of the proposal shared equitably amongst affected parties?

Y=1

N=0

No data=X

9b Please explain the reasons for your choice, including how you have defined ‘affected parties’

Open-ended

10  Responsibility Distribution of benefits Are the benefits, including co-benefits, shared equitably amongst the affected parties?

Y=1

N=0

No data=X

10b Please explain the reasons for your choice, including how you have defined ‘affected parties’

Open-ended

11 Responsibility Procedural justice Are members of the public involved in shaping the research, development, demonstration and deployment of the project?

Y=1

N=0

No data=X

11b Please explain the reasons for your choice, including how you have defined ‘the public’

Open-ended

12 Responsibility Naturalness Might the processes involved be perceived by communities or the general public as ‘unnatural’?

Y=0

N=1

No data=X

12b Please explain the reasons for your choice

Open-ended

13 Socio-cultural Who benefits? What is the primary benefit of the project? A) meets government targets and regulations; B) generates wealth; C) creates environmental co-benefits

A, B, C

No data=X

13b Please explain the reasons for your choice

Open-ended

14 Socio-cultural Who implements? Who would most likely be the main actor involved in implementing this proposal if upscaled? A) government; B) private companies; C) local communities

A, B, C

No data=X

14b

Open-ended

15 Socio-cultural Who loses? Who is most at risk in the event of failure? A) public/state institutions; B) market actors (investors, profit-making entities); C) local or indigenous communities, or the environment

A, B, C

No data=X

15b Please explain the reasons for your choice, including how you have defined ‘failure’

Open-ended

16 Socio-cultural How fast? On what timescale would the project be ready for deployment at scale? A) Longer-term; B) When the proposal is ready for market; C) Very soon

A, B, C

No data=X

16b Please explain the reasons for your choice

Open-ended

17 Socio-cultural What infrastructure? What sort of infrastructure, physical assets or physical changes would be involved? A) Long-lasting; B) Rapidly-replaceable; C) Landscape-enhancing

A, B, C

No data=X

17b Please explain the reasons for your choice

Open-ended

 

Social team

Dr Rob Bellamy

Dr Rob Bellamy

University of Manchester

Dr Emily Cox

Dr Emily Cox

University of Oxford

Dr Laurie Waller

Dr Laurie Waller

University of Manchester

Do you have feedback?

 

Help us refine and improve the Evaluation Framework. Get in touch using the form below or email co2re@smithschool.ox.ac.uk

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