Public perceptions and governance of controversial technologies to tackle climate change: nuclear power, carbon capture and storage, wind, and geoengineering

Année de publication



Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change 2 712 727 5


The role carbon emissions play in contributing to climate change makes clear the necessity for a global reconsideration of current modes of energy production. In recent years, as concerns over the threats of climate change (CC) have become more acute, four technologies have notably risen to the forefront of academic and public discourse: nuclear power, carbon capture and storage (CCS), wind power, and geoengineering. The particular interest of these four approaches lies in the fact that they reflect both energy production and climate control technologies, are often socially controversial, and present complex challenges of governance. Nuclear and wind power both deserve an important place among the variety of low‐carbon energy options. In countries where public acceptance is evaluated, although, support for nuclear energy appears to be conditional upon simultaneous development of other renewable energies alongside a feasible plan to address the disposal of nuclear waste. The Fukushima accident sharply increased public concern about the safety and vulnerability of nuclear reactors. While wind power receives general public support, issues of accommodation can arise when it comes to siting wind farms. Persistent dependency upon carbon‐producing energy has made favorable the option of CCS. However, in addition to technical and geological factors, social resistance to the placement of carbon storage units remains a key obstacle. Geoengineering offers the technological capacity to directly act on the climate should levels of atmospheric CO2 become dangerously high. Public perception regarding the risk of climate change can be labile, and the alternatives reviewed here share the characteristic that their technical and political dimensions are intertwined. The variety of options for combining and implementing these technologies, coupled with the inherently time‐sensitive nature of CC, underscore the complexity of the endeavor. In order to bridge these various levels of analysis and decision making, and to better understand and integrate people's involvement, exercises in risk governance could be developed at both the national and international levels. WIREs Clim Change 2011 2 712–727 DOI: 10.1002/wcc.134 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website

Type de publication
  • journal
Type de document
  • article
Classification - Inist-CNRS
  • 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
  • 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
  • 3 - sciences medicales
Classification - Scopus
  • 1 - Physical Sciences
  • 2 - Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • 3 - Atmospheric Science
  • 1 - Social Sciences
  • 2 - Social Sciences
  • 3 - Geography, Planning and Development
  • 2 - Environmental Science
  • 3 - Global and Planetary Change
Classification - Science Metrix
    Classification - Clarivate Analytics (Subject Category)
    • 1 - social science
    • 2 - environmental studies
    • 1 - science
    • 2 - meteorology & atmospheric sciences
    Termes extraits

    geoengineering; climate change; nuclear energy; nuclear power; wind power; governance; wind energy; april; fukushima; energy production; controversial technologies; public acceptance; clim; wires climate change; clim change; public perception; environ; global warming; carbon dioxide; social representations; energy policy; fukushima accident; risk anal; risk perception; local populations; energy options; public attitudes; cambridge university press; public concern; wind farms; carbon emissions; nuclear industry; renewable; nuclear reactors; public opinion; public opposition; nuclear waste; public perceptions; policy makers; geoengineering solutions; various levels; visual impact; wind farm; risk governance; public engagement; public support; european union; energy technologies; international conference; yucca mountain; waste disposal; dioxide; global; option; nuclear newbuild; nuclear power plants; radioactive waste; nuclear acceptance; electricity production; proximity effect; democratic societies; power plant; energy procedia; current modes; energy sources; energy survey; value orientations; important part; much attention; institutional processes; nuclear facility; risk information; energy independence; full extent; technological development; environmental impact; political dimensions; social dimensions; renewable energies; greenhouse gases; wind turbines; credibility crisis; local opposition; chernobyl accident; local identity; several countries; risk assessment; local communities; stronger support; predictable surprises; potential risks; special report; environmental risks; complete solution; public reactions; public participation; local populace; storage site; citizen panels; policy responses; fossil fuel prices; solar radiation management; energy source; many ways; nuclear plants; executive summary; energy choices; strong opposition; fourth assessment report; greater acceptance; special eurobarometer; wave opinion; european commission; iaea bull; public scrutiny; european electricity markets; revisiting support schemes; market designs; environ plan manag; recent study; greenhouse

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    Entité nommée - Emplacement géographique
    • Paris
    • United States
    • Norway
    • Scotland
    • Chernobyl
    • Europe
    • America
    • Lisbon
    • Seveso
    • United Kingdom
    • Portugal
    • France
    • European Union
    • Fukushima
    • Copenhagen
    • Sweden
    • Las Vegas
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    • United States and Chernobyl
    • China, India, France, the United Kingdom
    • In Germany and Italy
    • The CO
    • US Air Force
    • ParisTech, Paris
    • French National Health and Environment
    • Germany, Italy, and Switzerland
    • Sweden and Germany
    • United Kingdom and the United States
    • France DOI
    • International Atomic Energy Agency
    • US Committee of Science and Technology
    • Natural Environment Research Council
    • United States, the French
    • Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, and the United Kingdom
    Entité nommée - Personne
    Raquel Bertoldo; Technologies; Surveys; Results; John Wiley; My Backyard
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