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The role of biotechnology in combating climate change: A question of politics?


Aerni, Philipp; Gagalac, Florabelle; Scholderer, Joachim (2016). The role of biotechnology in combating climate change: A question of politics? Science and Public Policy, 43(1):13-28.

Abstract

Biotechnology is a platform technology that may significantly contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation. Yet biotechnology is hardly ever referred to as a ‘clean technology’. This paper investigates why biotechnology tends to be ignored in this context. A global stakeholder survey on biotechnology and climate change was conducted with 55 representatives of 44 institutions. The results of a perception pattern analysis show that the majority of stakeholder representatives had a neutral or positive attitude towards the use of biotechnology and regarded its potential to address climate change problems as significant. The survey results further reveal a significant relationship between a representative’s institutional and disciplinary background and his or her attitude. To a considerable extent, a person’s background appears to determine whether biotechnology is framed as a risk or an opportunity for sustainable development.

Abstract

Biotechnology is a platform technology that may significantly contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation. Yet biotechnology is hardly ever referred to as a ‘clean technology’. This paper investigates why biotechnology tends to be ignored in this context. A global stakeholder survey on biotechnology and climate change was conducted with 55 representatives of 44 institutions. The results of a perception pattern analysis show that the majority of stakeholder representatives had a neutral or positive attitude towards the use of biotechnology and regarded its potential to address climate change problems as significant. The survey results further reveal a significant relationship between a representative’s institutional and disciplinary background and his or her attitude. To a considerable extent, a person’s background appears to determine whether biotechnology is framed as a risk or an opportunity for sustainable development.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Informatics
03 Faculty of Economics > Center for Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability
Dewey Decimal Classification:000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
330 Economics
Language:English
Date:1 February 2016
Deposited On:22 Feb 2017 16:49
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 23:56
Publisher:Beech Tree Publishing
ISSN:0302-3427
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/scipol/scv014
Related URLs:http://www.ccrs.uzh.ch (Author)
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:14597

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