decarbonization, civil society, public acceptance, acceptability, engagement, education, epe
Achieving climate neutrality of the EU’s economy and society is a central goal of the European Green Deal. The decarbonization of our societies involves, amongst other things, the adoption of many new technologies and the construction of associated infrastructure. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) and marine renewable energy (MRE) are two suites of technologies widely seen as key elements of climate change mitigation. However, the deployment of infrastructure required for decarbonization such as CCS & MRE have often been met by high-profile public opposition, especially in relation to specific developments. The social acceptability, and by extension public acceptance, of strategic infrastructure development, such as CCS & MRE can be greatly facilitated and encouraged by engaging with the public in meaningful and constructive ways, especially through appropriately designed education and public engagement programs. This paper examines what constitutes effective means of engaging with the public on such issues. It draws from critical reviews of education and public engagement (EPE) programs undertaken in the context of two research projects one focused on carbon capture and storage and the second concerned with marine renewable energies.