The Regulation of Climate Engineering

Law, Innovation and Technology, Vol 3, No. 1, pp. 113-136, 2011

24 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2011 Last revised: 30 Jan 2014

See all articles by Jesse L Reynolds

Jesse L Reynolds

University of California, Los Angeles School of Law; Utrecht Centre for Water, Oceans and Sustainability Law, Utrecht University School of Law

Date Written: April 18, 2011

Abstract

Climate engineering, or geoengineering, is a group of proposals to intentionally intervene in global physical, chemical, and biological systems on a massive scale in order to reduce the threat of anthropogenic climate change. Climate engineering is receiving increasing attention, and research is moving forward. Regulation remains inadequate, and climate engineering presents significant regulatory challenges. Key to overcoming these challenges is distinguishing between the two primary forms of climate engineering, and between deployment and research. One of the two primary forms, carbon dioxide removal, can largely be addressed through existing legal instruments. In the case of the other primary form, solar radiation management, focusing initially on research can bypass the geopolitical quagmire of deployment. Because this is the approach of the SRM Governance Initiative, it holds potential for significant progress toward regulation of SRM research. Two particular challenges remain: establishing regulatory legitimacy, and developing an appropriate definition of research.

Keywords: climate engineering, geoengineering, climate change, environmental law, international law, regulation, research

Suggested Citation

Reynolds, Jesse L, The Regulation of Climate Engineering (April 18, 2011). Law, Innovation and Technology, Vol 3, No. 1, pp. 113-136, 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1813965 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1813965

Jesse L Reynolds (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles School of Law ( email )

385 Charles E. Young Dr. East
Room 1242
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476
United States

Utrecht Centre for Water, Oceans and Sustainability Law, Utrecht University School of Law ( email )

3508 TC Utrecht
Utrecht
Netherlands

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