An Economic Analysis of Liability and Compensation for Harm from Large-Scale Solar Climate Engineering Field Research

Climate Law, 5 (2015) 182-209

Tilburg Law School Research Paper No. 15/2015

28 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2015 Last revised: 13 May 2018

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: July 15, 2015

Abstract

Solar climate engineering is under increasing consideration as a potential means to reduce climate change risks. Its field research may generate knowledge to reduce climate risks to humans and the environment and will, at sufficient scales, pose its own risks, some of which will be transboundary. Liability or compensation for harm is frequently referenced as a possible component of international regulation of solar climate engineering but has been insufficiently elaborated. This article offers an economic analysis of the possible interrelated roles of rules, liability, and compensation in the future international regulation of large-scale solar climate engineering field research. Notably, the benefits, risks, and incentives of climate engineering research are unlike typical risky activities, including other development risks. The analysis proposes a hypothetical international agreement that links general and procedural rules for research, an international compensation fund, and limited, indirect State liability with a duty of care defence.

Keywords: climate engineering, geoengineering, climate change, global warming, law and economics, economic analysis of law, liability, torts, compensation

Suggested Citation

Reynolds, Jesse L, An Economic Analysis of Liability and Compensation for Harm from Large-Scale Solar Climate Engineering Field Research (July 15, 2015). Climate Law, 5 (2015) 182-209; Tilburg Law School Research Paper No. 15/2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2630934

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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