Solar Climate Engineering, Law, and Regulation
The Oxford Handbook on the Law and Regulation of Technology (Edited by Roger Brownsword, Eloise Scotford, and Karen Yeung, OUP, 2016)
28 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2016 Last revised: 7 Aug 2018
Date Written: November 1, 2016
Solar climate engineering — intentional modification of the planet’s reflectivity — is coming under increasing consideration as a means to counter climate change. At present, it offers the possibility of greatly reducing climate risks, but would pose physical and social risks of its own. This chapter offers an introduction to solar climate engineering, exploring its potential, risks, and legal and regulatory challenges. It also contextualizes these proposals with respect to other emerging technologies and the broader socio-political milieu. The contours of existing and potential regulation, particularly at the international level, are explored. These aspects include regulatory rationales, diverse characteristics of proposed regulatory regimes, difficulties in defining the regulatory target, and the management of uncertainty through precaution. The chapter closes with suggested future research directions in the law and regulation of solar climate engineering.
Keywords: climate change, climate engineering, geoengineering, solar radiation management, technology, regulation
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