Avoiding Lock-In of Solar Geoengineering
47 N. Ky. L. Rev. 139 (2020)
13 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2021
Date Written: 2020
Concerns raised by solar geoengineering include physical impacts as well as worries that solar geoengineering might undermine efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, foster heightened international conflict, put society at risk of accelerated warming if solar geoengineering efforts were to cease, and impose injustices on disadvantaged peoples and future generations. Even researching solar geoengineering may be problematic, some contend, because it might put society on a “slippery slope” toward solar geoengineering deployment or “lock in” inappropriate solar geoengineering technologies. After offering a brief introduction to solar geoengineering and to the lock-in and slippery slope concerns surrounding solar geoengineering, this essay explores possible mechanisms for addressing those concerns under the assumption that solar geoengineering research will be undertaken.
Keywords: climate change, geoengineering, solar radiation management, technological lock-in
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