Early Geoengineering Governance: The Oxford Principles

Clare Heyward, Steve Rayner and Julian Savulescu

in Philosophy, Technology, and the Environment

Published by The MIT Press

Published in print February 2017 | ISBN: 9780262035668
Published online September 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780262337991 | DOI:
Early Geoengineering Governance: The Oxford Principles

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Clare Heyward, and Steve Rayner, and Julian Savulescu examine the legitimacy and social control over the research, development and eventual deployment of geo-engineering to reduce human caused climate change. They believe that it is permissible in principle but all geo-engineering R&D should be subject to some sort of governance given its potential to affect everyone in the world. They defend the Oxford Principles of ethical-political decision-making principles. 1) Geo-engineering is in the public interest and should be regulated as a public good; 2) there should be public participation in geo-engineering decision-making; 3) geo-engineering research should be transparent and available to the public; 4) risk assessments should be conducted by independent bodies, and be directed toward both the environmental and socio-economic impacts of research and deployment; and 5) the legal, social, and ethical implications of geo-engineering should be addressed before a project is undertaken or technology deployed. The authors then compare the Oxford Principles favorably the three main alternative models that guide geoengineering development. They argue that it has a greater scope of application than the alternatives and better lend themselves to action-guiding recommendations and regulations, appropriate to different technologies -- while preserving longstanding environmental and political values.

Keywords: Climate change; Geoengineering; Carbon dioxide removal; Remediations; Solar radiation management; Oxford Principles; Risk management; Engineering ethics; Research and development

Chapter.  6671 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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