Journal Article

Solar Geoengineering’s Brave New World: Thoughts on the Governance of an Unprecedented Technology

Scott Barrett

in Review of Environmental Economics and Policy

Published on behalf of Association of Environmental and Resource Economists

Volume 8, issue 2, pages 249-269
Published in print July 2014 | ISSN: 1750-6816
Published online July 2014 | e-ISSN: 1750-6824 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/reep/reu011
Solar Geoengineering’s Brave New World: Thoughts on the Governance of an Unprecedented Technology

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Due to the failure of international efforts to limit atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, consideration is now being given to solar geoengineering—a deliberate intervention to limit global warming without altering the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases. In contrast to emission cuts, geoengineering is expected to be cheap, quick to lower temperature, and feasible through the use of a single intervention. However, geoengineering is an imperfect substitute for emission reductions and will likely have undesirable side effects, only some of which can be anticipated before geoengineering is deployed. Most importantly, because geoengineering can be undertaken unilaterally, it creates issues of governance: Who gets to decide if, when, and how geoengineering should be attempted? This article provides an introduction to the key issues surrounding the governance of this unprecedented technology. (JEL: Q54, F53, K33)

Journal Article.  10057 words. 

Subjects: Environmental Economics

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