Climatic Change

, Volume 121, Issue 3, pp 553–565 | Cite as

Governing geoengineering research: why, when and how?

  • Lisa DillingEmail author
  • Rachel Hauser


Research on geoengineering – deliberate management of the Earth’s climate system – is being increasingly discussed within the science and policy communities. While justified as necessary in order to expand the range of options available to policy makers in the future, geoengineering research has already engendered public controversy. Proposed projects have been protested or cancelled, and calls for a governance framework abound. In this paper, we consider the reasons why geoengineering research might be subject to additional governance and suggest mechanisms that might be usefully applied in developing such a framework. We consider criteria for governance as raised by a review of the growing literature on geoengineering and other controversial scientific topics. We suggest three families of concern that any governance research framework must respond to: the direct physical risks of the research; the transparency and responsibility in decision making for the research; and the larger societal meanings of the research. We review what mechanisms might be available to respond to these three families of concern, and consider how these might apply to geoengineering research.


Governance Mechanism Public Engagement Governance Framework Solar Radiation Management Physical Risk 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental Studies Program and Center for Science and Technology Policy Research, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental SciencesUniversity of ColoradoBoulderUSA
  2. 2.National Center for Atmospheric ResearchBoulderUSA

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