International governance of a possible geoengineering intervention to combat climate change
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This article explores international governance issues related to a possible future use of geoengineering techniques. Despite the serious arguments against geoengineering, policy-makers may start to take an interest in it in the medium term. The article identifies non-technical characteristics of geoengineering which might influence governance models, and then discusses three broad approaches: through the United Nations, by one state unilaterally, and through a consortium of states. An examination of international legal instruments reveals none that would pose an insuperable barrier to geoengineering. Finally, the article argues for early exploration of the technological, environmental, political and regulatory issues raised by geoengineering, to maximize the chances of good, science-based multilateral decision making if and when geoengineering’s day arrives.
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