The Oxford Principles

Abstract

Scientific momentum is increasing behind efforts to develop geoengineering options, but it is widely acknowledged that the challenges of geoengineering are as much political and social as they are technical. Legislators are looking for guidance on the governance of geoengineering research and possible deployment. The Oxford Principles are five high-level principles for geoengineering governance. This article explains their intended function and the core societal values which they attempt to capture. Finally, it proposes a framework for their implementation in a flexible governance architecture through the formulation of technology-specific research protocols.

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Acknowledgments

Steve Rayner, Clare Heyward, Tim Kruger and Julian Savulescu’s contributions were supported by the Oxford Geoengineering Programme, Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford. Steve Rayner and Julian Savulescu also acknowledge funding from the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) – grant ES/J007730/1. Nick Pidgeon’s contribution was supported through the EPSRC’s Integrated Assessment of Geoengineering Proposals project (EP/I014721/1) and the US National Science Foundation Center for Nanotechnology in Society at the University of California at Santa Barbara (cooperative agreement SES 0938099).

The authors thank participants at the Geoengineering Workshop, hosted by the University of Washington College of the Environment, 23–24th April 2012, and Jason Blackstock, Dan Bodansky and Steve Gardiner for comments on an earlier version of this article.

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Correspondence to Steve Rayner.

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This article is part of a special issue on “Geoengineering Research and its Limitations” edited by Robert Wood, Stephen Gardiner, and Lauren Hartzell-Nichols.

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Rayner, S., Heyward, C., Kruger, T. et al. The Oxford Principles. Climatic Change 121, 499–512 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-012-0675-2

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Keywords

  • Open Publication
  • Select Committee
  • Governance Regime
  • Outdoor Experiment
  • Review Body