Geoengineering Is Coming, Whether It’s Governed or Not
from The Internationalist and International Institutions and Global Governance Program

Geoengineering Is Coming, Whether It’s Governed or Not

Some deployment of geoengineering is inescapable. The world urgently needs to begin crafting strong principles and rules for geoengineering's collective governance.
Large white geotextile sheets cover northern Italy's Presena glacier in order to delay snow melting on skiing slopes and reflect sunlight during summer months, at Passo del Tonale, near Trento, Italy on July 13, 2020.
Large white geotextile sheets cover northern Italy's Presena glacier in order to delay snow melting on skiing slopes and reflect sunlight during summer months, at Passo del Tonale, near Trento, Italy on July 13, 2020. REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo

In my weekly column for World Politics ReviewI argue that nations should make geoengineering the third pillar of the multilateral climate change regime, alongside mitigation and adaptation, and begin crafting strong principles and rules for its collective governance.

Humanity’s collective failure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is driving the world inexorably toward geoengineering, or the intentional, large-scale human manipulation of Earth’s climate system. Facing runaway global warming, individual nations will surely develop and deploy new technologies to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide and the planet’s exposure to solar radiation.

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Playing with the environment and the atmosphere, however, is playing with fire. Without adequate rules, geoengineering will create massive, unintended consequences, deepen geopolitical rivalries and hasten the world’s division into climate winners and losers. To avoid these fates, the world must create a robust multilateral regime to govern the research, development and deployment of these new technologies.

Read the full World Politics Review article here

More on:

Climate Change

Geoengineering

Global Governance

Energy and Environment