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The regulation of geoengineering: A gathering storm for international climate change policy?


Brent, KA and McGee, J, The regulation of geoengineering: A gathering storm for international climate change policy?, Air Quality and Climate Change, 46, (4) pp. 22-27. ISSN 1836-5884 (2012) [Refereed Article]

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Over the past decade geoengineering has steadily built momentum in academic and policy circles as a potential response to the risk of rapid climate change. Geoengineering has moved from a fringe idea to a serious topic of policy discussion. We argue that there are two reasons for the rise of interest in geoengineering. First, the international negotiations on reducing emissions have so far failed to provide a result that will likely prevent dangerous climate change occurring in coming decades. Second, geoengineering technologies have advanced to a stage where in the near future they might be attractive to countries facing significant climate impacts. Particularly, geoengineering holds out the possibility of a less costly short-term response to climate change than rapid de-carbonisation of stationary energy and transport systems. However, there are many considerable risks associated with geoengineering, including damage to environmental and social systems. At present, there are no international agreements that specifically regulate the testing and/or use of geoengineering technologies. It is currently possible for one country to unilaterally decide to use geoengineering technology to the detriment of others. This leads us to the conclusion that an international agreement should be urgently established to regulate decisions regarding the testing and use of geoengineering. Australia, as a country which is particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts, should prepare to participate in initiatives in this regard in order to protect our interests.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:geoengineering, climate change, international policy, Australia, technology
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Climate change science
Research Field:Climate change processes
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Mitigation of climate change
Objective Field:Climate change mitigation strategies
UTAS Author:Brent, KA (Dr Kerryn Brent)
ID Code:121214
Year Published:2012
Deposited By:Law
Deposited On:2017-09-18
Last Modified:2017-10-04

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