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Frontiers of Engineering Management

Front. Eng    2019, Vol. 6 Issue (4) : 551-556
Distributed governance of Solar Radiation Management geoengineering: A possible solution to SRM’s “free driver” problem?
Andrew LOCKLEY()
Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management, University College London, 1-19 Torrington Place, London WC1E 7HB, UK
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Geoengineering (deliberate climate modification) is a possible way to limit Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) (Shepherd, 2009; National Research Council, 2015). Solar Radiation Management geoengineering (SRM) offers relatively inexpensive, rapid temperature control. However, this low cost leads to a risk of controversial unilateral intervention—the “free-driver” problem (Weitzman, 2015). Consequently, this creates a risk of counter-geoengineering (deliberate warming) (Parker et al., 2018), resulting in governance challenges (Svoboda, 2017) akin to an arms race. Free-driver deployment scenarios previously considered include the rogue state, Greenfinger (Bodansky, 2013), or power blocs (Ricke et al., 2013), implying disagreement and conflict. We propose a novel distributed governance model of consensually-constrained unilateralism: Countries’ authority is limited to each state’s fraction of the maximum realistic intervention (e.g., pre-industrial temperature). We suggest a division of authority based on historical emissions (Rocha et al., 2015)—noting alternatives (e.g., population). To aid understanding, we offer an analogue: An over-heated train carriage, with passenger-controlled windows. We subsequently discuss the likely complexities, notably Coasian side-payments. Finally, we suggest further research: Algebraic, bot and human modeling; and observational studies.

Keywords geoengineering      Solar Radiation Management      governance      decentralised     
Corresponding Author(s): Andrew LOCKLEY   
Just Accepted Date: 18 September 2019   Online First Date: 24 October 2019    Issue Date: 05 December 2019
 Cite this article:   
Andrew LOCKLEY. Distributed governance of Solar Radiation Management geoengineering: A possible solution to SRM’s “free driver” problem?[J]. Front. Eng, 2019, 6(4): 551-556.
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Articles by authors
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