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Frontiers of Engineering Management

Front. Eng    2019, Vol. 6 Issue (4) : 551-556     https://doi.org/10.1007/s42524-019-0055-y
RESEARCH ARTICLE
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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Abstract

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.
 URL:  
http://journal.hep.com.cn/fem/EN/10.1007/s42524-019-0055-y
http://journal.hep.com.cn/fem/EN/Y2019/V6/I4/551
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Articles by authors
Andrew LOCKLEY
1 D Appell (2013). Strange bedfellows? Climate change denial and support for geoengineering. Yale Forum on Climate Change & the Media, October 30. Available at: www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2013/10/
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https://doi.org/10.1515/til-2013-003
4 M A Brown (2010). Policy update: The multiple policy dimensions of carbon management: Mitigation, adaptation and geoengineering. Carbon Management, 1(1): 27–33
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5 N Chhetri, D Chong, K Conca, R Falk, A Gillespie, A Gupta, S Jinnsh, P Kashwan, M Lahsen, A Light, C McKinnon, L P Thiele, W Valdivia, P Wapner, D Morrow, C Turkaly, S Nicholson (2018). Governing Solar Radiation Management. Washington DC: Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment, American University
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8 B Gordijn, H Ten Have (2012). Ethics of mitigation, adaptation and geoengineering. Medicine, Health Care, and Philosophy, 15(1): 1–2
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11 S D Levitt, S J Dubner (2005). Freakonomics. New York: William Morrow
12 S Lewis (2015). The dirty secret of the Paris climate deal. Foreign Policy. Available at: foreignpolicy.com/2015/12/17/
13 A Lockley (2016a). Geoengineering: A war on climate change? Journal of Evolution and Technology, 26(1): 26–49
14 A Lockley (2016b). Licence to chill: Building a legitimate authorisation process for commercial SRM operations. Environmental Law Review, 18(1): 25–40
https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1177/1461452916630082
15 A Lockley, D Coffman (2016). Distinguishing morale hazard from moral hazard in geoengineering. Environmental Law Review, 18(3): 194–204
https://doi.org/10.1177/1461452916659830
16 G Lomax, M Workman, T Lenton, N Shah (2015). Reframing the policy approach to greenhouse gas removal technologies. Energy Policy, 78: 125–136
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17 National Research Council (2015). Climate Intervention: Reflecting Sunlight to Cool Earth. Washington DC: The National Academies Press
18 A Parker, J B Horton, D W Keith (2018). Stopping solar geoengineering through technical means: A preliminary assessment of counter-geoengineering. Earth’s Future, 6(8): 1058–1065
https://doi.org/10.1029/2018EF000864
19 T Randall (2015). Fossil fuels just lost the race against renewables. Available at: www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-14/
20 K L Ricke, J B Moreno-Cruz, K Caldeira (2013). Strategic incentives for climate geoengineering coalitions to exclude broad participation. Environmental Research Letters, 8(1): 014021
https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/8/1/014021
21 M Rocha, M Krapp, J Guetschow, L Jeffery, B Hare, M Schaeffer (2015). Historical responsibility for climate change—from countries emissions to contribution to temperature increase. Potsdam, Germany: Climate Analytics and Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. Available at: climateanalytics.org/publications/2015/
22 J G Shepherd (2009). Geoengineering the Climate: Science, Governance and Uncertainty. London: The Royal Society
23 N H Stern (2006). The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review. London: Cambridge University Press
24 T Svoboda (2017). The Ethics of Climate Engineering: Solar Radiation Management and Non-Ideal Justice. New York: Routledge
25 M L Weitzman (2015). A voting architecture for the governance of free-driver externalities, with application to geoengineering. Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 117(4): 1049–1068
https://doi.org/10.1111/sjoe.12120
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