An Economic Analysis of Liability and Compensation for Harm from Large-Scale Solar Climate Engineering Field Research
Climate Law, 5 (2015) 182-209
28 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2015 Last revised: 13 May 2018
Date Written: July 15, 2015
Solar climate engineering is under increasing consideration as a potential means to reduce climate change risks. Its field research may generate knowledge to reduce climate risks to humans and the environment and will, at sufficient scales, pose its own risks, some of which will be transboundary. Liability or compensation for harm is frequently referenced as a possible component of international regulation of solar climate engineering but has been insufficiently elaborated. This article offers an economic analysis of the possible interrelated roles of rules, liability, and compensation in the future international regulation of large-scale solar climate engineering field research. Notably, the benefits, risks, and incentives of climate engineering research are unlike typical risky activities, including other development risks. The analysis proposes a hypothetical international agreement that links general and procedural rules for research, an international compensation fund, and limited, indirect State liability with a duty of care defence.
Keywords: climate engineering, geoengineering, climate change, global warming, law and economics, economic analysis of law, liability, torts, compensation
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