Chapter from Michael B. Gerrard and Tracy Hester, eds., Climate Engineering and the Law: Regulation and Liability for Solar Radiation Management and Carbon Dioxide Removal (Cambridge University Press Forthcoming)
97 Pages Posted: 20 Dec 2016 Last revised: 20 Oct 2019
Date Written: 2016
Some scientists and others who are concerned about climate change are increasingly considering climate engineering — intentional, large-scale interventions in natural systems to prevent or counter climate change. Climate engineering is a matter of international relations and cooperation, and specifically one of international environmental law. This chapter provides an overview of the existing international law of climate engineering. Although there are presently no international instruments that are legally binding, in force, and specific to climate engineering, numerous components of international law are relevant and have implications of varying clarity for climate engineering. It reviews existing international law that is applicable to climate engineering, organized in sections concerning multilateral environmental agreements, nonbinding environmental agreements, custom, principles of international environmental law, and related domains other than the environment. Emerging norms and codes of conduct, which may be highly relevant to climate change, are also examined. The chapter closes with a discussion of the scholarship of the international law of climate engineering, including a brief review of it, an attempt to identify the challenges that it poses for legal scholars, and possible future directions.
Keywords: climate change, climate engineering, geoengineering, solar radiation management, international law
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