Playing with fire: Strengthening governance of large-scale climate altering technologies and interventions

Janos Pasztor, Nicholas Harrison, J.L. Reynolds, Arunabha Ghosh, Ying Chen, Ronny Jumeau, Carlos Nobres

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In recent reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and elsewhere, consideration has been given to two categories of interventions to alleviate the impacts of climate change, sometimes referred to as ‘geoengineering’. They include mitigation measures known as large-scale Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) and remediative measures known as Solar Radiation Modification (SRM), both of which have potential to reduce climate change but face uncertainties around their feasibility, acceptability, sustainability and governance. As the effects of global heating become increasingly apparent, whether or not to consider large-scale CDR or SRM as part of broader risk management responses to the climate crisis is becoming a serious governance issue. Ungoverned deployment of these approaches poses potentially critical environmental and geopolitical risks that now demand urgent consideration, before events overtake us. A range of existing governance mechanisms can and do apply at national and international level but many weaknesses have been identified and considerable uncertainties exist regarding their applicability, scope and likely effectiveness.This paper introduces the two categories of technologies and interventions, summarising the current status of their governance and considering next steps needed to strengthen global governance arrangements in future.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGlobal Policy
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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