skip to Main Content

Political Perspectives on Geoengineering: Navigating Problem Definition and Institutional Fit

Möller, Ina. 2020. Political Perspectives on Geoengineering: Navigating Problem Definition and Institutional Fit. Global Environmental Politics, 20(2), 57-82.

Abstract

Geoengineering technologies are by definition only effective at scale, and so international policy development of some sort will be unavoidable. It is therefore important to include governability as a dimension when assessing the technologies’ feasibility and potential role in addressing climate change. The few existing studies that address this question indicate that for some technologies, policy development at the international level could be exceedingly difficult. This study provides an in-depth, theoretically informed analysis of the obstacles that policymakers face when addressing geoengineering governance. Using data in the form of negotiation proceedings, observations, and interviews with government officials from seven different countries, it argues that a significant part of the challenge lies in dissonances between problem definitions that are widely used in the geoengineering governance debate and the structures and expectations that shape environmental policy making. These include a lack of institutional fit between the process-based differentiation of geoengineering technologies (carbon dioxide removal and solar radiation management) and the international legal architecture, a lack of fit between the urgency of demanded governance action and prevalent scientific and political uncertainties, and a lack of fit between risk–risk trade-off narratives and the precautionary norms of environmental governance.

 

Full article available here

You might like these publication categories

Recent publications

Climate Refugees: Global, Local and Critical Approaches

The last few years have witnessed a flurry of activity in global governance and international lawseeking to address the protection…

The Political Impact of the Sustainable Development Goals: Transforming Governance Through Global Goals?

Written by an international team of over sixty experts and drawing on over three thousand scientific studies, this is the…

The Normative Foundations of International Climate Adaptation Finance

Billions of dollars are annually transferred to poor nations to help them adapt to the effects of climate change. This…