Anticipatory governance of solar geoengineering: Conflicting visions of the future & their links to governance proposals

We identify diverse rationales for anticipatory governance of solar geoengineering, in light of a climate crisis

This article identifies diverse rationales to call for anticipatory governance of solar geoengineering, in light of a climate crisis. In focusing on governance rationales, we step back from proliferating debates in the literature on ‘how, when, whom, and where’ to govern, to address the important prior question of why govern solar geoengineering in the first place: to restrict or enable its further consideration? We link these opposing rationales to contrasting underlying visions of a future impacted by climate change. These visions see the future as either more or less threatening, depending upon whether it includes the possible future use of solar geoengineering. Our analysis links these contrasting visions and governance rationales to existing governance proposals in the literature. In doing so, we illustrate why some proposals differ so significantly, while also showing that similar-sounding proposals may emanate from quite distinct rationales and thus advance different ends, depending upon how they are designed in practice.

•We identify diverse rationales to call for anticipatory governance of solar geoengineering, in light of a climate crisis.

•These rationales range from governing to enable versus governing to restrict the possible future use of solar geoengineering.

•Such diverse rationales highlight the importance of focusing on why govern solar geoengineering in the first place.

•These rationales are linked to contrasting underlying visions of the possible role for solar geoengineering in a future impacted by climate change.

•The analysis shows how governance proposals in the literature are related to these divergent rationales and future visions.

This article was written by Aarti Gupta, Ina Mo ̈ ller, Frank Biermann, Sikina Jinnah, Prakash Kashwan, Vikrom Mathur, David R Morrow and Simon Nicholson.

This article was originally published on https://www.sciencedirect.com/