Accepted paper:

Is Solar Radiation Management a Governable Object? And what does this reframing imply for research funders?

Authors:

Phil Macnaghten (Wageningen University)
Bronislaw Szerszynski (Lancaster University)

Paper short abstract:

In this paper I examine the question as to whether SRM is a governable object. By this I ask how we can understand what governance arrangements would need to be put in place for SRM to function as planned, and the plausibility of these being realized in the real world.

Paper long abstract:

In this paper I examine the question as to whether SRM is a governable object. By this I ask how we can understand what governance arrangements would need to be put in place for SRM to function as planned, and the plausibility of these being realized in the real world. There are two variants on this question: whether SRM deployment would work as predicted by current models and proposed fieldtrials (scenario A) or whether it would not (scenario B). My argument is that the debate on governance, and the accompanying debate on social and ethical impacts, has proceeded (largely) by presuming the reliability of the models and the efficacy of proposed fieldtrials (following scenario A): how can international agreement over the 'ideal' global climate be reached, who would be the winners and losers, how they can be compensated, who should decide and on the basis of what criteria, and so on. But if SRM deployment creates unforeseen impacts, if there are inevitable shocks and surprises that had not been predicted in advance by models or fieldtrials (scenario B), if in addition it is subject to unstable and plural framing and goals, what additional challenges would this imply for governance.

panel T133
Tackling climate change by other means: opening up geoengineering governance