Geoengineering Policy and Governance Issues

  • Sean Low
  • Nigel Moore
  • Zhewen Chen
  • Keith McManamen
  • Jason J. Blackstock


Geoengineering – the deliberate and technological manipulation of the climate system to forestall the worst effects of global warming (also referred to as climate engineering) – has recently emerged as a novel and controversial issue in climate governance. It is sometimes proposed as an insurance policy, should either (a) primary efforts to develop sustainable energy and societal systems prove unable to quickly enough overcome the inertia of current ones, or (b) uncertainty in the climate system lead to unexpectedly large damage to societies and ecosystems [1]. This entry explores the current attempts and future ideas for governing emerging geoengineering research programs and technologies in ways that effectively manage their climatic and societal impacts.


International Maritime Organization Governance Framework Cloud Seeding Climate Governance Climate Engineering 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Carbon geoengineering

A variant of geoengineering also known as Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) concepts aimed at capturing carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere by either enhancing existing natural sinks or by using chemical engineering technologies.


Also known as “climate engineering” refers to the deliberate and technological manipulation of the climate system to forestall the worst effects of global warming.


The management of political issues and physical systems that relies not only on (traditional) government at state level, but upon a wider range of actors at the international (international organizations, minilateral clubs), substate (provincial and municipal government), and nonstate (industry, civil society, knowledge networks) levels with such management often involving coalitions across multiple levels and actor types.

Solar geoengineering

A variant of geoengineering also known as Solar Radiation Management (SRM) concepts aimed at enhancing reflecting incoming sunlight back into space, preventing absorption by Earth’s atmosphere, surface or oceans, and thereby reducing global temperatures.

Weather modification

An antecedent to climatic geoengineering focused on the manipulation of local atmospheric conditions to induce short-term, bounded changes in weather. Such methods are different from geoengineering methods in that they are smaller in scale and intent of atmospheric modification.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sean Low
    • 1
  • Nigel Moore
    • 1
  • Zhewen Chen
    • 1
  • Keith McManamen
    • 2
  • Jason J. Blackstock
    • 3
  1. 1.Centre for International Governance InnovationWaterlooCanada
  2. 2.University of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  3. 3.Kennedy School of GovernmentCambridgeUSA

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