Journal article

Democratic authority to geoengineer

Holly Lawford-Smith

CRITICAL REVIEW OF INTERNATIONAL SOCIAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY | ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD | Published : 2020

Abstract

Does any existing single actor have, or could any existing single actor come to have, the authority to geoengineer? In this paper, I will focus on Solar Radiation Management strategies (leaving at least some Carbon Dioxide Removal strategies on the table). I’ll argue that global democratic authorization is possible in principle, and could be obtained on the basis of large-scale representative sampling. I present experimental findings from the Australian context showing that democratic authorization would not be granted, and conclude that if we can expect this result to generalize, then the deployment of SRM by a single actor is impermissible.