Governing Geoengineering Research
A Political and Technical Vulnerability Analysis of Potential Near-Term Options
Geoengineering, the deliberate altering of the earth's climate, represents a risky and, for many, a frightening proposition. But the concept has attracted increasing interest in recent years because of its potential ability to transform the portfolio of options for limiting the magnitude of future climate change. In contrast to most approaches for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, some geoengineering approaches could prove fast acting and inexpensive and could be deployed by one or a few nations without global cooperation. These characteristics present significant challenges for risk management, national security, and international governance that have only just begun to be seriously considered. This report provides an initial examination and comparison of the risks associated with alternative international approaches the United States might pursue to govern solar radiation management geoengineering research and deployment. To handle the extensive, wide-ranging uncertainties, the authors employ a multiscenario vulnerability and response option analysis specifically designed to identify scenarios in which alternative U.S. government policies toward geoengineering governance might fail to meet their goals. In particular, the study used a simple simulation model to conduct the first steps of a robust decisionmaking analysis in order to identify some of the risks of three commonly debated near-term approaches to managing geoengineering: establishing strong norms for research, banning research entirely, or leaving research unregulated.
- Copyright: RAND Corporation
- Availability: Web-Only
- Pages: 93
- Document Number: TR-846-RC
- Year: 2011
- Series: Technical Reports
Governance and Security Challenges
A Vulnerability-and-Response-Option Analysis Framework for a Risk Assessment of Geoengineering Governance
Identifying the Vulnerabilities of Alternative U.S. Geoengineering Governance Policies
Conclusions and Next Steps
Types of Geoengineering Technologies
Conditional Probability Tables
This report is a product of the RAND Corporation's continuing program of self-initiated independent research. Support for such research is provided, in part, by donors and by the independent research and development provisions of RAND's contracts for the operation of its U.S. Department of Defense federally funded research and development centers. The research was conducted jointly within the RAND Environment, Energy, and Economic Development Program of RAND Infrastructure, Safety, and Environment and the Acquisition and Technology Policy Center of the RAND National Defense Research Institute.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation technical report series. RAND technical reports may include research findings on a specific topic that is limited in scope or intended for a narrow audience; present discussions of the methodology employed in research; provide literature reviews, survey instruments, modeling exercises, guidelines for practitioners and research professionals, and supporting documentation; or deliver preliminary findings. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure that they meet high standards for research quality and objectivity.
Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.