A mission-driven research program on solar geoengineering could promote justice and legitimacy

Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 23 (5):618-640 (2020)
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Over the past decade or so, several commentators have called for mission-driven research programs on solar geoengineering, also known as solar radiation management (SRM) or climate engineering. Building on the largely epistemic reasons offered by earlier commentators, this paper argues that a well-designed mission-driven research program that aims to evaluate solar geoengineering could promote justice and legitimacy, among other valuable ends. Specifically, an international, mission-driven research program that aims to produce knowledge to enable well-informed decision-making about solar geoengineering could (1) provide a more effective way to identify and answer the questions that policymakers would need to answer; and (2) provide a venue for more efficient, effective, just, and legitimate governance of solar geoengineering research; while (3) reducing the tendency for solar geoengineering research to exacerbate international domination. Thus, despite some risks and limitations, a well-designed mission-driven research program offers one way to improve the governance of solar geoengineering research relative to the ‘investigator-driven’ status quo.



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David R. Morrow
American University

Citations of this work

Values in early-stage climate engineering: The ethical implications of “doing the research”.Jude Galbraith - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 86 (C):103-113.

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