2013 CCLR 125 (2013)
Tackling Climate Change: Where Can the Generic Framework Be Located

handle is hein.journals/cclr2013 and id is 133 raw text is: Tackling Climate Change: Where Can the
Generic Framework Be Located?
Matthias Honegger*, Kushini Sugathapala** and Axel Michaelowa***
International negotiations on climate change under the UNFCCC are increasingly
burdened by the gap between low political will to engage in emissions mitigation
and the level of mitigation required for limiting warming to 2 0C. Given the growing
understanding that mitigation will be insufficient, adaptation has recently gained in
importance - a step sometimes seen as a portent of other actions on climate yet to come
such as climate engineering. Existing international treaties such as the Convention on
Biodiversity or the London Convention limit climate engineering interventions but do not
provide clear guidance for acceptable solutions. Given their objectives - preserving
biodiversity and the integrity of oceans - are jeopardised by insufficient action on
climate change, they should become more specific in this regard and avoid conflicts with
other conventions.
The UNFCCC could pursue any approach in line with the overarching principle in
Article 2 of the Convention - to achieve stabilisation of greenhouse gas concentrations
in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference
with the climate system An interpretation beyond reductions of anthropogenic
emissions could include climate engineering in form of carbon removal and radiation
management technologies: The former can directly contribute to the stabilisation of
greenhouse gases. The latter could help to limit indirect emissions from e.g. melting per-
mafrost soils, and reduce the risks from higher level of greenhouse gas concentrations.
Some climate engineering researchers argue against expanding the UNFCCC's scope. As
it is the only significant framework mandated to prevent dangerous climate change, we
argue that it can, should, and is likely to become the forum to govern the use of climate
engineering technologies.

* Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and Perspectives,
Switzerland.
Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies,
Geneva.
University of Zurich and Perspectives, Switzerland.
1 Dan Bodansky, Governing Climate Engineering: Scenarios for
Analysis (Cambridge, Mass.: The Harvard Project on Climate
Agreements, 2011), 11
2 Stephen M. Gardiner, Some Early Ethics of Geoengineering
the Climate: A Commentary on the Values of the Royal Society
Report, 20 Environmental Values (2 011), 163.
3 Christopher J. Preston, Ethics and Geoengineering: Reviewing
the Moral Issues Raised by Solar Radiation Management and
Carbon Dioxide Removal, 4 WIREs Climate Change (2013), 23.

1. Introduction
Climate engineering (CE) can take the form of car-
bon dioxide removal (CDR) and radiation manage-
ment technologies (RM) - two potential approaches
to addressing climate change. While some CDR
technologies such as reforestation are already
implemented in climate policy, RM is at an embry-
onic stage. Many agree that the question - to use or
not to use - needs to be confronted at some point in
the future. The ideal type of governance has been
discussed by others' (for a discussion of ethical and
other arguments see Gardiner2 and Preston 3).

CCLR 2|2013

Tackling Climate Change | 125

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