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Regulating Geo-engineering Measures Against Climate Change

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thelawsofgloOver the past decades, climate change is increasingly becoming present at almost every agenda list of most global political and environmental meetings. Unfortunately, policymakers and politicians somehow fail to agree on a common strategy, while the impact is becoming stronger and more visible.

Scientists have decided to take the matter in their hands by introducing numerous geo-engineering techniques that will aid manual manipulation of the environment.

However, a recent study by Jon Carlson, professor of law at the University of Iowa, and an expert in environmental law and international law, indicates that the rights and interest of people to such practices should be studied on international level, because they can impact all countries.

The study was recently published in the journal Transnational Law and Contemporary Problems. In the paper, Carlson acknowledges that people will refer to measures provided through geo-engineering sooner or later, however they do come with international legal implications. Although today the list of different geo-engineering ideas and solutions is endless, no single country can implement any of them without influencing the global climate and weather.

In addition, Carlson and team remind about the law of unintended consequences. They state that although many of the techniques have proven useful in laboratory conditions, it is still unclear what will happen when these are scaled up.

In order to address this problem, Carlson suggests that an international governing body is created. This body should be independent and should be responsible for approving or rejecting geo-engineering plans based on interest of people and countries around the world.

Moreover, he calls for public announcement of any geo-engineering plans before they get implemented, so that every country is notified and aware.  Carlson proposes that the example of International Monetary Fund is followed, where all countries are involved in a common discussion.  He recommends that such body could allocate funds for countries that are or will be affected by geo-engineering practices of others.

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