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Environmental Values

Aerosol Geoengineering Deployment and Fairness

Toby Svoboda

Environmental Values 25 (2016): 51-68. doi: 10.3197/096327115X14497392134883

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If deployed, aerosol geoengineering (AG) could involve unfairness to both present and future parties. I discuss three broad risks of unfairness that an AG deployment policy might carry: (1) causing disproportionate harm to those least responsible for climate change, (2) burdening future parties with the costs and risks of AG and (3) excluding some interested parties from contributing to AG decision-making. Yet despite these risks, it may be too hasty to reject AG deployment as a potential climate-change policy. I argue that since it is very unlikely that a completely fair climate-change policy will be pursued, we have ethical reason to prefer some 'incompletely fair' policy. Given various facts about our world, it might be the case that some AG policy is ethically preferable to many other feasible climate change policies, even if AG carries deeply problematic risks of unfairness.


Climate change, fairness, geoengineering, risk, solar radiation management.

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

Some Early Ethics of Geoengineering the Climate: A Commentary on the Values of the Royal Society Report. Stephen M. Gardiner

Re-Thinking the Unthinkable: Environmental Ethics and the Presumptive Argument Against Geoengineering Christopher J. Preston

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Editorial: The Ethics of Engineering the Climate. Christian Baatz, Clare Heyward and Harald Stelzer

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