An international legal framework for geoengineering
PhD student: Mrs H. Du
Promotor: Prof R.J.M. Lefeber
Duration: 1/10/2012 - 30/9/2016
PhD defence: Amsterdam, 9/12/2016
There is an increasing risk that the global climate will reach a dangerous tipping point. We may fail to reach the goal of Celsius degree limit regardless of the reduction methods we have used. At this critical moment, geoengineering is a promising way to significantly and rapidly offset global warming so as to stabilize CO2 concentrations cost-effectively at an acceptable level. Carbon dioxide removal (CDR), addressing the warming effects of GHG by removing atmospheric CO2, is one category of geoengineering.2 Main CDR techniques include afforestation and reforestation, bioenergy with carbon capture and sequestration (BECCS), ambient air capture, ocean fertilization etc.. The research focuses on the international legal framework governing CDR. At the beginning, the scientific background of CDR and the main pilot experiments over the world will be introduced. Secondly, the existing rules and regulations governing CDR, including treaty law, customary law and soft law, will be examined. Bearing in mind that no specific legal instrument regulating geoengineering or CDR is currently available, thus the legal framework discussed in this research is constructed almost by indirect regulations. Thirdly, the researcher will address the main legal problems contained in different CDR techniques. At last, a technique-sorted legal analysis will be presented in order to propose solutions to the legal problems in each CDR technique.