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Title: How to govern the risks of stratospheric aerosol injection solar radiation management
Author: Rouse, Paul Ian
ISNI:       0000 0004 7234 3168
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2018
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Deliberate large-scale interventions in the Earth’s climate system – known collectively as ‘geoengineering’ – have been proposed in order to moderate anthropogenic climate change. This thesis explores one of the possible technologies, stratospheric aerosol injection solar radiation management (SAI). My original contribution to knowledge is to make a number of interlinked contributions to understanding how interested and affected parties frame and think about SAI risk, and, how its future governance may evolve. The qualitative study addresses two research questions: how might deployment risks be incorporated into SAI governance; and, might SAI governance be plural? Governance framings are explored through the lens of the technical and social risks of SAI. A theorising of risk by Renn (2008) that incorporates the challenges of uncertainty, ignorance and incertitude, using a typology of risk and a linked risk management model is adopted to explore how SAI risks maybe be incorporated into SAI governance. A conceptual framework of SAI governance, drawing on Bulkeley’s (2012) climate change governance theories of consent, consensus and concord, is used to suggest how decisionmaking might be enacted, and authority negotiated, taken, and given during SAI governance. Semi-structured stakeholder interviews were undertaken to discern perspectives on SAI risk and risk governance, identifying the underlying rationales, and, providing empirical evidence to assess the theoretical arguments. Findings describe how SAI governance may take shape and its characteristics. They suggest complex understandings of risk will contribute to the construction of a plural, inclusive and deliberative process of governance that, critically, will evolve in an un-rushed manner over time. The research suggests that risk management theories may help inform how other socially constructed Earth systems might be governed. In addition, the modalities of authorisation and the transnational governing processes proposed by the governance framework appear to provide a useful tool that could help interested and affected parties’ understandings of, and participation in, future SAI governance. The thesis suggests SAI is a useful case study to inform the broader environmental governance debate and the geoengineering-climate change interface. Some suggestions for further research in this direction are suggested.
Supervisor: Jennings, William ; Petts, Judith I. ; Shepherd, John Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available