IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Some Early Ethics of Geoengineering the Climate: A Commentary on the Values of the Royal Society Report


  • Stephen M. Gardiner


The Royal Society's landmark report on geoengineering is predicated on a particular account of the context and rationale for intentional manipulation of the climate system, and this ethical framework probably explains many of the Society's conclusions. Critical reflection on the report's values is useful for understanding disagreements within and about geoengineering policy, and also for identifying questions for early ethical analysis. Topics discussed include the moral hazard argument, governance, the ethical status of geoengineering under different rationales, the implications of understanding geoengineering as a consequence of wider moral failure, and ethical resistance to invasive interventions in environmental systems.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen M. Gardiner, 2011. "Some Early Ethics of Geoengineering the Climate: A Commentary on the Values of the Royal Society Report," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 20(2), pages 163-188, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:env:journl:ev20:ev2009

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: downloads of articles require payment or registration of paid subscription

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Benjamin Hale & W.P. Grundy, 2009. "Remediation and Respect: Do Remediation Technologies Alter Our Responsibility?," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 18(4), pages 397-415, November.
    2. Neumayer, Eric, 2007. "A missed opportunity: the Stern review on climate change fails to tackle the issue of non-substitutable loss of natural capital," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3059, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Richard S.J. Tol, 2016. "Distributional Implications of Geoengineering," Working Paper Series 8316, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
    2. Clive L. Spash, 2012. "Response and Responsibility," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 21(4), pages 391-396, November.
    3. Richard S.J. Tol, 2016. "Distributional Implications of Geoengineering," Working Paper Series 08316, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
    4. Timo Goeschl & Daniel Heyen & Juan Moreno-Cruz, 2013. "The Intergenerational Transfer of Solar Radiation Management Capabilities and Atmospheric Carbon Stocks," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 56(1), pages 85-104, September.
    5. Christopher J. Preston, 2011. "Re-Thinking the Unthinkable: Environmental Ethics and the Presumptive Argument Against Geoengineering," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 20(4), pages 457-479, November.
    6. Clive L. Spash, 2011. "Terrible Economics, Ecosystems and Banking," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 20(2), pages 141-145, May.
    7. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:1:p:269-:d:127942 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Intentional climate change; political legitimacy; justice; solar radiation management; carbon dioxide removal;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • Q25 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Water


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:env:journl:ev20:ev2009. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Andrew Johnson). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.