by Lee Lane
February 11, 2014
In theory, solar radiation management (SRM) could lessen the increase in global mean temperature that will otherwise result from rising concentrations of greenhouse gas. SRM is a family of technology concepts that could diminish the harm now expected to result from climate change and cause the total cost of adapting to climate change to fall. However, even if successful, SRM would entail its own risks. As a result, no one as yet proposes to deploy SRM. Nonetheless, some observers fear that governments may be tempted to deploy SRM recklessly. They propose various sorts of international compacts to rein in SRM use. Yet, our analysis suggests that domestic institutions, ideology, and global power rivalries work to counter a hasty or unilateral move to deploy SRM. United States policy must be informed by a clearer understanding of how options for SRM governance will affect its interests.