Consenting to geoengineering

Pak Hang Wong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Researchers have explored questions concerning public participation and consent in geoengineering governance. Yet, the notion of consent has received little attention from researchers, and it is rarely discussed explicitly, despite being prescribed as a normative requirement for geoengineering research and being used in rejecting some geoengineering options. As it is noted in the leading geoengineering governance principles, i.e. the Oxford Principles, there are different conceptions of consent; the idea of consent ought to be unpacked more carefully if, and when, we invoke it in the discussion. This article offers a theoretical reflection on different conceptions of consent and their place(s) in geoengineering governance. More specifically, I discuss three models of consent, i.e. explicit consent, implied consent and hypothetical consent, and assess their applicability to geoengineering governance. Although there are different models of consent, much discussion of geoengineering governance has committed only to explicit consent. I note that such a commitment springs from a specific ideal political order. Accordingly, we should be wary of any naïve commitment to it so long as the political order we hope for remains open to debate. Finally, I illustrate two approaches to introduce consent into a geoengineering governance framework.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-188
Number of pages16
JournalPhilosophy and Technology
Volume29
Issue number2
Early online date7 Jun 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Philosophy
  • History and Philosophy of Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • Consent
  • Democracy
  • Geoengineering
  • Legitimacy

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