Posts Tagged Geo-engineering
Australia, Nigeria and South Korea (a bit of an unusual troika, truth to be told) have jointly proposed an amendment to the London Protocol [Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution
by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter 1972 and 1996 Protocol Thereto]. The Amendment would severely and formally restrict the legality of geo-engineering among signatory States. As reported earlier, in 2008, Parties to the London Convention and Protocol adopted a resolution prohibiting ocean fertilization other than for legitimate scientific research. The proposed amendment would strengthen the nature of that prohibition.
Ocean fertilisation would be the only accepted form of geo-engineering which can continue to be researched, under monitoring and supervision of the Protocol. All other activities would remain subject to the general ban on dumping of wastes at sea. Evidently the Protocol does not capture all geo-engineering techniques, whence even if accepted, the amendment would fall short of a global regime for geo-engineering, thereby confirming the incremental process of regulating global environmental concerns.
I have searched high and low but have as yet not located a copy of the actual proposal: this post is based on the Australian government’s press release, on reporting in The Age, Environment and the geo-engineering blogspot.
Parties to the relevant international dumping at sea Conventions [the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter, 1972 (London Convention) and 7th meeting of Contracting Parties to 1996 Protocol thereto (London Protocol)] have adopted a statement, condemning a recent ocean iron fertilisation project off the coast of Canada.
In 2008, Parties to the London Convention and Protocol adopted a resolution prohibiting ocean fertilization other than for legitimate scientific research (see relevant discussion in Nidhi Srivastava’s work here). Whether this amounted to a moratorium or not was immediately interpreted differently by different stakeholders. The current commotion illustrates that geo-engineering may be added to nanotechnology and shale gas as an area of regulatory law where the ‘incremental’ approach to regulation sure does lead to a lot of uncertainty in the meantime.