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WIREs Clim Change
Impact Factor: 7.057

The practice of responsible research and innovation in “climate engineering”

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Abstract Sunlight reflection and carbon removal proposals for “climate engineering” (CE) confront governance challenges that many emerging technologies face: their futures are uncertain, and by the time one can discern their shape or impacts, vested interests may block regulation, and publics are often left out of decision‐making about them. In response to these challenges, “responsible research and innovation” (RRI) has emerged as a framework to critique and correct for technocratic governance of emerging technologies, and CE has emerged as a prime case of where it can be helpfully applied. However, a critical lens is rarely applied to RRI itself. In this review, we first survey how RRI thinking has already been applied to both carbon removal and sunlight reflection methods for climate intervention. We examine how RRI is employed in four types of activities: Assessment processes and reports, principles and protocols for research governance, critical mappings of research, and deliberative and futuring engagements. Drawing upon this review, we identify tensions in RRI practice, including whether RRI forms or informs choices, the positionalities of RRI practitioners, and ways in which RRI activities enable or disable particular climate interventions. Finally, we recommend that RRI should situate CE within the long arc of sociotechnical proposals for addressing climate change, more actively connect interrogations of the knowledge economy with reparative engagements, include local or actor‐specific contexts, design authoritative assessments grounded in RRI, and go beyond treating critique and engagement as “de facto” governance. This article is categorized under:   Policy and Governance > Private Governance of Climate Change   Social Status of Climate Change Knowledge > Climate Science and Decision Making

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Social Status of Climate Change Knowledge > Climate Science and Decision Making
Policy and Governance > Private Governance of Climate Change

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