Headline: Addressing risks and trade-offs in governance

Climate change and climate-altering technologies pose an emerging risk governance challenge involving risk-risk trade-offs both regarding potential outcomes as well as governance choices. Trade-offs characterize not only various emergent governance and policy design choices but also how research is conducted and communicated. This chapter identifies numerous risks and trade-offs and offers several steps that could be pursued in the near-to medium-term to gradually overcome trade-offs and strengthen opportunities for governance strategies that attenuate multiple risks. Many of these steps aim at strengthening capacities for anticipation, cooperation, and joint decision-making, which would appear essential qualities for addressing the risk-risk trade-offs posed by climate change and countervailing risks associated with potential CDR and SRM applications. Suggested measures in the context of governance processes include: strengthening capacities for international inter-agency collaboration, coordination, and learning; proactively exploring how specific governance challenges match particular international agencies’ mandates; conducting policy impact assessments in the context of national mitigation policy planning. Suggested measures in the realm of research, research funding, and research governance include: enabling more diverse, transdisciplinary research; supporting the international exchange of expertise; enabling continuous science-policy conversations; conducting research to generate insights on potential interlinkages in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Publication Year
Publication Type
Monographs and Edited Volumes

Honegger, M. (2020). Addressing risks and trade-offs in governance. In M.-V. Florin (Ed.), International governance issues on climate engineering: Information for policymakers (pp. 72-90). Lausanne: EPFL International Risk Governance Center (IRGC).

Projects involved
Climate Engineering in Science, Society and Politics