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Geoengineering: Regulation

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 113158, tabled on 15 November 2017

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to bring forward legislative proposals for the regulation of geo-engineering.

Answered on

21 November 2017

Geo-engineering is the deliberate large-scale intervention in the Earth’s natural systems to counteract climate change. A wide range of different geo-engineering techniques has been proposed, in two broad categories: those to remove greenhouse gases directly from the atmosphere and those to reflect some of the Sun’s energy that reaches Earth back into space.

Some forms of geo-engineering are already regulated. For instance, in England, large-scale afforestation is covered by Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations. Oceans are protected from ocean fertilisation activities and, potentially, other forms of marine geo-engineering by the Protocol to the London Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter.

We are not proposing to bring forward legislative proposals for further regulation of geo-engineering at this time.

Answered by

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy