The delegates to COP21 in Paris, in conjunction with nationally formulated commitments and pledges, resolved that countries should take actions to "hold the increase in global temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels" and to achieve "a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removal by sinks of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century". This resolution for action suggests a step towards a global carbon emissions-control regime which, due to regional variabilities and remaining uncertainties as to the exact effects of atmospheric CO2 concentrations, must be considered within the purview of risk management. In this Opinion, four topics are discussed that intertwine science, technology, legal, and policy issues critical to the implementation of any global carbon emissions-control regime: (i) What to regulate and at what levels; (ii) Regulating short-term versus long-term emissions; (iii) Validation of compliance in a regulated global emissions regime; and, (iv) Legal aspects of geoengineering.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Chemistry
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering