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Wednesday, August 8, 2018
THE PENGUINS ALSO WANT US TO SEND GUNS AND MONEY
08 AUGUST 2018
Glacier geoengineering needs lawyers too
HE'S READY TO TAKE THE CASE
Proposals such as those of John Moore and colleagues (Nature 555, 303–305; 2018) for Antarctic glacier geoengineering understate the legal challenges presented by the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS). This system is crucial to Antarctic governance, but faces considerable geopolitical pressure (Nature 558, 161; 2018). It is essential that any activities affecting the Antarctic ecosystem properly engage with the ATS from the outset.
Antarctic geoengineering proposals would not “require global consent” as Moore et al. state, but instead would need the approval of the 29 consultative parties to the 1959 Antarctic Treaty...
Geoengineering that affects marine ecosystems might also require separate permission under the 1982 ATS Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources.
Any discussion of geoengineering in Antarctica needs to preserve and strengthen Antarctic governance, not weaken it. This is a task for international lawyers...