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Tyler Cowen

How Will Geoengineering Work? Time for Some Game Theory

If one nation comes up with a way to reduce carbon emissions, others might be more likely to slow down their transition to clean energy.

Geoengineering can help.

Geoengineering can help.

Photographer: Dimas Ardian/Bloomberg


A Swiss startup says it can pull carbon dioxide from the air and store it underground, while one in California says it has released sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere. These developments raise an important question: Who has authority over geoengineering?

My Bloomberg Opinion colleague Faye Flam has described some problems that arise with private-sector involvement in geoengineering. The same issues exist on much a larger scale with government. Our future is likely to be one in which governments not only disagree about how to manage the earth’s climate but also seek to counteract one another’s plans.