Evaluating the efficacy and equity of environmental stopgap measures

Holly Jean Buck , Laura Jane Martin, Oliver Geden , Peter Kareiva, Liz Koslov , Will Krantz , Ben Kravitz , John Noël, Edward A. Parson, Christopher J. Preston, Daniel L. Sanchez, Lynn Scarlett, and Shuchi Talati
Created: 11/30/2020 -

Abstract

Contemporary environmental policy is replete with measures that do not fully resolve a problem but are proposed instead to ‘buy time’ for the development of more-durable solutions. We define such measures as ‘stopgap measures’ and examine examples from wildfire risk management, hydrochlorofluorocarbon regulation and Colorado River water management. We introduce an analytical framework to assess stopgaps and apply this framework to solar geoengineering, a controversial stopgap for reducing emissions. Studying stopgaps as a distinct response to environmental crises can help us weigh their merits in comparison to alternative policy and management measures.

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