PPL06: What are the barriers of governance to reversing global warming?

The regulatory framework in UK law is a major barrier to the implementation of blue green technologies. Government policy includes regulation for adaption and mitigation of climate change yet has no regulation for reversal of global warming.  The task is to turn down the Keeling Curve.

Currently the situation is that there is fragmented regulatory requirements in many different aspects affecting blue green, such as urban waste water treatment directive, climate change act, water framework directive, building regulations, feed-in tariff.

What is needed is a set of regulations that encourage rather than inhibit the benefits of blue green technologies, i.e. enabling rather than prohibitive regulations.  In addition, these regulations need to incorporate or transpose EU law.  The legal system now needs to be designed to be blue green compliant in the same way as the water system or any other infrastructure system.

Climate change regulations would be far more effective if they were designed to stimulate adaption and mitigation to the extent of reversing global warming itself. For example, there is now a wide range of carbon sequestration technologies that can be integrated into urban infrastructure so that it operates to sequestrate carbon.  This has the ability to augment or accelerate the function of urban infrastructure as an equivalent or faster system to ecosystem services. 

There are a myriad of sequestration or carbon neutralising technologies many of which can be combined with energy production within the built environment. Carbon sequestration can be combined with energy production to maximise efficiencies and minimise costs.  The ecoystem servcies analogy is leaves on trees or blue green algae polluted lakes.

The infrastructure approach necessarily extends to waste treatment whether liquid or solid, natural or man made.  With blue green design principles the whole city becomes climate change adapted mitigating any negative effects with an enormous potential for carbon sequestration.  This can only be done if the infrastructure is designed in an integrated way.

For this reason it is vital that the design of the legal systems facilitates rather than inhibits the speed of the uptake of blue green technologies and has embedded in it procedures with automatic updating mechanisms to take advantage of Best Technical Knowledge Not Entailing Excessive Costs (BTKNEEC) at the rate at which it occurs.


Blue green technologies are the solution for reversing global warming.  Nicholas Stern commented that the latest IPCC report [GAI35] is ‘the most important assessment of climate change ever prepared’.

Now we know that blue green technologies are the solution to global warming, converting the planet to blue green systems requires that all constituent environmental systems, from legal to utilities to transport to power generation, must be adapted to mitigate or reverse the Keeling Curve in time, i.e. NOT continuing 'business as usual'. The only way to acheive this is to change govermnment policy.