The Oxford Principles of geoengineering research were originally authored in 2009 by Steve Rayner, Tim Kruger and Julian Savulescu of the Oxford Geoengineering Programme, together with Catherine Redgwell (University College London) and Nick Pidgeon (University of Cardiff).

In December 2009 these principles were submitted to UK House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee on “The Regulation of Geoengineering”.  The Committee endorsed the principles and recommended that they be developed further.  In its official response to the Committee’s report, the UK government likewise endorsed the principles.  This endorsement is the only official national-level policy statement on geoengineering in the world to date and represents an important step forward in ensuring that research into geoengineering is carried out in a responsible manner. 

They also formed the basis of principles agreed to at a gathering of geoengineering researchers in Asilomar, California in March 2010.  The Asilomar Conference on Climate Intervention Technologies was modelled after a conference held in the same location in 1975 which brought together a new scientific community in the emerging field of recombinant DNA to discuss the potential dangers and implications of their research and draw up voluntary guidelines to ensure safety.

An article published in ‘The Economist’ shortly after the Asilomar Conference stated that,

“In retrospect, the Asilomar meeting may come to be seen as a step towards that respectable system, but probably only a small one. The participants did not produce clear recommendations, but they generally endorsed a set of five overarching principles for the regulation of the field that were presented recently to the British Parliament by Steve Rayner, a professor at the Saïd Business School, in Oxford.”

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