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Duncan McLaren

UCLA School of Law

Based in

United Kingdom

Duncan McLaren’s research interests focus on the question why we (humans, societies) don’t do what we know we should (especially about environmental protection and social justice). He examines the interface between social imaginaries, cognitive biases, and business and political interests, currently focusing on how policy and governance for net-zero, carbon removal and solar geoengineering could be devised without delaying just climate action. In an earlier career, he worked as an environmental researcher and campaigner for Friends of the Earth.

Focus areas of expertise

Climate policy and politics Geoengineering Net Zero Climate Justice

How to Connect



McLaren, D. (2023) Governing Emerging Solar Geoengineering: A Role for Risk-Risk Evaluation? Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, 24(2 234-243 https://doi.org/10.1353/gia.2023.a913651

McLaren D. and O. Corry (2023) “Our way of life is not up for negotiation”: climate policy in the shadow of ‘societal security.’ Global Studies Quarterly 3(3) https://doi.org/10.1093/isagsq/ksad037

McLaren D. and L. Carver. (2023) Disentangling the Net from the Offset: Learning for net-zero climate policy from an analysis of ‘No-Net-Loss’ in biodiversity. Frontiers in Climate, 5 https://doi.org/10.3389/fclim.2023.1197608

JC Stephens, P Kashwan, D McLaren, K Surprise (2023) Toward Dangerous US Unilateralism on Solar Geoengineering Environmental Politics, 32(1) 171-73 https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09644016.2022.2156182

Chris Armstrong & Duncan McLaren (2022). “Which Net Zero? Climate Justice and Net Zero Emissions.” Ethics & International Affairs, 36(4), 505-526.

Markusson, N., D. McLaren, D. Tyfield, B. Szerszynski & R. Willis (2022) “Life in the Hole: Practices and emotions in the cultural political economy of mitigation deterrence.” European Journal of Futures Research 10:2.

McLaren, D., R. Willis, D. Tyfield, B. Szerszynski & N. Markusson (2021). “Attractions of Delay: Using deliberative engagement to investigate the political and strategic impacts of greenhouse gas removal technologies.” Environment and Planning E: Society and Space.

Niskanen, J. & D. McLaren (2021) “The political economy of circular economies: lessons from future repair scenario deliberations in Sweden.” Circular Economy and Sustainability.

Stephens JC, Kashwan P, McLaren D, Surprise K. 2021. “The Dangers of Mainstreaming Solar Geoengineering: A critique of the National Academies Report,” Environmental Politics. October 18, 2021:1-10.

Duncan McLaren and Wil Burns, ‘It would be irresponsible, unethical and unlawful to rely on NETs at large scale instead of mitigation’. Chapter 18 in Debating Climate Law (eds Mayer and Zahar, 2021), Cambridge University Press.

Stephens JC, Kashwan P, McLaren D, Surprise K. 2021. “The risks of solar geoengineering research,” Science. 2021;372(6547):1161-1161.

Boettcher M, Brent K, Buck HJ, Low S, McLaren D, Mengis N. 2021. “Navigating Potential Hype and Opportunity in Governing Marine Carbon Removal,” Frontiers in Climate. 2021;3:47.

Duncan McLaren & Olaf Corry. Forthcoming. “Clash of Geofutures and the Remaking of Planetary Order: Faultlines underlying Conflicts over Geoengineering Governance,” Global Policy (Forthcoming).

Duncan McLaren. 2020. “The injustice in geoengineering: Restorative climate justice and justice as recognition.” In Has It Come to This? The Promises and Perils of Geoengineering on the Brink, Rutgers University Press (2020).

Duncan McLaren, Johan Niskanen, & Jonas Anshelm. 2020. “Reconfiguring repair: Contested politics and values of repair challenge instrumental discourses found in circular economies literature,” Resources, Conservation and Recycling (December 2020).

Duncan McLaren. 2020. “Quantifying the potential scale of mitigation deterrence from greenhouse gas removal techniques,” Climatic Change (May 2020).

Duncan McLaren & Nils Markusson. 2020. “The co-evolution of technological promises, modelling, policies and climate change targets,” Nature Climate Change (April 2020).

Duncan McLaren, David Tyfield, Rebecca Willis, Bronislaw Szerszynski, & Nils Markusson. 2019. “Beyond ‘Net-Zero’: A Case for Separate Targets for Emissions Reduction and Negative Emissions,” Frontiers in Climate (August 2019).

Duncan McLaren & Julian Agyeman 2018. “Smart for a reason. Sustainability and social inclusion in the sharing city.” In Creating Smart Cities, Routledge (October 2018).

Duncan McLaren. 2018. “Whose climate and whose ethics? Conceptions of justice in solar geoengineering modelling,” Energy Research & Social Science (October 2018).

Duncan McLaren. 2018. “In a broken world: towards an ethics of repair in the Anthropocene,” Anthropocene Review (April 2018).

Duncan McLaren. 2003. “Environmental space, equity and the ecological debt.” In Just Sustainabilities, MIT Press (January 2003).