Is there a legal right to weather? Weather modification technologies have been used for over 50 years. Clouds are seeded with chemicals in order to induce or prevent rain, hail or snow. In his article, Ralph Czarnecki, Senior Fellow at Ecologic, analyses perspectives on a future weather law against the background of scarcer precipitation and the ensuing problems such as "rain theft" and distributional justice.
Recently, the media have reported on China’s intentions to clear Beijing’s air by inducing and preventing rain during the Olympic games. China and other countries also use the technology extensively for improving agriculture. Although the consequences of these techniques are not yet assessable and predictable, many countries have weather modification programmes. In addition to legal problems concerning the environment, the article analyses questions of distribution, in particular from an international perspective. Are clouds and rain natural resources and is there a right to access them, which could be infringed by weather modification?
The article was published in the Zeitschrift für Umweltrecht issue 3/2008.