The Commission tries to make it OK to talk about – not do – solar geoengineering. Its report proposes a moratorium, coupled with efforts to carefully build knowledge.
In this, my third post on the recently released report of the Climate Overshoot Commission, I’ll discuss their treatment of the most challenging and controversial part of their mandate, Solar Geoengineering or Solar Radiation Modification (SRM). As I noted in my introductory post on the Commission, I served as an advisor to the Secretariat and …CONTINUE READING
A dozen global leaders weigh in on the risk of exceeding the Paris temperature targets and what it means for climate response.
The Climate Overshoot Commission recently completed its work, releasing its report at the United Nations last Thursday, September 14. This report comes in conjunction with the U.N. General Assembly and a collection of high-level climate and environment events, including the Sustainable Development Goals Summit, 18-19 Sept, and the Climate Ambition Summit, 20 Sept. The Climate …CONTINUE READING
Pitting defence of our ‘way of life’ against climate policies is a recipe for division and inaction
Climate impacts are growing rapidly in this El Niño affected summer. Despite calls to declare a climate emergency, President Biden has responded only with new measures to help Americans cope with extreme heat. The measures announced include hazard alerts, improved prediction of heatwaves, funding for air-conditioning and cool centers for low income groups, and guidance …CONTINUE READING
The OSTP has adopted a ‘risk-risk’ framing in its report on geoengineering research: will this help or hinder sound climate policy?
Last month’s report on solar geoengineering research from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) consolidated a shift in the discourse on this controversial technology. Over recent years advocates for more research have increasingly adopted a ‘risk-risk’ framing. As Gernot Wagner puts it in ‘Geoengineering: the Gamble’: “The decision is all about …CONTINUE READING
There’s a lot of law relating to climate change. A lot!
In preparing to teach a course on climate law, I was really struck by how broad and rich the field has become. Back in the day, it was nearly all international law, but nowadays there’s a huge amount of U.S. domestic law. Most people, even those who work on the field, tend to focus on …CONTINUE READING
An update on the serious and the silly
Solar geoengineering has been prominent in the news lately. It looks like the long-predicted spike of attention to these potential climate responses may finally be starting – with many attendant opportunities for controversy and confusion. For background on solar geoengineering, why it’s important to research, and what the debates over it are, check out various …CONTINUE READING
Why I signed the call for a non-use agreement, and what that might mean for research.
Although I’m a newbie at the Emmett Institute, I have been working on geoengineering for a decade now. I have heard countless arguments over whether and how solar geoengineering could be useful in the struggle to manage climate change. I have seen deeply misleading claims by both its supporters and detractors, many trying to coopt …CONTINUE READING
Geoengineering is having a moment. But much of the media coverage is failing to capture the actual debate.
We’ve been hearing a lot lately about geoengineering – the various scientific theories and governance ideas that could eventually lead to technological interventions to help cool the planet. A weather balloon stunt in Mexico by a small startup called Make Sunsets generated a lot of hot headlines, even though that solar geoengineering “experiment” was so …CONTINUE READING
Tackling climate procrastination by closing the loopholes in ‘net-zero’ climate goals
The global stampede to adopt net-zero climate goals continues unabated. As a goal net-zero is achieved when any residual carbon emissions are counter-balanced fully by dedicated carbon removal. Delivered at a global level, this would stabilise global temperatures. Almost 70% of states (accounting for 90% of the world’s economic activity) have adopted net-zero goals, as …CONTINUE READING
A startup firm proposes to sell dubious carbon credits from stratospheric aerosol injection
Last week, MIT’s “Technology Review” reported that a small startup firm is proposing to spray reflective aerosols in the stratosphere commercially as a climate corrective. (Stratospheric Aerosol Injection or SAI.) Previously announced online in the Google Geoengineering Group, the firm is small and new, operating with a claimed total of $750K of venture financing. They …CONTINUE READING