Climate engineering – who will take responsibility for the consequences?
Geo-engineering or climate engineering is the deliberate and large-scale intervention in the Earth’s climate system to hold back global warming.
The approach that has attracted the most interest involves managing the amount of solar radiation reaching the Earth’s surface.
Most experts strongly advise against relying on climate engineering to solve global warming because of the uncertainties over its effectiveness and the unforeseen consequences.
However, because of the continuing failure of national governments to agree concerted action to keep global warming within tolerable limits, even the more sceptical experts are startng to think it might be necessary at some point in the future.
Should climate engineering ever be seriously considered, there are some big questions which need answers. In particular, who will pay for the research, who will control it if it is used, and who will take responsibility for the consequences? And, just as importantly, what can be done to make sure that it does not distract public and politicians from the more conventional approaches to cutting greenhouse gas emissions?
Business of Weather spoke to Andy Parker, the Project Director of the Solar Radiation Management Governance Initiative or SRMGI.
This is a project established by a wide range of non-governmental organisations. It’s aim is to start a global conversation around the governance of geo-engineering research, especially among the developing countries, which are the most affected by climate change.
For further information, visit SRMGI.org