Could Climate Engineering (CE ) be a policy option in a future climate regime? In the past five years, research on targeted interventions in the global climate has gained tremendous attention. Recently, CE was mentioned in the Summary for Policymakers of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Working Group I report. CE is also being addressed in the ongoing work of the IPCC Working Groups II and III. Currently, the climate negotiations on a successor regime to the Kyoto Protocol are underway, and are scheduled to be completed by 2015. Is a future climate regime that includes such measures conceivable? What might such a regime look like? These and other open questions on the governance of CE were discussed by Professor David Keith and Dr. Ralph Bodle at the event "The Post -2015 Climate Agenda - A Role for Climate Engineering?", which took place at the end of November and was jointly organized by the IASS and the Ecologic Institute.
CE includes a large variety of approaches: from afforestation of entire continents, over ocean fertilisation, up to "Solar Radiation Management", an attempt to cool the earth by increasing the amount of sunlight that is reflected away from Earth. Especially with the latter approach, the question arises whether and how such a technology can and should be included in international climate policy. The more than 40 participants of the event, coming from politics, research and civil society, agreed that any use of climate engineering must be subject to strict international guidelines. Several non-legally binding decisions on CE have already been adopted in the context of the negotiations on the Convention on Biodiversity. This treaty could provide a first approach for more far-reaching governance. However, self-governance of climate engineering research through scientists is not an option, stated Harvard professor David Keith.
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