Since solar radiation management (SRM) technologies do not yet exist and capacities to model their impacts are limited, proposals for its governance are implicitly designed not around realities, but possibilities – baskets of risk and benefit that are often components of future imaginaries. This paper reports on the project Solar Radiation Management: Foresight for Governance (SRM4G), which aimed to encourage an anticipatory mode of thinking about the future of an engineered climate. Leveraging the participation of 15 scholars and practitioners heavily engaged in early conversations on SRM governance, SRM4G applied scenario construction to generate a set of alternative futures leading to 2030, each exercising different influences on the need for – and challenges associated with – development of SRM technologies. The scenarios then provided the context for the design of systems of governance with the capacity and legitimacy to respond to those challenges, and for the evaluation of the advantages and drawbacks of different options against a wide range of imaginary but plausible futures. SRM4G sought to initiate a conversation within the SRM research community on the capacity of foresight approaches to highlight the centrality of conceptions of the future to discussions of SRM's threats and opportunities, and in doing so, examined and challenged the assumptions embedded in conceptualizing SRM's aims, development and governance, and discussed the capacity of governance options to adapt to a wide range of possibilities.
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- Academic Articles
Low, S. (2017). Engineering imaginaries: Anticipatory foresight for solar radiation management governance. Science of the Total Environment, 580, 90-104. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.07.200.
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- Climate Engineering in Science, Society and Politics Systemic Risks