Climate engineering measures can be divided into two groups: those intended to remove atmospheric carbon dioxide and those intended to alter the Earth’s solar radiation balance.
Climate engineering measures can be divided into two groups: those intended to remove atmospheric carbon dioxide and those intended to alter the Earth’s solar radiation balance. IASS

Headline: Climate Engineering in Science, Society and Politics

The Climate Engineering Group examines how proposals for manipulating the global climate (so-called geo- or climate engineering) are produced, circulated and handled in science, politics and society. At the center of our attention lie questions about the governance of climate engineering.

The group follows a broad understanding of governance, in which science, civil society, business and politics are all considered potentially relevant for governance. A special focus is on the knowledge that actors produce and use: why are some activities considered risky, but not others? Why are some activities seen as requiring regulation, others as unproblematic? Why are some visions of the future considered plausible and others unlikely?

Claims about lacking or inadequate knowledge can also be used to restrict some actors' access to discussion and decision-making, even in cases in which a broad representation of different forms of knowledge would be desirable. By questioning dominant knowledge claims, the group contributes to opening up the climate engineering discourse to a broad actor landscape with the goal of supporting democratic discussion and decision-making based on a plurality of forms of knowledge. One measure the group has developed to this end is the climate engineering conference series: the only regular, international, transdisciplinary conference on climate engineering worldwide.

Projects

Climate Engineering in Science, Society and Politics

Even with ambitious climate action, the impacts of climate change are set to increase massively. In this context, interest in climate engineering measures is growing. However, alongside considerations of their technical feasibility, these interventions in the climate system raise fundamental political, cultural and ethical questions.

Governance, Policy and International Legal Dimensions of Ocean-based Negative Emission Technologies

Negative emission technologies for removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere could offer an opportunity to limit global warming and meet the targets of the Paris Agreement. But many uncertainties about the feasibility and impacts of these technologies remain. The EU-funded OceanNETs project aims to provide critical new insights into ocean-based negative emission technologies. Within OceanNETs, the IASS will contribute to the assessment of governance, policy and legal dimensions.

Completed Projects

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