Rethinking the Governance of Solar Geoengineering

The panel considers the fact that there are no comprehensive international guardrails currently in place to govern the research, testing or deployment of solar geoengineering.

Members event, Panel Recording
21 February 2019 — 6:00PM TO 7:00PM
Chatham House | 10 St James's Square | London | SW1Y 4LE

In October 2018, The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a special report highlighting the unprecedented scale and pace of action now required to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions if the world is to limit global warming to 1.5ºC.

With scientists portending the possible extinction of species, increased extreme weather conditions and the decline of agricultural productivity across swaths of the globe, governments and scientists are under increasing pressure to explore new technologies that might mitigate the risks of climate change.

One such development is solar geoengineering which seeks to lower the Earth’s temperatures by reflecting sunlight back into space or allowing more infrared radiation to escape.

However, the risks, trade-offs and potential of the technology are still poorly understood.

  • At what stage of development is this technology?

  • Who should make the decision to set the global thermostat, how and under what conditions?

  • Which multilateral institutions might be best suited to house these discussions?

  • And what are the implications of geoengineering on the Sustainable Development Goals, including migration, food security and water security?

This event is hosted in partnership with the Carnegie Climate Geoengineering Governance Initiative (C2G2).


Ana Maria Kleymeyer, Independent Advisor for Climate and Environment Law and Policy

Professor Douglas MacMartin, Senior Research Associate, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Cornell University; Research Professor, Computing and Mathematical Sciences, Caltech

Janos Pasztor, Executive Director, Carnegie Climate Geoengineering Governance Initiative (C2G2); Assistant Secretary-General for Climate Change, UN (2015-16)

Chair: Peter Betts, Associate Fellow, Energy, Environment and Resources, Chatham House

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