The Challenge

Avoiding Catastrophic Climate Change

The increased concentration of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere due to human activity is creating an unprecedented environmental challenge.

Current policy and research efforts to address climate change focus on reducing emissions and adapting to the effects of increased greenhouse gas levels. While these mainstream efforts are necessary indeed essential they may not be sufficient to avoid catastrophic climate change. There is a pressing need to evaluate a broad range of proposed geoengineering concepts which could address the issues of climate change as a contingency plan against the possibility that we collectively lack the ability or political will to curb emissions sufficiently to a level which is compatible with a stable climate.

Assessing Geoengineering Approaches

There is considerable public distrust of the concept of geoengineering. Partly this is due to a fear of unintended consequences which could arise from large-scale interventions in natural cycles and partly as it may be seen to undermine the international commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This distrust should not prevent the objective consideration of the potential for geoengineering approaches so that they can be assessed based on factual evidence.

To determine the relative risks and benefits of different potential geoengineering techniques, it is necessary to conduct research across a wide range of disciplines, including:

  • Natural sciences
  • Environmental sciences
  • Engineering
  • Law
  • Business and economics
  • Politics, governance and international relations
  • Philosophy and ethics

This organisation aims to create a framework to assess a broad range of proposed geoengineering techniques in a comprehensive and objective fashion, to determine which, if any, techniques could be employed safely.

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