Society & Community Sustainable Development Policies & Frameworks

Geo-engineering: a climate silver bullet?

Sustainable Development Policies & Frameworks

Summary

There is growing scientific interest in solar geoengineering as a possible means of combating climate change. But by foregoing debate on this now, we may actually increase the risks of their future misuse.

Perspectives and insights

  • Climate models suggest that solar geoengineering might reduce important climate risks such as changes in water availability, extreme precipitation, sea level, and temperature.
  • But geoengineering technology also carries risks of its own, including air pollution, damage to the ozone layer, and unanticipated climate changes.
  • Governance is the toughest challenge for geoengineering and many fear that fossil-fuel interests will exploit solar geoengineering to oppose emissions cuts.
  • Just 100 corporations produce 71% of greenhouse gas emissions.