Scientific Director - Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies
Welcome to the CEC14!
It is a privilege and a pleasure to see so many of you gathered together for this first international, transdisciplinary conference on the many issues which are subsumed under the umbrella term “Climate Engineering”.
The CEC14 has brought together over 300 people from 40 countries with a wide range of backgrounds from academia, policy and civil society as well as the media and the arts. We expect this diversity to lead to rich discussions, with experts who approach the topic of climate engineering from all its various facets being available to provide well-informed input into the discussions. Many of you have probably also already witnessed this thirst for cross-disciplinary exchange in dialogues around this controversial topic, which was a large part of our motivation for conceiving and hosting the CEC14.
During the plenaries on this first day of the CEC14, you will already get a flavor of these varied perspectives. I’d like to open with three points that I have been bringing out on various occasions, which I think are central to the discussions around climate engineering, and valuable to keep in mind during a conference of this nature.
First, what exactly is “climate engineering”, or “geoengineering” as it is alternately called? The Royal Society, in its landmark 2009 assessment, defined it as "deliberate large-scale manipulation of the planetary environment to counteract anthropogenic climate change". This umbrella term encompasses a very wide range of proposed techniques, which are typically divided into two main categories: those that would remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, and those that would modify the Earth’s atmospheric energy budget, mainly by increasing the reflection of sunlight back to space.
There are vast differences between these two categories of techniques, as well as between the individual techniques within each category, so that blanket statements applied to climate engineering as a whole are often inappropriate, or are meant to only apply to a subset of techniques, and can therefore be misleading and counterproductive. Thus, although the umbrella terms of “climate engineering” and “geoengineering” are in extensive use, it is important to use them judiciously, when they are really appropriate, and otherwise to differentiate carefully between the various techniques that are being addressed.
This point is well-known by much of the research community, and is mentioned repeatedly in discussions and various publications and assessments. Nevertheless, it is proving difficult for us to follow our own good advice, and most of the community – including me – still falls into the trap of generalizing too much.
So I would encourage care and effort by the participants of the CEC14 to make the distinctions clear in the critical discussions that will take place this week.
The second point I would like to bring across is that climate engineering should not be considered as a short-term solution to climate change, rather it mostly needs to be thought about on very long timescales – and yes, here I am generalizing, using the umbrella term “climate engineering”, but in this case that is appropriate, since it applies to both categories of techniques, for various reasons.
For all of the proposed techniques to remove CO2 and other greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, based on an assessment of the current state of knowledge, it appears that very long timescales – generally decades – would be needed before a significant impact on the global atmospheric CO2 concentrations could possibly be achieved.
For many of the techniques, this is due to the large infrastructure that would be needed – comparable for example to the size of the oil or the coal industry – associated with large energy requirements. For other techniques the long timescale is due to limitations in various ecosystems – and for most of these there are also potentially significant side effects that need to be considered. There are also uncertainties in the total storage capacities.
Nevertheless, given the daunting consequences of ever-increasing atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, it is worth continuing to investigate and develop the potential for removal of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, but it is important to make clear that this is done from a long-term perspective; we cannot count on proposed techniques to notably supplement mitigation measures in the near future.
Techniques to modify the Earth’s radiation budget are theoretically capable of cooling the planet much more quickly than greenhouse gas removal – on the timescale of a year or less. This potential for a rapid response provides a lot of the incentive for research that is currently going into understanding such techniques. However, there are many sets of concerns that go far beyond the questions about how to develop the associated technologies, and how well they would work:
• One main set of concerns involves determining what the various impacts would be on the Earth’s climate parameters such as temperature, precipitation, and extreme weather events, and developing mechanisms to attribute these impacts and identify what would be considered as benefits and harms to the many different stakeholders worldwide.
• There are also many ethical concerns that would be raised by modifying the Earth's climate, and even by research on the topic. It is unclear how these concerns and their implications vary across cultures, political backgrounds and religious beliefs. This concern extends all the way to our understanding of what it means to be human in the Anthropocene: in the same way as we have to consider the deeper meaning of the possibilities presented by genetic modification and cloning, we also need to consider the deeper meaning of what it would imply if humanity ever were to decide to try to take coordinated control over the Earth System on a global scale.
• A third major set of concerns involves developing appropriate and effective global governance for the various steps that might be undertaken for each of the many proposed techniques for modifying the Earth’s radiation budget, from research through testing through potential implementation.
Thus, even though it might be possible within a decade to develop and implement the technological capability to modify the Earth’s radiation budget on a global scale, it is likely to take a decade or more beyond that – if it is ever possible at all – to adequately clarify these concerns as well as the many other issues associated with such an intervention.
Finally, the third point I would like to make picks up exactly here: the range of issues associated with climate engineering is very broad, not only spanning the natural and social sciences and humanities, but needing input from policy makers, societal leaders, and, especially given the global implications, from the broader public as well. Science alone will certainly not provide the answers – and I would venture to say that this is already recognized by the majority of the participants here, who are seeking out a different approach. Deep, multi-actor and multi-directional dialogues are going to be essential for making substantial progress towards making the difficult decisions that will lie ahead as climate change continues to worsen.
This approach of going beyond interdisciplinary interactions between researchers to incorporate stakeholders into the process of co-generating knowledge, is known as “transdisciplinarity”. The mission of the IASS includes developing and applying this approach to global sustainability-related problems. It is from this perspective that we have decided to host this first ever, international, inter- and transdisciplinary conference on climate engineering. Together with the tireless efforts of the International Steering Committee and the valuable input from the Advisory Group, we hope we have put together a program that will be highly conducive to this kind of needed exchange. I would like to thank all those who have contributed to putting this program together, and who will contribute to the many sessions this week, and I would like to wish you successful and highly informative critical discussions.
With that, it’s my pleasure now to give you a brief overview of what to expect on this opening day. Next we will hear a few further welcoming remarks, first from my colleague Klaus Töpfer, who is Executive Director at the IASS, followed by Georg Schütte, the Secretary of State at the German Ministry for Education and Research. You’ll then be provided an overview of program and logistical information by Stefan Schäfer, the chair of the CEC14 Steering Committee. Then, following a short break, we will have two panel discussions with a range of distinguished panelists, and we will close the day with a reception in the hotel lobby – already several good opportunities today to get started with the critical global discussions of the CEC14.
State Secretary - Federal Ministry of Education and Research
Speech by State Secretary Dr Georg Schütte, Federal Ministry of Education and Research, at the international conference on "Climate Engineering – Critical Global Discussions" of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies
Berlin, 18 August 2014
For release upon delivery Check against delivery
Professor Lawrence, Professor Töpfer, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure for me to welcome you to the 2014 Climate Engineering Conference on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
The title of the conference – Critical Global Discussions – is well chosen.
It highlights what climate engineering is about:
First of all, it is about becoming involved in discussions whose outcome we cannot yet predict. These discussions must be global – after all we are trying to address the challenge of global warming by means of climate engineering. A global perspective is also needed in view of the potential impact of climate engineering measures. The various nations assembled here today symbolize this need.
And finally, these global discussions must be critical. "Critical" in a philosophical sense, which means assessing climate engineering using binding criteria.
The relevant criteria have yet to be defined for climate engineering. The proposals that have been made still give rise to numerous questions.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me start by referring to the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC, which in a way opens the next chapter in climate engineering. The IPCC report makes it clear that the international community does not have much time left to take action to reduce emis-sions quickly and limit global warming to a maximum of two degrees.
If efforts fail, so-called "negative emissions" will be the only way to achieve the two-degree target according to the IPCC. This technical term implies using climate engineer-ing technologies – that is, technologies which involve great risks and whose effectiveness and consequences cannot be reliably predicted with regard to nature, human life or the economy.
The current climate debate is focusing in particular on massive afforestation and on bio-energy with carbon capture and storage – or BECCS for short. However, should the in-ternational climate negotiations not produce the desired success, there will certainly be a call for the use of other climate engineering technologies.
The German Government is confident that this will not happen and that we will in the end achieve the required level of climate protection. This is where we are concentrating all our efforts. But the example of Australia shows that we have still a long way to go. Australia recently abolished the carbon tax which it had introduced only two years be-fore and which many economists consider to be the most effective climate protection measure.
We believe that common sense will ultimately prevail and that the need for climate pro-tection will be recognized. But we also believe that it would be political negligence to fully rely on a "Plan A" without allowing for a critical assessment of a "Plan B".
This is why my Ministry, the BMBF, has been following the climate engineering debate for quite some time now. We consider it part of our responsibility for research policy to actively concern ourselves with the various aspects of this topic.
Our 2011 scoping report on "Large-Scale Intentional Interventions into the Climate Sys-tem" covers the full range of the topic. The report provides orientation and impetus for the international debate on climate engineering.
Numerous important findings have been made since the report was published and have enhanced our level of understanding. I am very pleased to see researchers in Germany working on this topic – either in the DFG priority programme or at the Institute for Ad-vanced Sustainability Studies in Potsdam, which organized this conference. The survey recently presented by the German Parliament's Office of Technology Assessment is an-other important element in ensuring an objective climate engineering debate based on facts.
Let me make one thing clear: The aim of research and research policy in Germany is pri-marily to enhance our assessment expertise.
What does "assessment expertise" mean?
Whether it be bioenergy with carbon capture and storage or the manipulation of the ra-diation budget: There is no ideal solution which is ecologically sound, socially and politi-cally compatible and economically justifiable. Most of the pathways proposed hold con-siderable potential for conflict.
The precautionary principle in politics means that we review individual proposals on the basis of scientific findings in order to identify the potential, risks and costs involved and consider feasibility and acceptance.
The results must not be reserved for the scientific community. They must be made avail-able for a public debate and support political opinion-forming. Climate engineering con-cerns us all.
But this also means that the scientific community must communicate climate engineer-ing to the public in an understandable way and be willing to engage in public discussions. This is the only way to achieve a broad and competent appraisal of climate engineering in society.
Climate engineering presents a number of special dilemmas for research and research policy.
The first is the ethical dilemma:
It is obvious that climate engineering by no means constitutes a solution from today's viewpoint. Nevertheless, a sober review of the progress of climate policy reveals that we need to consider this option carefully at an early stage.
How far may or must research go?
Does climate engineering research encourage a repair policy which only entails ever new, unaccountable risks? After all, none of the proposed technologies is ready for appli-cation or has been tested in practice. It may even prove impossible to test many of these technologies sufficiently.
It is also clear that the political focus must be on climate protection and adaptation. The BMBF's 2011 report underpins this view. Could climate engineering research have a biasing, self-reinforcing effect making alternative pathways in climate policy appear realistic at too early a stage?
But can research simply ignore the "Plan B" for climate protection? Is it not a must for research policy to have it critically assessed by the scientific community or even actively developed?
Our survey produced a clear answer to this question: It is imperative that research be conducted for ethical reasons. However, this initially means research to enable the as-sessment of climate engineering rather than to prepare its use.
The required knowledge base must be available if, all risks considered, climate engineer-ing proves to be the most socially viable or even the sole option to combat climate change. And we must be able to fully assess the consequences of applying the relevant technologies. This means considering whether we need to accept the consequences of climate engineering in order to avoid the even more serious consequences of climate change.
There will certainly be no obvious solutions in this case. Research and research policy in particular bear special responsibility in view of the risks involved and the controversial nature of the topic:
We must ensure a transparent public debate to justify research. Research, in turn, must provide a solid knowledge base in different areas.
It is important to consider, for example, the possible effects of the large-scale cultivation of plants for bioenergy generation from a scientific, ecological and economic perspective. But it is equally important to consider the aspects of equity and fair burden-sharing. Who is responsible when the use of BECCS jeopardizes traditional forms of agriculture and food supply? This raises highly complex issues of governance and political manage-ment which can often only be solved through international cooperation. This leads us to the basic principles of ethics and international law – and to the second dilemma, the political dilemma:
The use of climate engineering technologies needs to be controlled because these tech-nologies involve incalculable risks and cross-border effects. Such control can only be achieved through international cooperation.
The same goes for research related to climate engineering, which must equally be subject to international regulation. The aim is not to limit research on climate engineering but to enable legitimate research to be performed.
There is much to suggest that decisions on the possible application of any climate engi-neering measure and on related research must be taken in the context of relevant inter-national conventions. But what is the appropriate regulatory framework for climate en-gineering? Is it the Convention on Biological Diversity, which bans climate engineering activities – and only allows research under specific conditions? Or would the Framework Convention on Climate Change be more suitable?
At the moment it is hard to imagine an intensive debate to ensure the required level of intergovernmental cooperation under the UNFCCC. Anyone supporting this goal would immediately be suspected of diverting attention from the purpose of an effective climate protection agreement and of giving the wrong signals.
Climate policy's careful approach to the topic of climate engineering must therefore not be misunderstood as political inactivity. Not regulating and not debating an issue in a given context can in fact be based on a particular political stance.
As regards research as such, there are already provisions governing individual fields of research related to climate engineering. The most important example is research on ocean fertilization under the London Convention and Protocol. This Convention could serve as a model for research policy. It provides for freedom of research while defining limits and requiring special justification for research related to climate engineering.
Such regulation can provide research with a reliable framework. But it cannot serve as a blueprint for the broad use of climate engineering as an instrument of climate policy.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The German Government takes the view that a broad regulatory debate to include the use of climate engineering in whatever convention – particularly the Framework Convention on Climate Change – would be the wrong signal at this point in time. Our main goal must now be to achieve an ambitious, comprehensive and binding agreement on climate protection. What we need are fair arrangements to ensure compensation for cli-mate damage and enable adaptation. This will be the focus of our efforts in the period up to the Climate Conference in Paris in 2015.
If, at the present moment, the use of BECCS were discussed in the context of the UNFCCC and included in the research agenda, this could be seen as preparation of the introduction of this technology. The formal inclusion of BECCS in the negotiations would in fact give priority to this technological option. Our understanding of its risks and acceptance would, however, be just as vague as in the case of other climate engineer-ing technologies.
On the other hand, we cannot ignore the fact that specific considerations regarding the role of BECCS are being introduced in climate policy following the publication of the IPCC report. Could it be that technologies for carbon dioxide removal (CDR) are being gradually elevated to the status of a solution to be applied when climate protection has failed? Even if only to gain time for more ambitious climate protection plans?
Is this an expression of blind trust in technological development or plain realism?
The political question is obvious: Would it not be wise to choose a proactive approach and establish comprehensive international rules for research on and the use of climate engineering at an early stage before individual states make uncoordinated efforts in this regard or the international community comes under pressure to take immediate action? We must admit: We have not yet found a solution to this dilemma. The Federal Govern-ment gives primacy to climate protection and adaptation in climate policy. But, observ-ing the precautionary principle, we will be open to a constructive debate about guard rails for climate engineering when the time comes.
And finally, the third dilemma is the scientific dilemma:
The large-scale use of climate engineering technologies is not an option at present be-cause these technologies involve incalculable risks and cross-border effects. However, an assessment of the impact of climate engineering requires experiments that are not lim-ited to models and labs but are conducted under near-application conditions.
The situation is basically the same for all climate engineering measures: They have not been sufficiently studied so far with regard to their effectiveness and possible side-effects or their acceptance and ethical and legal conditions. This also applies to the impact of individual carbon dioxide removal technologies, which are discussed in the IPCC Report in the context of "negative emissions".
These CDR technologies differ fundamentally from solar radiation management or SRM technologies, which manipulate the radiation budget using aerosol particles, for exam-ple. But the impact of CDR technologies on food production or ecosystems, or the ac-ceptance of carbon storage sites for use on the required scale are also largely unsettled issues.
Questions also remain with regard to the scaling of local CDR solutions. Viewed in isola-tion, these solutions may be unproblematic. A locally limited ocean fertilization experi-ment, an individual device for chemical CO2 filtering or the afforestation of a specific area may not seem critical. But a solid assessment of the large-scale effects requires com-prehensive experiments.
This leads us to the following question – particularly with regard to SRM but also CDR: How can we develop sound expertise for assessment and decision-making when the re-quired research involves the illicit and undesired use of climate engineering technolo-gies?
We still have no master plan for further action. Climate engineering is confronting us with completely new issues owing to its far-reaching consequences. Therefore we need an approach which ensures that social assessment and political regulation can keep pace with the increase in scientific knowledge and develop side by side.
An open social and research policy debate – also including field experiments – must therefore differentiate and avoid generalization. There is certainly a difference between assessing bioenergy with carbon capture and storage and considering the insertion of aerosols in the stratosphere. First of all, these technologies involve completely different risks and cross-border effects. Second, those technologies are gaining significance which the current debate considers to be of prior regulatory importance in the context of the IPCC, the Framework Convention on Climate Change or the Convention on Biological Diversity. And third, CDR technologies are generally closer to the climate protection de-bate than the sometimes curious ideas regarding solar radiation management.
Now, what criteria could guide future research on climate engineering?
- Research should in particular serve the clear and comprehensive assessment of risks. This means giving consideration not only to scientific and economic aspects but also to acceptance, equity, governance and ethical justification.
- Research should focus on technologies which involve special risks or require regulation in a specific political context. Issues addressed in UN Conventions or discussed by other international bodies must be at the top of the agenda.
- Certainly, there will be measures with a favourable balance between feasibility and expected benefit on the one hand and potential risks on the other. These measures could provide genuine solutions. Examples include large-scale affor-estation and the use of carbon dioxide in the synthesis of industrial products or fuels.
Research should also be aware of shifting baselines. Changes may occur in the way spe-cific technological options are perceived. The context of political and social assessment may change. And new research always refers to what may be possible and feasible in the future.
It helps if research stakeholders work hand-in-hand to place trends in a political and so-cial context and enable policy-makers to form their own opinion.
That is why I would like to encourage you to continue your work across disciplinary borders. The BMBF's scoping report involved climate researchers, legal scholars, econo-mists, philosophers, political scientists and risk researchers, who worked together very productively. They all struggled to find a common language and a common view and the result is far more than a mere survey of individual scientific perspectives.
And when researchers working in the DFG priority programme engage in close exchange with the IASS Cluster on Sustainable Interactions with the Atmosphere, this can provide an added value for all the parties involved. You can all contribute jointly to creating and providing the basis and conditions for the assessment of climate engineering.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me conclude by summarizing some points which are characteristic for climate engi-neering from the research policy viewpoint:
As the competent Federal Government department, the BMBF pursues a proactive and responsible policy in the field of climate engineering. Our goal is not to pave the way for the application of these technologies. One cannot approach this topic in terms of such simple categories. The BMBF is assuming responsibility for and actively engaging in a far-sighted debate about climate engineering, taking into account the research and social policy perspective. We are doing so to solve the dilemmas I have described – and also because Germany perhaps plays a leading international role due to its scientific and po-litical awareness of climate engineering. The BMBF will therefore keep up its research policy efforts.
Of course, the BMBF supports the responsible and fair international regulation of re-search on climate engineering. International law with its relevant conventions is the benchmark for all kinds of research commitment. At the same time, we want to observe the freedom of research because researchers whose hands are tied cannot produce useful results. Combining both principles is not a contradiction for us but rather a challenge in our efforts to address the provision of general public services.
The aim must be to create a framework for interdisciplinary research which supports a differentiated debate and enables a precautionary policy. The BMBF will continue to pool relevant knowledge as we did with the scoping report.
The decision about the future of climate engineering will ultimately be taken at political level. Isolated findings produced by researchers cannot meet the special requirements of social dialogue and involvement which are typical of climate engineering. Bringing this knowledge together will therefore remain an important goal for the BMBF so that poli-tics and the general public can become more strongly involved in the debate.
This conference is providing a forum for shaping debates and conducting a dialogue about key issues and current trends. I hope and expect that it will contribute substantial-ly to the promotion of scientific dialogue and to building bridges between science, poli-tics and society. - I wish you every success and inspiring days here in Berlin.
Dr. Christoph Kleinschmitt (University of Heidelberg): What Processes can Limit the Magnitude of the Radiative Forcing by Stratospheric Aerosol injection?
Dr. Blaž Gasparini (ETH Zurich): The Efficiency and Climate Responses of Stratospheric Sulphur Injection in the Arctic
Dr. Annette Rinke (Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Ocean Research): Arctic Sea Ice and Atmospheric Circulation under the GeoMIP G1 Scenario
Mr. Simon Driscoll (University of Oxford): Asymmetries between the onset and termination of geoengineering in the UM-CLASSIC configuration of HadGEM2 Mr. Xiaoyong Yu (Beijing Normal University): Effectiveness and Regional Inequality of GeoMIP G1 to G4 Scenarios
Dr. Jerry Tjiputra (Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research): Large Scale and Regional Impacts of Ocean and Terrestrial Biogeochemistry to Future Stratospheric Aerosol Injection
Dr. Charles Curry (University of Victoria): A Multimodel Study of Climate Extremes in an Idealized Geoengineering Experiment
Mr. Hong Yu (Beijing Normal University): Change of ENSO Multiyear Signatures in Warming and Geoengineering Scenarios
Dr. Peter Irvine (Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies): The Initial Climate Response Following a Termination of SRM
Mr. Songsong Fang (Beijing Normal University): Comparing the Impacts of Solar Dimming versus Stratospheric Aerosol Injection Scenarios on Temperature and Precipitation Extremes
Dr. Glauco Di Genova (Università degli Studi dell’Aquila): Stratospheric Ozone Response to Sulfate Geoenginering: Results from the Geoengineering Model Intercomparison Project
Dr. Debra Weisenstein (Harvard University): Stratospheric Geoengineering by Injection of Solid Particles: Modeling Fractal Structures, Liquid Coatings, and Ozone Impacts
Dr. Anastasia Revokatova (Hydromet Centre, Russia): Classification of Supposed Negative Effects of the “Stratospheric Aerosol” Method
Prof. John Moore (Beijing Normal University): Serendipitous Field Tests on Solar Climate Engineering: Lessons from China
Dr. Annabel Jenkins (University of Leeds): Marine Cloud Brightening – How do Implementation Assumptions Change its Effectiveness?
Dr. Michael Robertson (University of Strathclyde): Geoengineering: Closing the Control loop Using State Space Methods
Prof. Stephen Salter (University of Edinburgh): Coded Modulation Method for Getting an Everywhere-to-everywhere Transfer Function
Prof. Stephen Salter (University of Edinburgh): Arguments For and Against Marine Cloud Brightening
Prof. Stephen Salter (University of Edinburgh): Design of Spray Vessel Hardware
Prof. Chaochao Gao (Zhejiang University): What Can Past Volcanism Tell Us about the Monsoon Precipitation Impact of Stratospheric Aerosols?
Dr. Helene Muri (University of Oslo): Tropical Forest Response to Marine Sky Brightening
Ms. Hilary Costello, Dr. Kirsty Kuo, Dr. Hugh Hunt, and Prof. Peter Davidson (University of Cambridge): A Tethered Balloon Systyem for Delivery of Aerosols into the Stratosphere (SPICE)
Mr. Salif Kone (Malian National School of Engineers): Solar Radiation Management and Olivine Dissolution Methods in Climate Engineering
Dr. Renaud de Richter (University of Montpellier), Dr. Tingzhen Ming (University of North Texas) and Dr. Sylvain Caillol (University of Montpellier): Climate Engineering by Atmospheric Convection Enhancement
Dr. Renaud de Richter (University of Montpellier), Dr. Tingzhen Ming (University of North Texas) and Dr. Sylvain Caillol (University of Montpellier): Pros and Cons of Earth Radiation Management vs. Sunlight Reflection Methods
Mr. Andrew Lockley: New Gun Designs for Stratospheric Aerosol Injection
Dr. Vivian Scott (University of Edinburgh): Can We Store It All?
Dr. Sebastian Sonntag (Max Planck Institute for Meteorology): Carbon Sequestration Potential and Climatic Effects of Reforestation in an Earth System Model
Ms. Lena Boysen (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research): Terrestrial Carbon Dioxide Removal (tCDR): Opportunities for Climate, Challenges for Agriculture and Nature Conservation
Mr. Pradeep Kumar (Government of Sikkim, India): Vegetation Carbon Pool using Remote Sensing and GIS: Opportunities and Challenges
Dr. Dorothea Mayer (Max Planck Institute for Meteorology): Climatic Consequences of Land-based Climate Engineering
Prof. Murray Moinester, Dr. Israel Carmi, Prof. Joel Kronfeld (Tel Aviv University): Sequestration of Inorganic Carbon via Forestation
Dr. He Yin (University of Bonn): Forest Cover and Land Degradation Mapping in Central Asia – Implications for Carbon Sequestration
Dr. Suvi Huttunen (Finnish Environment Institute): Emerging Policy Perspectives on Geoengineering: An International Comparison
Dr. Robert Chris (The Open University): Geoengineering as an Emergency Response to Climate Change: The Cultural Theory View from the Lifeboat
Dr. Masahiro Sugiyama (University of Tokyo): Mapping Technology Choices of Climate Engineering onto Social Concerns
Ms. Frederike Neuber and Mr. Sebastian Cacean (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology): The Moral Controversy About Climate Engineering – An Argument Map
Ms. Kerryn Brent (University of Newcastle): The Potential of the ‘No-Harm’ Rule to Prevent Transboundary Harm and Harm to the Global Atmospheric Commons from SRM Geoengineering
Prof. Jim Falk (University of Melbourne): Out of Control? Dynamics and Dimensions of Climate Engineering Governance
Dr. Takanobu Kosugi (Ritsumeikan University): Global Warming Mitigation Strategies Considering the Uncertainty of Aerosol Geoengineering Availability
Dr. Annabel Jenkins (University of Leeds): A Framework for Assessing Climate Geoengineering
Mr. Nils Matzner (RWTH Aachen University): Co-produced Climate Interventions: Responsibility and Governance at the Boundaries of Climate Science and Climate Politics
Mr. Hannes Fernow (University of Heidelberg): Decision-making in the Age of Technical Reproducibility – Climate Engineering between Risk and Practice
Prof. Nicholas Pidgeon (Cardiff University), Dr. Karen Parkhill (Bangor University), Dr. Adam Corner (Cardiff University), Dr. Naomi Vaughan (University of East Anglia): Deliberating Geoengineering Risks: The Case of Stratospheric Aerosols and the SPICE Project
Dr. Dian Seidel (NOAA Air Resources Laboratory): A Bibliometric Analysis of Climate Engineering Research
12.00 – 14.00 Conference Registration
14.00 – 15.00 Welcome Speeches AB 2 and 3
Prof. Dr. Mark Lawrence,
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Klaus Töpfer,
Dr. Georg Schütte
15.30 – 17.30 Panel Discussion AB 2 and 3 » The Past Decade of Climate Engineering Research
18.30 – 20.30 Panel Discussion AB 2 and 3 » Climate Politics at the Crossroads: Is Climate Engineering a Wrench in the Works or a Tool in the Toolbox?
20.30 – 22.00 Reception Foyer AB
9.00 – 10.30 Sessions
» Exploring the Politics of Climate Engineering S
» International Law for the Regulation of Climate Engineering (Part 1) P
» Perspectives on Climate Engineering from the Front Lines of Climate Change AB 2
» Progress in the Geoengineering Model Intercomparison Project (GeoMIP) B and Y
» Responsible Innovation and Climate Engineering C
11.00 – 12.30 Sessions
» Modeling Extreme Risk: Assessing High Impact, Low Probability Events AB 2
» What do People Think and Feel about Climate Engineering — and How do we Know? C
» International Law for the Regulation of Climate Engineering (Part 2) P
» Linkages between Climate Engineering and Short-Lived Climate-forcing Pollutants: Two “Quick Fixes” for the Climate? B and Y
» Understanding Carbon-cycle and Climate Feedbacks of Carbon Dioxide Removal Methods S
12.30 – 14.30 Lunch Break
13.15 – 14.15 Lunchtime Discussion
» Will Climate Engineering Unduly Hinder Emissions Reductions? Discussing the
“Moral Hazard” AB 3
14.30 – 17.00 Sessions
» Risks and Conflict Potential of Climate Engineering AB 3
» Assessment Methodologies for Climate Engineering Technologies P
» To Gabon or Not To Gabon: A Game on — Geoengineering Research and Policy AB 2
17.30 – 19.00 Poster Session AB 1
» Lead-in Presentation: A Monument to the Anthropocene: The Solar Balloon and Tomas Saraceno’s Cloud City AB 3
19.30 Shuttle from Scandic to the Museum für Naturkunde
20.30 – 22:00 Panel Discussion and Reception
» Climate Engineering and the Meaning of Nature
9.00 – 10.30 Sessions
» Civil Society and Geoengineering: Who’s Engaging Whom? S
» Enhanced Mineral Weathering: Potential and Consequences (Part 1) C
» Exploring the Intersections between Climate Engineering and Systems Engineering B and Y
» From Geoengineering to Geo-weaponeering: The Security Dimensions of Climate Engineering AB 3
» Intentional and Unintentional Interferences in the Climate System P
11.00 – 12.30 Sessions
» Novel SRM Techniques: Cirrus Cloud Thinning and Marine Sky Brightening AB 3
» Climate Geoengineering and the Potential Role of Human Rights Regimes S
» Climate Engineering Governance — is the Climate Convention the Right Place for It? B and Y
» Regional Paths to Global Change: Approaches and Governance for Regional Climate Engineering Technologies and Strategies P
» Enhanced Mineral Weathering: Potential and Consequences (Part 2) C
» Climate Engineering and Human Engineering:
Social and Technological Challenges in the Anthropocene AB 2
12.30 – 14.30 Lunch Break
13.15 – 14.15 Lunchtime Discussion
» The Politics of Climate Engineering AB 3
14.30 – 17.00 Sessions
» Climate Emergency: Science, Framing, and Politics (Part 1) P
» The International Control of Climate Engineering and Research: Debating Why, How and Who AB 2
» The Potential Role of Space in Climate Engineering Concepts S
» From Projections to Control: The Role of Climate Modeling in SRM B and Y
» Biogenic Carbon Sequestration: Multifunctionality for Global Resilience C
17.30 – 19.00 Poster Session AB 1
» Lead-in Presentation: Nephologies AB 3
» Fend for yourself dinner
9.00 – 10.30 Sessions
» Strange Bedfellows — Political Contestation over SRM on the Left and Right B and Y
» Local Laws, Global Liability: Using National and Local Laws to Regulate Climate Engineering
and Allocate Responsibility for Its Impacts C
» Carbon Air Capture Efficiency Prospects: Current Research and Future Directions S
» Climate Emergency: Science, Framing, and Politics (Part 2) P
» Mapping the Landscape of Climate Engineering AB 2
11.00 – 12.30 Sessions
» Design of Practical Hardware for Climate Engineering S
» The Ethics of Carbon Dioxide Removal C
» How can Civil Society and the Scientific Community Jointly Address Climate Engineering? AB 3
» Climate Engineering in Popular Culture: Art, Media, Games, and Fiction B and Y
» Developing Countries and SRM AB 2
12.30 – 14.00 Lunch Break
14.00 – 15.00 Panel Discussion
» The Writer’s Role: Reflections on Communicating Climate Engineering to Public Audiences AB 3 and AB 2
15.30 – 17.00 Panel Discussion
» Assess, Test or Terminate: What Future for Climate Engineering Research? AB 3 and AB 2
17.30 Shuttle to Haus der Kulturen der Welt
18.30 – 20.30 Closing Panel
» The Anthropocene: An Engineered Age?
20.30 – 22.30 Conference Dinner
Friday August 22nd,2014
9.00 – 17.00
Deepening the Debate: Conference rooms available for ad-hoc meetings and discussions.
Please contact the Conference Office for this.
Prof Thomas Ackerman, University of Washington, United States
Dr. Christoph Aicher, UFZ, Germany
Dr. Thorben Amann, Universität Hamburg, Germany
Ms. Roslyn Arayata, British Embassy In Manila, Philippines
Mr. Jeff Ardron, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
Dr. Shinichiro Asayama, National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan
Mr. Thomas Baldauf, Germany
Mr. Jeremy Baskin, Univ. of Melbourne, Australia
Dr. Nico Bauer, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany
Mr. Ralf Becker, Umweltbundesamt, Germany
Dr. Rob Bellamy, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
Dr. Francois Benduhn, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
Ms. Hajar Benmazhar, Cadi Ayyad University, Faculty of Sciences, Morocco
Mr. Christopher Bennett, University of Warwick, United Kingdom
Ms. Ulrike Bernitt, Kiel Earth Institute, Germany
Ms. Katharina Beyerl, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
Ms. Ingela Björck, Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, Sweden
Dr. Jason Blackstock, University College London, United Kingdom
Mr. Max Bliss, The REAL Institute, France
Dr. Tamas Bodai, University of Hamburg, Germany
Prof. Daniel Bodansky, Arizona State University, United States
Dr. Ralph Bodle, Ecologic institute, Germany
Mr. Leonard Borchert, University of Hamburg, Germany
Ms. Lena Boysen, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany
Prof. Stefano Brandani, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Dr. Elizabeth Bravo, Accion Ecologica, Ecuador
Ms. Kerryn Brent, University of Newcastle, Australia
Dr. Roman Brinzanik, MPI for Molecular Genetics, Germany
Dr. Thomas Bruhn, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
Prof. Dr. Michael Brzoska, Universität Hamburg, Germany
Ms. Holly Jean Buck, Cornell University, United States
Prof. Dr. Martin Bunzl, Rutgers University, United States
Ms. Rachel Burbidge, Belgium
Dr. Wil Burns, Washington Geoengineering Consortium, United States
Ms. Catherine Bush, University of Guelph, Canada
Ms. Elizabeth Bush, Environment, Canada
Dr. Tim Butler, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
Dr. Rose Cairns, University of Sussex, United Kingdom
Prof. Dr. Ken Caldeira, Carnegie Institute for Science & Stanford University, United States
Dr. Carolina Cavazos, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
Mr. Jamais Cascio, United States
Prof. Dr. Ilan Chabay, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
Dr. Ying Chen, RCSD CASS, China
Mr. Wei Cheng, Beijing Normal University, China
Dr. Robert Chris, Open University, United Kingdom
Dr. Galina Churkina, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
Prof. Dr. Forrest Clingerman, Ohio Northern University, United States
Dr. Olaf Corry, Open University, United Kingdom
Dr. Aidan Cowley, Dublin City University, Ireland
Dr. Neil Craik, University of Waterloo, Canada
Dr. Julia Crook, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
Dr. Xuefeng Cui, Beijing Normal University, China
Dr. Charles Curry, University of Victoria, Canada
Ms. Dagmar Dehmer, Der Tagesspiegel, Germany
Dr. Adriano de Paula Fontainhas Bandeira, Military Institute of Engineering, Brazil
Dr. Renaud de Richter, Solar-tower.org.uk, France
Dr. Glauco Di Genova, Università degli Studi de L’Aquila, Italy
Dr. Isabelle Dicaire, European Space Agency, Netherlands
Mr. Simon Driscoll, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
Dr. Susanne Droege, German Institute for International andSecurity Affairs (SWP), Germany
Ms. Haomiao Du, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
Ms. Cheryl Durrant, Australian Department of Defence, Australia
Dr. Gwynne Dyer, Independent Journalist, United Kingdom
Dr. John Dykema, Harvard University, United States
Ms. Sasha Engelmann, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
Prof. Julian Evans, University College London, United Kingdom
Prof. Jim Falk, The University of Melbourne, Australia
Ms. Song Song Fang, Beijing Normal University, China
Ms. Pam Feetham Massey, University Palmerston North, New Zealand
Mr. Ellias Feng, Germany
Dr. Hannes Fernow, Heidelberg University, Germany
Ms. Miriam Ferrer Gonzalez, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Germany
Ms. Jane Flegal, University of California, Berkeley, United States
Ms. Marianne Flynn, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
Mr. Richard Forrest, Germany
Dr. Johannes Gabriel, Foresight Intelligence, Germany
Prof. David Galbreath, University of Bath, United Kingdom
Prof. Chaochao Gao, China
Mr. Blaž Gasparini, ETH, Zürich, Switzerland
Dr Oliver Geden, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), Germany
Ms. Kristina Gjerde, IUCN, United States
Ms. Susanne Glienke, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
Mr. Paul-Leonard Glöckner, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
Mr. Jeff Goodell, United States
Dr. Rüdiger Grote, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany
Prof. Dr. Armin Grunwald, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany
Dr. Anne Therese Gullberg, CICERO Center for International Climate and Environmental Research Oslo, Norway
Dr. Benjamin Apraku Gyampoh, African Academy of Sciences, Kenya
Dr. Stefan Hain, Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Germany
Prof. Clive Hamilton, Australia
Dr. Anders Hansson, Linköping university, Sweden
Mr. Masahiko Haraguchi, Columbia University, United States
Dr. Judith Hauck, Germany
Ms. Vera Heck, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany
Prof. Dr. Hermann Held, University of Hamburg, Germany
Ms. Lillan Henseler, Netherlands
Prof. Tracy Hester, University of Houston Law Center, United States
Dr. Clare Heyward, University of Warwick, United Kingdom
Mr. Matthias Honegger, ETH/Perspectives/Stiftung Risiko-Dialog, Switzerland
Ms. Yu Hong, Beijing Normal University, China
Dr. Joshua Horton, Harvard University, United States
Ms. Kate Houghton, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
Ms. Anna-Maria Hubert, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
Prof. Dr. Mike Hulme, King’s College London, United Kingdom
Mr. Florian Humpenöder, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany
Dr. Hugh Hunt, Cambridge University, United Kingdom
Dr. Suvi Huttunen, Finnish Environment Insitute (SYKE), Finland
Mr. Viliamu Iese, The University of the South Pacific, Fiji
Dr. Bila-Isia Inogwabini, Congo, The Democratic Republic of the
Dr. Peter Irvine, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
Mr. Alexandr Iscenco, Moldovan Environmental Governance Academy, Moldova, Republic of
Dr. Suginori Iwasaki, National Defense Academy, Japan
Mr. Alfredo Jakob, Germany
Ms. Clare James, University College London, United Kingdom
Mr. Pablo Jaramillo, University of Regina, Canada
Dr. Annabel Jenkins, University of Leeds/Integrated Assessment of Geoengineering Proposals,
Ms Fraile-Martin Josefina, Terra SOS-tenible, Spain
Mr. Ben Kalina, Mangrove Media, United States
Dr. Nina Kamennaya, University of Warwick, United Kingdom
Ms. Anne Kantel, American University, United States
Ms. Karin Kartschall, Federal Environment Agency, Germany
Dr. Asfawossen Asrat Kassaye, Addia Ababa University, Ethiopia
Dr. Kathrin Keil, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
Dr. David Keller, GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Germany
Dr. Juergen Kern, Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering Potsdam-Bornim e. V., Germany
Ms. Vera Keur, VARA public broadcasting organisation, Netherlands
Prof. Dr. Asia Khamzina, University of Bonn, Germany
Mr. Zabardast Khan, United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Pakistan
Dr. Tatjana Kiesow, German Aerospace Center, Germany
Mr. Eli Kintisch, Science magazine, United States
Dr. Jan Ole Kiso, UK Government, United Kingdom
Mr. Christoph Kleinschmitt, Institute of Environmental Physics – Heidelberg University, Germany
Mr. Pol Knops, KU Leuven/Innovation Concepts B.V., Netherlands
Mr. Salif Kone, Malian National School of Engineers ENI-ABT, Mali
Prof. Robert Kopp, Rutgers University, United States
Dr. Takanobu Kosugi, Ritsumeikan University, Japan
Prof. R. Andreas Kraemer, Ecologic Institute, Germany
Dr. Ben Kravitz, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, United States
Mr. Ulrich Kreidenweis, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany
Ms. Judith Kreuter, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Germany
Mr. Pradeep Kumar, Government of India, India
Dr. Kirsty Kuo, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Dr. Axel Lauer, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
Prof. Dr. Mark Lawrence, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
Mr Terry Lawton, United Kingdom
Mr. Penehuro Fatu Lefale, Bodeker Scientific, New Zealand
Dr. Harry Lehmann, Federal Environment Agency, Germany
Dr. Andrew Lenton, CSIRO, Australia
Dr. Wera Leujak, Federal Environment Agency, Germany
Prof. Albert Lin, University of California Davis, United States
Ms. Jasmin S. A. Link, University of Hamburg, Germany
Dr. P. Michael Link, University of Hamburg, Germany
Ms. Ivonne Lobos, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
Mr. Andrew Lockley, United Kingdom
Dr. Birgit Lode, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
Dr. Jane Long, EDF/BPC, United States
Mr. Sean Low, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
Mr. Frank Loy, United States
Ms. Suzanne Luftalla, CGSP, France
Dr. Marianne Lund, CICERO, Norway
Ms. Zoe Lüthi, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
Mr. Achim Maas, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
Dr. Claudia Mäder, Federal Environment Agency, Germany
Dr. Nils Markusson, Lancaster University, United Kingdom
Dr. Dorothea Mayer, Max-Planck-Institute for Meteorology, Germany
Mr. Duncan McLaren, Lancaster University, Sweden
Ms. Nadine Mengis, GEOMAR, Germany
Dr. Axel Michaelowa, University of Zurich, Switzerland
Mr. Fausto Mirabile, VDI Technologiezentrum GmbH, Germany
Dr. David Mitchell, Desert Research Institute, United States
Prof. Murray Moinester, Tel Aviv University, Israel
Dr. Francesco Montserrat, Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), Netherlands
Prof. John Moore, Beijing Normal University, China
Mr. Nigel Moore, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
Dr. Nils Moosdorf, University of Hamburg, Germany
Dr. Ryo Moriyama, The Institute of Applied Energy, Japan
Dr. David Morrow, University of Alabama at Birmingham, United States
Mr. Oliver Morton, The Economist, United Kingdom
Dr. Andrea Mues, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
Ms. Ndivhuwo Cecilia Mukosi, Council For Geoscience, South Africa
Dr. Rolf Müller, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany
Dr. Helene Muri, University of Oslo, Norway
Ms. Henriette Naims, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
Ms. Frederike Neuber, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany
Dr. Cush Ngonzo Luwesi, Kenyatta University, Kenya
Prof. Dr. Simon Nicholson, American University, United States
Ms. Silke Niehoff, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
Dr. Ulrike Niemeier, Max Planck Institute for Metorology, Germany
Mr. Thimo Nieselt, Programme Office of the International Climate Initiative (IKI), Germany
Ms. Athanasia Nikolaou, European Space Agency, Netherlands
Mr. Franz Dietrich Oeste, gM-Ingenieurbüro, Germany
Dr. David Offenberg, Fraunhofer INT, Germany
Mr Dannis Ohemeng, Telesat Ghana Limited, Ghana
Ms. Noelia Otero, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
Prof. Dr. Konrad Ott, University of Kiel, Germany
Dr. Odd Helge Otterå, Uni Research, Norway
Mr. Andy Parker, Harvard Kennedy School, United Kingdom
Dr. Karen Parkhill, Bangor University, United Kingdom
Ms. Helena Paul, EcoNexus, United Kingdom
Mr. Elpidio Peria, Biodiversity, Innovation, Trade and Society (BITS) Policy Center, Inc., Philippines
Ms. Tanja Pfeifle, Germany
Prof. Nick Pidgeon, Cardiff University, United Kingdom
Mr. Patrick Pieper, Forschungsstelle Nachhaltige Umweltentwicklung, Germany
Dr. Giovanni Pitari, Università degli Studi L’Aquila, Italy
Mr. Rafe Pomerance, consultant-climate strategies, United States
Prof. Christopher Preston, University of Montana, United States
Mr. Tim Prinzen, VDI Technologiezentrum GmbH, Germany
Dr. Mohammed Qader, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
Dr. Jörn Quedenau, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
Prof. Dr. Rosemary Rayfuse, UNSW, Australia
Prof. Steve Rayner Oxford University, United Kingdom
Dr. Phil Renforth, Cardiff University, United Kingdom
Dr. Anastasia Revokatova, Institute of Global Climate and Ecology, Russian Federation
Mr. Jesse Reynolds, Tilburg University, Netherlands
Ms. Ina Richter, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
Dr. Annette Rinke, Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Germany
Mr. Manuel Rivera, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
Mr. Michael Robertson, University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom
Prof. Alan Robock, Rutgers Universtiy, United States
Ms. Elnaz Roshan, University of Hamburg-KlimaCampus, Germany
Mr. Christoph Rosol, Germany
Mr. René Röspel, Parliamentarian at the Bundestag, Social Democratic Party, Germany
Mr. Prithivi Raj S. Shah, Jeunes Volontaires pour l’Environment Nepal (JVE), Nepal
Prof. Dr. Stephen Salter, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Dr. Nadja Salzborn, Federal Environment Agency, Germany
Dr. Bjørn Samset, CICERO, Norway
Dr. Joan-Pau Sánchez, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain
Dr. Giulio Santori, The University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Mr. Scott Saunders, Scopix, United States
Mr. Stefan Schäfer, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
Prof. Dr. Bernd M. Scherer, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Germany
Prof. Dr. Jürgen Scheffran, University of Hamburg, Germany
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany
Dr. Hauke Schmidt, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Germany
Dr. Bianca Schröder, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
Mr Ian Simpson, Look-Up.org.uk, United Kingdom
Ms. Diana Susan Schneider, Germany
Ms. Jennifer Schneider, Mangrove Media, United States
Ms. Marianne Schön, University of Vienna, Austria
Ms. Isabell, Schrickel, mecs/Leuphana University, Germany
Ms. Julia Schubert, Forum Internationale Wissenschaft Bonn, Germany
Dr. Georg Schütte, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany
Prof. Karen Scott, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
Dr. Vivian Scott, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Dr. Dian Seidel, NOAA, United States
Dr. Jianxiongn Sheng, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Dr. Jana Sillmann, Center for International Climate and Environmental Research – Oslo, Norway
Mr. Jordan Smith, Harvard University, United States
Ms. Rachel Smolker, Biofuelwatch, United States
Ms. Karolina Sobecka, United States
Dr. Sebastian Sonntag, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Germany
Ms. Alba Sotorra Clua, Spain
Dr. Horst Steg, German Aerospce Center, Project Management Agency (PT-DLR), Germany
Dr. Harald Stelzer, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
Prof. Trude Storelvmo, Yale University, United States
Dr. Stefan Stückrad, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
Dr. Pablo Suarez, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, United States
Dr. Masahiro Sugiyama, The University of Tokyo, Japan
Dr. Toby Svoboda, Fairfield University, United States
Dr. Bronislaw Szerszynski, Lanaster University, United Kingdom
Dr. Duong Thanh An, Vietnam Environment Administration (VEA), Vietnam
Mr. Torsten Thiele, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Mr. Jim Thomas, ETC Group, Canada
Dr. Erica Thompson, London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom
Mr. Michael Thompson, Washington Geoengineering Consortium, United States
Mr. Erik Thorstensen, Oslo and Akershus University College, Norway
Dr. Jerry Tjiputra, Uni Research Climate Norway
Ms. Antje Többe, Forschungszentrum Jülich, PtJ, Germany
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Klaus Töpfer, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
Dr. Manfred Treber, Germanwatch, Germany
Mr. Christian Uhle, Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany
Mr. Theo van Stegeren, VARA public broadcasting organization, Netherlands
Dr. Alberto Varone, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
Ms. Andrea Michelle Viera Romero, Universität Potsdam, Germany
Ms. Aswathy Vijayan Nair, University of Leipzig, Germany
Prof. Dr. Eduardo Viola, University of Brasilia, Brazil
Dr. Chris Vivian Cefas, United Kingdom
Dr. Bärbel Vogel, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany
Prof. Johannes Vogel, Natural History Museum, Germany
Dr. Katrin Vohland, Natural History Museum, Germany
Dr. Erika von Schneidemesser, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
Dr. Arie Vonk, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
Ms. Judith Voß-Stemping, Federal Environment Agency, Germany
Dr. Martin Wattenbach, German Research Centre For Geosciences GFZ, Germany
Ms. Corina Weber, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
Ms. Lindsey Weger, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
Dr. Taoyuan Wei, Center for International Climate and Environmental Research – Oslo (CICERO), Norway
Ms. Debra Weisenstein, Harvard University, United States
Mr. Mathias Weiss, Political Science/Planetare Bewegung für Mutter Erde, Austria
Dr. Victoria Wibeck, Linköping University, Sweden
Mr. Thilo Wiertz, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
Prof. Dr. Oliver Wingenter, New Mexico Tech, United States
Dr. Pak-Hang Wong, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
Dr. Amir Yadghar, Concordia University, Canada
Mr. He Yin, University of Bonn, Germany
Mr. Xiaoyong Yu, United Kingdom
Ms. Ying Yuan, Beijing University, China
Mr. Matheus Zanella, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Germany
Prof. Dr.Cornelius Zetzsch, University of Bayreuth, Germany
Dr. Ying Zhang, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China
Ms. Zhihong Zhuo, Zhejiang University, China
We are carrying out standard experiments with the new GCMs being run as part of CMIP5 using identical global warming and geoengineering scenarios, to see whether our results are robust. For example, how will the hydrological cycle respond to stratospheric geoengineering? Will there be a significant reduction of Asian monsoon precipitation? How will ozone and UV change?
Robock, Alan, 2008: 20 reasons why geoengineering may be a bad idea. Bull. Atomic Scientists, 64, No. 2, 14-18, 59, doi:10.2968/064002006.
Robock, Alan, Allison B. Marquardt, Ben Kravitz, and Georgiy Stenchikov, 2009: The benefits, risks, and costs of stratospheric geoengineering. Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L19703, doi:10.1029/2009GL039209.
Robock, Alan, 2014: Stratospheric aerosol geoengineering. Issues Env. Sci. Tech. (Special issue “Geoengineering of the Climate System”), 38, 162-185.
The “Climate Engineering Conference 2014: Critical Global Discussions” (CEC14) was the first large international conference of its kind on climate engineering. Held over a period of 4 days in Berlin, the CEC14 brought together over 350 participants from more than 40 countries. As representatives of academia, the policymaking community, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the wider society, they came to discuss the many complex and interlinked issues that arise when considering the possibility of deliberate, large-scale interventions in the climate.
The idea to host a large international conference on climate engineering emerged against the background of several important developments in discussions on climate engineering. 2014 marked the five-year anniversary of the Royal Society’s 2009 assessment, which focused on the science, governance, and uncertainty of climate engineering and took the first major step towards broadening the conversation beyond the generally isolated, individual publications that had preceded the report. The 2010 Asilomar International Conference on Climate Intervention Technologies represented the first attempt by the academic community to generate research guidelines, and new governance proposals and initiatives have since proliferated. International governance for climate engineering is advancing rapidly in the case of marine activities; however, there has not been any significant advance in international governance regarding atmospheric activities beyond what is accepted as customary international law. Climate engineering has been addressed by all three working groups of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in their contributions to the Fifth Assessment Report, and at the time of the CEC14 many ongoing projects were coming close to conclusion or reaching important milestones. In particular, three large U.K. research programmes – the Oxford Climate Geoengineering Governance (CGG) project, the Integrated Assessment of Geoengineering Proposals (IAGP), and the Stratospheric Particle Injections for Climate Engineering (SPICE) project – held their joint final symposium just a few months after the CEC14.
At this important moment in the global discussions on climate engineering, we aimed to provide a forum for vigorous exchange and creative dialogue, for new voices to join the discussions, and for examining how climate engineering intersects with other topics both within and outside of the discourse around climate change. Thus, the overarching objectives of CEC14 were:
≥ to address comprehensively and in a balanced manner the technical, geophysical/geochemical, ethical, legal, and societal contexts in which the various ideas for engineering the climate are being discussed;
≥ to bring together the diverse stakeholders involved in climate engineering discussions – including
academic researchers and representatives from the policy and civil society communities with geographically and culturally diverse backgrounds – in order to promote transparency and dialogue;
≥ to provide a forum to review the current state of climate engineering discussions, present and discuss recent research results, and scope key research questions and challenges for academia and society;
≥ to provide a forum for enhanced exchange through innovative session formats aimed at addressing the disciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary complexity of the issue;
≥ to provide a platform for exchange, networking, and collaboration across disciplines, sectors (particularly academia, policy and civil society), geographical regions, cultures, and generations; ≥ to explore the value of a large-scale conference as an appropriate forum for the emerging field of climate
engineering, with the potential future aim of holding such a conference on a semi-regular basis.
This report is a reflection on the conference, its overall themes, individual sessions, plenary events, format, and spontaneous developments that occurred over its course. It is not intended, however, to produce a definitive statement or set of recommendations. It serves to make many aspects of the discussions at the conference available to as broad an audience as possible. Thus, the report provides a concise, yet descriptive summary of the main outcomes of the various sessions at CEC14, including a summary of the controversy that surrounded the proposal for two “Declarations” regarding the governance of field experimentation. Where appropriate, the text provides hyperlinks to online resources such as video recordings from the conference or the websites of individual sessions. All online resources linked to in this report can be accessed on the website www.ce-conference.org.
We also aim to make transparent the considerations that went into designing the conference, how we feel the conference design shaped discussions at the conference and how we evaluate this, as well as the feedback we received and how we intend to incorporate it when designing the next CEC. At this point, we are also happy to announce that the success of CEC14 and the very positive feedback we received have convinced us that CECs can provide an ongoing and important contribution to the critical global discussions about climate engineering, and we therefore intend to hold one or more future CECs, depending on how the discussions around climate engineering evolve. We hope that many of you will join us for the next round of critical global discussions.
3. Outcomes of CEC14 Sessions
The following sections summarise and synthesise key insights from the CEC14 sessions, organised according to five broad groupings:
≥ 3.1 Mechanics and impacts of approaches within Solar Radiation Management
≥ 3.2 Mechanics and impacts of approaches within Carbon Dioxide Removal
≥ 3.3 Models and assessments that gauge climatic and societal impacts
≥ 3.4 Political issues, actors and agendas Session formats ranged from academic presentations to more interactive, participatory approaches.
Linkages and overlaps between sessions can be seen across the conference, demonstrating and mirroring the complex interplay of issues involved in the climate engineering discussion.
3.1 SRM Mechanics and Impacts
A number of sessions highlighted engineering aspects of SRM techniques, focusing on the mechanics and feasibilities of their delivery systems, as well as their interactions with the physical environment and potential impacts on the climatic system. In addition, innovative new techniques and improvements to established approaches were discussed. It was noted that these CEC14 sessions represented one of very few efforts to date in interdisciplinary conference settings to host substantial discussion of engineering detail, allowing for a more comprehensive comparison of technical feasibilities and providing a valuable background for sessions on modelling, assessment, and governance.
Design of Practical Hardware for Climate Engineering explored engineering developments in – and improvements to the viability of – a number of approaches that have existed for a significant period (in some cases decades), but have received less attention than sulphate aerosol injection. Among these were improvements to the longevity of foams on seawater to reduce the energy demand of sea-going hardware, methods for delivering materials to the stratosphere via pipeline or artillery technology, spray ship design, and the production of salt nuclei in marine cloud brightening. Exploring the Intersections between Climate Engineering and Systems Engineering focused on the chemical, radiative, and microphysical effects of using alumina particles as opposed to sulphate aerosols, as well as a method of reducing atmospheric methane concentrations via the activation of chloride that simultaneously addresses multiple sources of climate change. Novel SRM Techniques explored the practicalities and climatic effects of cirrus cloud thinning, marine sky brightening, and microbubbles that increase ocean surface albedo. Exploring the Intersections and Novel SRM Techniques also contained presentations that broadened explorations of engineering aspects to intersections with climate and other systems: on the improvement of detection and attribution, climate feedback loops, the design of a particular field experiment to assess the effects of stratospheric water vapour on ozone, and the viability of earth radiation management strategies as alternatives to SRM.
The Potential Role of Space in Climate Engineering Concepts investigated space-based SRM methods and uncertainties in the form of space-mirror configurations and laser filamentation. However, the application of space-based assets for mitigation activities was also explored, including the harvesting of solar energy from space instead of at the planetary surface, reductions in the carbon footprint of infrastructure atin space as compared to on the earth’s surface, and the effects of cloud coverage. A crucial linkage was made to the climate modelling community on the need for space-based hardware to contribute to monitoring and verification of atmospheric and surface carbon concentrations as a first application.
3.2 CDR Mechanics and Impacts
CDR is an explicit component of the vast majority of mitigation scenarios that could achieve concentration pathways as represented in RCPs 2.6 and 4.5, the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report’s two most optimistic scenarios for global temperature rise. Carbon Air Capture Efficiency Prospects: Current Research and Future Directions investigated the capacity of both technological and naturally occurring (biological) methods to directly capture and store carbon from ambient air. Enhanced Mineral Weathering: Potential and Consequences examined the processes and potential impacts of accelerating or artificially stimulating weathering – a breakdown of mineral rocks that sequesters CO2 in terrestrial, coastal and oceanic environments. Attention was also paid to the effects of enhanced weathering on reducing ocean acidification and restoring ecosystems, and its combination with carbon air capture technologies to enable long-term sequestration.
Biogenic Carbon Sequestration: Multifunctionality for Global Resilience connected CDR to land-use and agricultural issues, examining afforestation for its effects on irrigation and desalination of soils, and biochar for its effects on crop yields. It became clear that the viability of these methods rested not only on their capacity for carbon sequestration, but also on the desirability of such methods from the point of view of local communities, who are more concerned with the co-benefits generated by managing local CDR and enhancing resources, such as wood and crops, from the land.
Understanding Carbon-Cycle and Climate Feedbacks of Carbon Dioxide Removal Methods highlighted
recent work exploring the capacity of CDR to create feedback processes in the climate system. These can be direct (on the carbon-cycle response) and indirect (physical or biogeochemical climate processes), and influence the viability of techniques as diverse as ocean iron fertilisation, terrestrial CO2 removal strategies, desert greening strategies, and SRM methods. Further discussion revealed a need to improve the comparability of the different Earth System Models used by the session’s presenters to scope various techniques, in order to draw more systematic conclusions. To that end, a working group was formed by the session’s participants to design a CDR model intercomparison project to address both general questions about the efficacy of CDR – how “reversible” is the climate system by applying a CDR strategy and what components of the climate system exhibit hysteresis – and the climatic feedbacks associated with specific techniques such as afforestation or enhanced weathering.
3.3 Models and Assessments
How can the processes and impacts of climate engineering be modelled and assessed, and what is their value as tools to facilitate decision-making under conditions of uncertainty? Deploying – perhaps even researching – these technologies will have complex repercussions for the climate system, politics, economy, and society that can only be observed in hindsight. For example, the climate impacts of SRM would not be easily separable from the impacts of GHG-driven climate change for several years following deployment. Hence, we must rely in part on projections and simulations of climate and society in a climate engineered future to provide such information and strive to make their parameters, data, and comparability more robust, while remaining conscious of their limitations, and understand how models influence and are influenced by political concerns and contexts.
The Geoengineering Modelling Intercomparison Project (GeoMIP) has since 2010 sought to improve the comparability and credibility of SRM simulation results across a range of climate and Earth system models. In a dedicated session, the project presented results from a wide variety of fields, including climate variability, the cryosphere, ocean circulation, the carbon cycle, and extreme events. There were also presentations that discussed attempts to translate the climate modelling results of GeoMIP into impacts and regional inequalities, representing the project’s first steps toward interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary efforts to understand SRM. The session concluded with a presentation of the newly-designed GeoMIP simulations that will contribute to major worldwide climate modelling efforts. Comments on the design of these experiments was opened to the audience and the broader community, and continues to be open to all interested parties regardless of discipline, in an atin tempt to make the output of GeoMIP more relevant to decision-makers.
Building on this modelling basis, Modelling Extreme Risk: Assessing High Impact, Low Probability Events discussed frameworks for how extreme events might be modelled. Beginning with statistical fundamentals and differences between near-term and long-term modelling of extreme events, discussions then delved into how an extreme event might be conceptualised in the first place, as climatological impacts exacerbate or intersect with a wide range of global issues. The effects climate engineering may have on the “trajectory” of society, and the implications of Collingridge’s “control dilemma” – that the risks of emerging technologies are best understood at the stage of deployment, when they are also least controllable – were also explored.
From Projections to Control: The Role of Climate Modelling in SRM deepened the discussion on the capacity of Global Circulation Models (GCMs) as tools in decision-making on SRM. The decadal timescales necessary to produce reliable, empirical knowledge about the climate effects of SRM may not be relevant to the socio-political concerns of governments and societies, who would desire more immediate information. Models cannot provide fine-grained data over shorter timelines and below continental scales; moreover, they not only incorporate physical data, but also the conceptual theories and emphases of the scientists who build them. This can create multiple idealised realities – that amplify certain factors and simplify others – on which to base decision-making prior to making a decision on SRM deployment and after deployment in attributing observed changes and events. What are the implications for scientific research, political engagement and governance if models, and the augmented realities they contain, are to serve as the main source of information, and a key spur to or even precondition for policy in climate engineering? Further research is required with regard to the climatic changes projected in models and the uncertainties of such projections; the relationship of models to observation and the challenges of detection and attribution; how models intersect with policy and the confidence different groupings of scientists and societal stakeholders have in them; and, on a more overarching level, the value and necessity of evidence in simulations that are part projection and part thought experiment.
While not modelling per se, foresight exercises as described in Climate Engineering in Popular Culture
can supplement the modelling of physical impacts by focusing on wider sociopolitical challenges, stakeholders, and agendas. Foresight is widely applied in military, corporate and governmental settings as an anticipatory measure; it assumes that while the future cannot be predicted, expansive and innovative scenarios of the future can generate an informative range of contingencies that cannot be extrapolated from current knowledge. These can be used to strengthen the resilience of decisions made today, as well as reveal and map the agendas of relevant stakeholders. To that end, foresight is designed to bring together participants from multiple disciplines and worldviews in forecasting contingencies. This is in turn connects to discussions on the wider landscape of issues, actors and agendas in global governance, and on whether further research and engagement in these areas narrow or widen uncertainty.
3.4 Political Issues, Actors and Agendas
Climate engineering cannot be narrowed down to its technical or scientific aspects – costs, feasibilities, and interactions with and impacts upon the environment. Climate engineering must also be recognised as a political and ethical discussion, in which the complex landscape of issues, actors and agendas in global governance provides the contexts – and shapes the consequences – of decisions made on research, deployment, and governance.
How can socioeconomic and geopolitical risks be scoped? Who are the relevant stakeholders in the discussion and in decision-making, and how can they be engaged? What are the values and interests that undergird their platforms? How does climate engineering intersect with long-standing global environmental and security issues and politicised communities in all geographic regions and at all levels of governance? How can these explorations be conducted in a forward- looking and adaptive manner? CEC14 sessions sought to investigate these questions in a comprehensive and crosscutting way.
3.4.1 Framings, Risks and Ethics
Stakeholders bring various perspectives to their engagement with climate engineering and sometimes
seek to define the technologies and risks in very different ways. The construction and contestation of Reinitial framings can create boundaries around discussions that emphasise certain factors over others, with consequences for the scope and intent of research and governance. A number of popular framings were explored. In the session Exploring the Politics of Climate Engineering, it was suggested that SRM, by shortening the causal chain of harm and introducing intentionality, may make it easier to introduce friendenemy logics and shift climate out of the normal sphere of politics into the security category where extreme measures appear legitimate – a so-called “security hazard”. The Plan B or “emergency” framing was criticised for separating SRM measures from a more holistic mitigation portfolio, and framings that appeal to political failure or realism – that climate engineering research is necessary because mitigation cannot be expected to succeed – were seen to forestall critical discussion. In a similar vein, the session Climate Emergency: Science, Framing and Politics noted the potentially undemocratic nature of emergency declarations and the political risks inherent in a “state of exception”, with a panel of experts pointing out that a climate emergency is a value judgment that is declared – not the subject of an objective evaluation – and generally favouring the abandonment of the emergency framing.
Will Climate Engineering Unduly Hinder Emissions Reductions? explored the idea that CDR and SRM might prove a distraction from mitigation or adaptation – a so-called “moral hazard”. It was generally agreed that the term itself was unhelpful, and that “risk compensation” might provide a framework that is more conceptually accurate and empirically based. There were, however, questions as to how accurately such risk could be calculated. Assuming rational actors have accurate knowledge of climatic and economic impacts, redeploying some resources away from mitigation and adaptation towards climate engineering efforts might be both expected and prudent. However, it is also possible that that people might overestimate the potential of climate engineering and invest in it disproportionately. There might also be an “inverse moral hazard” effect, where concerns about climate engineering act as a spur to emissions reductions. Under such conditions, participants also examined the suitability of the incentive structures of politicians or scientists from the North and South to make choices between mitigation and climate engineering within an integrated and intergenerational climate strategy.
Intentional and Unintentional Interferences in the Climate System investigated the ethics of causing and addressing intended and unintended effects in deploying climate engineering. Much discussion circulated around the “doctrine of double effect”, which investigates the permissibility of an action with good intentions but harmful side effects, with arguments ranging from whether the doctrine makes unintentional harms from climate engineering appear no worse than unintentional harms from carbon emissions, to whether other ethical principles, as well as the role of agency and uncertainty regarding potential harms of deployment, counteract this argument. The session also considered the permissibility of intentionally “diverting” climate-change related impacts by using climate engineering techniques to change the distribution of climate impacts.
Ethics of Carbon Dioxide Removal raised a number of normative and ethical challenges more particular to CDR. Issues ranged from the conceptual to the scientifically and politically practicable: the appropriate conceptualisation of the concept of CDR in the context of mitigation, the balance between the effects of climate change without any use of CDR and the side effects of CDR on the environment, and the scientific uncertainties linked to different approaches. Presentations also highlighted theories of justice, the normative and instrumental benefits of improving public engagement strategies for local support as well as insights into local conditions for success, accountability and responsibility for undesired consequences, and the capacity for the carbon price of CDR methods to influence the ethics of their deployment.
3.4.2 Intersecting Global Governance Issues
Climate engineering evolves within a spectrum of interlinked issues in global governance. Stakeholders from discussions as disparate as international security, humanitarian concerns, air and ocean pollution, agriculture and land use, and energy transitions were able to generate and explore linkages among these issues, creating a more holistic picture of the global governance landscape in an engineered climate. International and human security issues, and the “securitisation” of the climate engineering discussion, were also raised in the Risks and Conflict Potential of Climate Engineering and in Climate Geoengineering and the Potential Roles of Human Rights Regimes sessions. The former argued that while SRM and climate change both alter the environmental parameters affecting availability and access to resources, SRM creates an additional layer of complexity and associated challenges. The potential for weaponisation of these techniques and the multiplication and exacerbation of existing conflicts was discussed, as well as the possibility that militaries could become the dominant actors in any SRM deployment. Accordingly, the governing mechanisms discussed clustered around arms-regulating regimes rather than environmental governance institutions. Similarly, the language and legal conventions of human rights were examined for their capacity to address humanitarian crises in the political context of an engineered climate.
Linkages between Climate Engineering and Short- Lived Climate Forcing Pollutants (SLCPs) examined the potentials and trade-offs of managing emissions of black carbon (soot), methane, and sulphates, to reduce their impacts on both climate and human health. Although efforts have focused on SLCPs with warming effects, there is greater confusion surrounding industrial and shipping emissions of sulphates, an air pollutant that also cools the climate. Attendees discussed the dangers of establishing a conceptual linkage between SRM and the intentional management of sulphate emissions as a climate measure, and questioned the value of moving from a framework emphasising reductions in greenhouse gases to one that emphasises management of radiative forcing. In Biogenic Carbon Sequestration: Multifunctionality for Global Resilience, linkages were established to agriculture and land-use issues. Asian field cases emphasised that successful local stewardship of carbon sequestering options depended on their supplementary effects on crop yields. In addition, concerns were expressed about monocultures and biodiversity loss.
Climate Engineering and Human Engineering: Social and Technical Challenges in the Anthropocene examined these two discussions as anchoring cases of emerging technologies with transformative potential in society, in the context of the contemporary argument that the influence of human initiative and civilisation on the planet has become equal to geological forces. Questions were raised about the historical context and the normative good of using technology to alter or enhance the natural, be it climate systems or human genetics. Presentations also recognised that prior reflection on the ethics of new technologies like climate or human engineering can be curtailed or trumped by political contexts, and examined the power of individuals who catalyse new systems of technology, thought, and support during foundational periods of development.
3.4.3 Exploring Perspectives
The research or deployment of climate engineering may require engagement with affected communities. However, for techniques with transboundary or systemic impacts, the question of who to include in the discussions widens to encompass a potentially global system of stakeholders. It can also be argued, as in the Responsible Innovation session, that especially in the foundational stages of an emerging issue, a varied and open-ended range of participants and framings is needed to avoid overly hasty problem definitions and programmes of action – a component of anticipatory governance. Who, however, are the relevant stakeholders, how can they be fruitfully engaged, and what are their underlying values?
A number of sessions tackled these questions. What do People Think and Feel about Climate Engineering critically examined social science methods of soliciting and investigating public perceptions. Difficulties were revealed regarding how laypeople enter into expert-driven discussions; how studies are designed, as framing questions can influence respondents’ answers; and models of scientific and political representation. For example, how does one garner an accurate sample of the public; are these comprised of individual “everymen” or of distinct communities and NGOs that form around political discussions? Can these opinions be taken as representative of wider demographics? Rationales for engaging the public were also discussed, such as the right to know, or the provision of perspectives for forward-thinking governance.
Climate Engineering in Popular Culture supplemented this by investigating art, film, literature, games and foresight methods as media that can investigate perspectives and expand discussion in a manner that expert-based research might not – by being open-ended and participatory in design, and innovative and expansive in conceptualising the (future) landscape of an engineered climate. Mapping the Landscape of Climate Engineering examined the ecology of perspectives from a bird’s-eye view, with mappings of arguments and claims made about climate engineering, of topical constellations and linkages within the scientific literature, and of framings and criteria of desirability that undergird a range of climate measures, including climate engineering, mitigation and adaptation options. A link can be seen between mapping and perspective-soliciting methods in revealing patterns for analysis and anticipatory thinking. To Gabon or Not to Gabon: A Game on Geoengineering Research engaged participants in an interactive exercise in which teams of players roleplayed countries with limited resources to combat the increasing effects of climate change on local livelihoods. More interestingly, teams were also given the option of investing resources in climate engineering, as well as cooperating in its research and deployment. The gameplay reflected, in a stylised way, the potential for geopolitical disagreements over the uneven effects of SRM deployments, competition based on different national capacities to weather climate change or develop climate engineering, and difficulties in communicating or interpreting complex scientific knowledge and developing new policy options under conditions of uncertainty and limited resources. The game exposed participants to a new method of exploring perspectives in two ways: by demonstrating the value of immersive and participative gameplay in generating new insights and perspectives, and as an accessible method to communicate scientific and political complexities to new audiences.
Perspectives on Climate Engineering From the Front Lines, Developing Countries and SRM, Civil Society and Geoengineering: Who’s Engaging Whom?, and How can Civil Society and the Scientific Community Jointly Address Climate Engineering went beyond methods and mapping, targeting issues in two particular demographics: civil society as a broad category, and developing countries. It may be difficult to make general assumptions about the concerns of these demographics. The public engagements that informed these sessions are not comprehensive, echoing the concerns on methodology highlighted earlier; moreover, different countries and societal groupings may have varying attitudes towards certain climate engineering techniques due to their culture, socioeconomic factors, scientific and technological capacity, and historic relationships to other polities with regard to climate change and other geopolitical issues. Groups within the broadly defined “left” and “right” wings of North American society, for example, might be inclined towards certain viewpoints on climate engineering due to preexisting sets of adopted values regarding the reality of anthropogenic climate change, social justice and environmental health, and the necessity of the carbon economy. It was, however, noted that wider publics might also broadly share concerns regarding secrecy and a challenge to democracy, vested interests, and profiteering based on financial or political motives rather than scientific ones in technological development and deployment.
Among some participants from developing countries, this concern, in a particular form, was especially
acute: that many countries in the Global South share a history of decisions made by others that usually benefit actors in the Northern hemisphere, and that climate engineering might siphon off resources from mitigation and adaptation efforts and cooperation. In this context, humanitarian concerns and linkages to human security were again raised with regard to what resources would be available for the affected in the least developed countries should climate engineering (especially SRM) be deemed necessary. It was suggested that procedures be sought and capacities developed to include participants in research and decision-making, linking to a wider theme on the need for multilateral engagement and governance from the discussion’s earliest stages to forestall future antagonism.
3.4.4 Legal Regimes and Governance Frameworks
Are climate engineering technologies governable, and if so, what mechanisms and forums are appropriate? A number of governance regimes and frameworks at international, national, and sub-national levels were explored, as well as broad drivers influencing the intent and scope of governance. These include: the particular technology or basket of technologies (SRM or CDR) to be governed; the state of technological development (research, field tests and deployment); and the indeterminate nature of risk and uncertainty that must encompass technical and societal concerns. Responsible Innovation and Climate Engineering examined anticipatory modes of early governance for use within communities of researchers and technology developers. Discussions focused on “responsibility” as a concept and practice, on deliberately widening the scope of discussion, and on integrating scientific and societal actors and knowledge in assessing techniques and governing research through inclusive and reflexive methods. National Laws, Global Liability compared national environmental and tort laws, assessed civil and criminal liability for transboundary effects, and discussed the capacity of existing or new international conventions to guide domestic applications. Climate engineering ultimately seeks to create transboundary effects, and if there is no international agreement in the near future, domestic national laws may provide the first effective basis to regulate climate engineering and impose liability for any damages or disruption that it might cause. Regional Paths to Global Change expanded these lines of discussion to sub-global regions, discussing how regions might use
collective natural disaster management as a template for regional climate intervention, the differences in legal context between the governance of a deployment with global effects and one that is local or regionally based, as well as capacity building among regional coalitions.
The International Control of Climate Engineering and Research: Debating Why, How and Who, International Law for the Regulation of Climate Engineering and Climate Engineering Governance: Is the Climate Convention the Right Place for It? examined regulatory mechanisms at the international level. All noted that there is a rich but fragmented context of existing legislation that applies piecemeal to varying techniques, scales, and spatial environments (marine or atmospheric) impacted by climate engineering. Questions were raised on how to promote coherence across the relevant structures of these regimes, on the necessity of new statutes and structures specific to climate engineering, and on whether all climate engineering techniques or stages need be regulated internationally. Discussions tended to support the need for international control of experiments and deployments with transboundary risks, but there was less agreement on the appropriate level of regulation and how to achieve political buy-in.
An ascending scale on which research, field tests and deployment could be situated proved difficult
to derive. There is largely no definition of “scientific research” in international environmental agreements, although one has been created recently in an amendment to the London Convention and Protocol with relevance to climate engineering in the marine environment. Although a distinction was made between indoors (modelling and laboratory work) and outdoors research (field tests), it was also acknowledged that the question of physical scale and impact creates an indistinct boundary between large-scale outdoors tests and deployment. However, can clear lines be drawn between small-scale, short-term SRM tests designed to examine atmospheric chemistry or aerosol delivery, and larger-scale, longer tests to determine physical impact? These distinctions proved more concrete in technical and physical definitions of risk. However, it was also noted that political agendas and societal anxieties surrounding the wider enterprise of climate engineering, and not the minutiae of individual tests or projects, shape calls for governance – a factor echoed in other sessions on modelling and public perceptions. In such an indeterminate climate, questions of the value of a moratorium on outdoor climate engineering activities prompted cautioning against the excessive restriction of scientific work.
The International Control of Climate Engineering and Research: Debating Why, How and Who provided the most in-depth treatment regarding the function, form, and design of governance structures, stressing that trade-offs are inevitable depending on the objectives and objects of regulation, and that there is no one obvious location or design. It was broadly noted that regulatory functions should provide internationally agreed standards for national oversight that remain light and flexible, monitor developments in climate engineering, create transparency in the face of potential commercial interests, engage the wider public, and exchange information between states and within the scientific community.
Regulatory form might need to account for differences in climate engineering methods, technological and political developments, and the current level of knowledge and uncertainty. There was some support for the idea of an international framework for both transboundary experiments and deployment, with a prohibition of deployment in combination with a requirement for permission in research experiments seen as a reasonable model. Such a forum might be multilateral, and the possible roles and the (dis)advantages of the CBD and the UNFCCC were discussed, although neither was clearly favoured. Climate Engineering Governance: Is the Climate Convention the Right Place for It? supplemented these discussions with presentations on the UNFCCC’s potential to integrate climate engineering into the same sciencepolicy interface as climate change, as well as the framework and negotiation agenda based on mitigation and adaptation.
On regulatory design, there was discussion on the level of government that should be responsible, the
range of stakeholders, questions of gaining legitimacy, the substantial requirements experiments should meet, and the need for a de minimis clause. Regarding the level of government, participants took the view that there should be a differentiation of responsibility between the international and national level based on scale and transboundary effects, although the issue of the role of research institutions versus governments was raised for the latter. Participants argued for rules that take into account wide consultation and independent scientific and socioeconomic review, acknowledging that the participation of indigenous peoples would need different outreach methods. The question of legitimacy referred to the transparency of procedures and decision-making, the inclusion of expertise, peer review of research activities, third-party review of the decision-making process, and accountability for decisions made. For substantive requirements, impacts of experiments should be reversible or corrigible, with assessment against a baseline. However, participants saw it as very difficult to identify a de minimis threshold and expressed the opinion that it would have a negative effect on the creation of legitimacy.
4. Discussing the Draft Declarations on Research Governance
CEC14 was conceived to promote transdisciplinary discussion of CDR and SRM, and to provide a platform that would allow a diverse array of participants to articulate a wide range of perspectives in a critical, yet constructive manner. The conference was not designed to, and did not, produce any kind of formalised group statement, though it also left open the door for all kinds of initiatives and proposals from the conference participants, which included windows for shortnotice formation of sessions on ideas and topics that came up during the conference.
Since this degree of openness and flexibility at a conference is uncommon, it came as a surprise to many of the attendees when, without prior notification of the conference participants, a draft statement on research governance, titled the “Berlin Declaration”, was presented at a plenary on the first day by members of the team behind the Oxford Principles. Some attendees strongly objected to having allowed the presentation of such a statement during the opening panel discussion. Later on, the statement was challenged by a second statement circulated by the participant Clive Hamilton. The initial draft statement was intended by the authors to be shaped over the course of the conference’s four days and signed only by those participants that supported it at the week’s end. Nevertheless, many felt that there would be a perceived association with the conference and its attendees, whether those agreed with the statement’s content or not.
In retrospect it was a misjudgement to allow the introduction of a draft statement without prior notification of the participants, and without clear mechanisms for public debate and opposition. The organisers approved the request by Steve Rayner and Tim Kruger to introduce the Berlin Declaration to the conference, and announced this in plenary. However, it was not initially clear to many of the participants that the statement was not an officially endorsed conference output, but approved as an independent initiative within the framework of the conference. An important lesson for the future would be to circulate any proposed conference outputs – whether proposed by the conference organisers or by participants – well in advance, providing a meaningful opportunity for conference participants to provide feedback and input, including the possible recommendation to not introduce the document at all in plenary.
Nevertheless, by continuing to adhere to the conference principles of open and multi-faceted discourse, the introduction, discussion and eventual dismissal of the statement was, in the end, turned into a useful discourse. It gave participants an opportunity to express, share, and challenge their often divergent views on what may be one of the most pressing concerns in the climate engineering conversation today: the near-term governance of field experimentation. It also provided a fascinating inside view into the climate engineering research “community”, and should be understood as a crash course in community politics, where concepts such as transparency, openness, reflexivity and inclusiveness were put into practice.
4.2 The “Berlin Declaration” and the “Scandic Principles”
The statement by the team behind the Oxford Principles (which can be read here) addressed the governance of SRM experimentation conducted outside the laboratory. It called for outdoors research not to be approved until transparent review processes had been established. They would mandate prior disclosure of research plans and independent evaluation of all existing evidence, plans and results, and would actively seek public participation. The process would give experiments a ‘social licence to operate’, the statement claimed.
The introduction of such a statement was generally not well received by the CEC14 participants. Many took exception at the process for revising the statement. No open discussion was planned, and the only way to provide input was to email edits to one of the statement’s drafters, who would try to incorporate the different suggestions. Those who disagreed with the exercise were asked not to participate. Some participants were upset with the content of the statement itself, concerned in both directions: either it might prevent important climate engineering research, or provide a carte blanche for outdoors experimentation. Many worried about how those not attending the conference, especially those in the media, might spin the statement. From “climate engineers reject regulation” to “climate engineers write their own rules”, a wide range of interpretations seemed possible.
On the day after the introduction of the Berlin Declaration, Clive Hamilton (Charles Sturt University) introduced another, alternative statement (titled the “Scandic Principles”, which can be read here). It focused on longer-term governance challenges and on institutions rather than on near-term actions. Citing a range of potential risks, his statement called for the establishment of a multilaterally agreed international body to oversee SRM research.
1 It is important to recognise the cruc In light of the widespread concerns about the Berlin Declaration, three participants 1 worked with the conference organisers and the team that had drafted the statement to develop a way forward. A town hallstyle meeting was planned to allow the Berlin Declaration to receive a public hearing.
The video recording of the town hall meeting can be watched here. For further information, a detailed description of the meeting along with links to specific points in the video can be found in Annex I.
Following the town hall meeting, the draft “Berlin Declaration” and “Scandic Principles” statements both went unsigned.
It was not clear whether disagreements over the statements’ content were a result of entrenched opposition over small differences, or whether they showed that small details will matter for governance. For instance, many people agree that in the short term there should be standards for transparency in experimentation, and some degree of public engagement in the development of SRM. Similarly, it has frequently been noted that in the medium term an international process will be necessary if outdoors research approaches a scale where it might have transboundary impacts. The two statements showed that emphasis and prioritisation matter when formulating climate engineering policies. However, as Steve Rayner pointed out, the statements were not necessarily mutually exclusive, and focusing on the longer term design of institutions does not remove the need to design governance arrangements for projects in the near term.
One of the clearest conclusions from the town hall meeting was that the process by which group statements are drafted, introduced, discussed, finalised and signed is important. The most common complaints about the draft Berlin Declaration concerned the way it was introduced and the lack of opportunities for reshaping it or dissociating from the process. This is noted here so that it will be kept in consideration for future conferences on climate engineering and its various specific aspects.
Although as noted above it would be recommended to follow a different procedure in the future, the introduction of the draft “Berlin Declaration” did end up prompting several very useful discussions. Furthermore, there was clear support for a follow-up process to discuss and shape such statements, showing the desire for a focused discussion on practical steps forward for governance.
Perhaps the clearest message was about the climate engineering community itself. The short town hall meeting saw interventions from experts in international relations, anthropology, geography, ethics, engineering, humanitarian aid, climate modelling and environmental policy. Discussion of the draft Berlin Declaration, from its initial introduction in a plenary session to the occasionally tense exchanges in the town hall meeting, was all captured on camera and posted online for public review. The footage shows a diverse community that is at the same time thoughtful, conflicted and combative, with its members actively seeking constructive exchange and dialogue. Even though the Berlin Declaration did not proceed beyond the draft stage, it was encouraging that its deliberation took place in public view, and in the critical yet constructive manner that characterises the climate engineering discussion to date.
5. The Future of the Climate Engineering Conference
Conference An objective of CEC14 was to explore the value of a large-scale conference held on a semi-regular basis as an appropriate forum for the emerging field of climate engineering. In this section we draw upon responses to a conference evaluation form completed by conference participants as well as the insights of the organisers in order to reflect on aspects of this question.
On the whole, reviews from conference participants were positive. The organisers are confident, given
initial feedback, that a large conference of this type, which covers some combination of the technologies discussed at CEC14, is warranted on a roughly biennial basis. However, it is important to note that, while feedback was positive in general, individual conference participants’ views as expressed in the conference evaluation forms, and subsequently in communications with the organisers, differed substantially on some of the aspects discussed below. Opinions vary especially widely with regard to the question of whether CDR and SRM should be discussed at the same event, as is depicted below in the section on the question of what range of technologies should be covered in future CECs.
5.1 What Range of Technologies Should be Covered in a Future CEC?
Objective: To scope key research questions and challenges for academia and society, covering both solar radiation management (SRM) and carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technologies.
Discussion: The degree to which it is useful to address both sets of approaches under the umbrella term “climate engineering” or “geoengineering” was a keenly debated subject at a number of sessions at CEC14. While there was no clear consensus about whether any future conference of the scale of CEC14 ought to, for example, limit its scope to either SRM or CDR, discussions during and after CEC14 indicate that it is not a question of whether discussions in this area should become more technology specific, but when, and in what contexts.
It was also pointed out that discussions on other technologies, for example nanotechnologies, have historically been initiated under an umbrella framing before narrowing down around the particulars of individual technologies and, perhaps more significantly, their various applications. Some participants expressed a concern that such a narrowing down might limit discussions to expert communities and exclude consideration of the broader context in which scientific and technological development take place.
Conclusion: A conference of the style and scope of CEC14 could serve the purpose of maintaining the existence of a regularly held open forum for discussion of the range of technologies contained within the umbrella of climate engineering, and the broader issues that come into view when discussing this highly complex and interlinked topic. Allowing for topical inclusivity at future CECs may help foster recognition of the societal contexts in which proposals for both SRM and CDR are situated, including questions of sustainability, development, human rights and many other topics, and has the potential to prevent discussions of climate engineering from proceeding in isolation of these important broader discussions. However, it should be recognised that, in order to meaningfully be subsumed under the umbrella term climate engineering, a proposal would need to envision some larger scale of activity that would have the potential to affect climate outcomes independently of managing greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, other meetings organised independently of CECs could provide more in-depth treatment of technology-specific issues that require their own fora for scientific exchange, which could then be re-contextualised at future CECs.
Dissenting opinions: Several conference participants used the space in the evaluation form that asked for what might be improved in future CECs to express an opinion that future conferences should not focus on the collective suite of approaches that is currently subsumed under the umbrella term climate engineering. The reasons given for this were that the range of topics that such a conference would have to navigate would be too broad and too complex for a single event, and that the relevant issues attached to individual approaches are not sufficiently similar between the categories of CDR and SRM to warrant discussion at the same conference.
5.2 How Comprehensive and Inclusive Should a Future CEC Aim to BE?
Objectives: ‘To provide a platform for exchange, networking, and collaboration across disciplines, sectors (particularly academia, policy and civil society), geographical regions, cultures, and generations’, and ‘to address comprehensively and in a balanced manner the technical, geophysical/geochemical, ethical, and social contexts in which the idea of engineering the climate is being contemplated.’
Discussion: Conference evaluations indicate strong support for two core aspects of the CEC14 concept – inclusivity and comprehensiveness. Many participants reported that their experience was enriched considerably by opportunities to engage with participants from a range of different disciplines, geographic and cultural backgrounds (with 41 nationalities represented), and political perspectives. Such diverse participation contributed to the comprehensiveness of topics covered, something that was also highlighted by many participants as a strength of the conference.
A number of conference evaluations stressed that future meetings should, however, aim for better balance by increasing the proportion of NGO representatives, who only made up about 4 % of total attendees. Many evaluations also suggested a need for a higher proportion of natural scientists and engineers. While this was already the most well represented group at the conference (47 %), these comments may reflect the fact that there were fewer sessions focussed on the natural sciences (42 %) than on the social sciences and related disciplines (58 %).
Another shortcoming highlighted in feedback reflected the fact that while 38 % of conference participants were female, 90 % of plenary speakers were male, and there was never more than one female on a panel.
Conclusions: A future CEC should continue to strive for inclusive participation and comprehensive coverage of the various technical and social contexts in which climate engineering is emerging. However, having such a diverse group of participants may favour broader political discussions over technocratic ones. A future CEC should aim to continue to attract wide participation, ranging from scientists to policymakers and NGO representatives, but in doing so it should maintain a commitment to providing a platform for disciplinary and technically-focussed discussions between experts. Balance in topical coverage should be achieved by allowing a large degree of freedom for conference participants to shape the conference content via open solicitation of session proposals, and through the conscious design by the organisers of plenary sessions that address a variety of key topics.
5.3 What Makes for an Engaging and Useful Session and How Should Different Formats be Balanced in the Schedule?
Objective: ‘To provide a forum for innovative session formats aimed at addressing the interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary complexity of the issue.’
Discussion: While many efforts were made to encourage non-traditional session formats, most of the sessions convened by participants used a traditional conference format: a series of presentations by experts, followed by short discussion or question-andanswer periods. While this format clearly has a place at an academic conference, the organisers received particularly positive feedback on the few less traditional sessions that involved a lot of audience interaction. There was also a great deal of support for sessions that featured presentations on non-academic approaches to learning and deliberation, including through art, media and games.
Some participants found themselves frustrated by the large number of parallel sessions, which meant that no individual could feasibly attend more than ~25 % of conference sessions. Reducing the number of parallel sessions presents other problems, however, including the need to have more participants at each session, thus potentially reducing the capacity for interaction. Spatial limitations at the conference venue also set scope conditions that could not be influenced.
Conclusions: One way to address the necessity of having parallel sessions is to encourage greater capture of session outputs, potentially through filming and other post-conference reporting. Any future
CEC also ought to encourage sessions that feature a high degree of participant interaction. It is nevertheless important to achieve a balance between session formats depending on context, including allowing for more traditional modes of presentation where appropriate. Providing such a variety of sessions should also contribute to the ability of participants to tailor their conference experience to their own particular interests and therefore may help to maintain the attractiveness of the conference to a wide variety of constituencies. The inclusiveness of future conferences will greatly depend on their ability to garner widespread and diverse interest, which might be
achieved in these ways.
The Berlin Declaration was proposed explicitly as a draft for modification and improvement by the individual participants in the conference. In the light of concerns expressed by participants in the conference, the proposers withdrew the text. It does not represent the current position of any party present at the conference, including the original proposers of the text.
Draft – Proposed Berlin Declaration
New technologies have the potential to provide significant benefits to society, but they can also be controversial. Indeed the controversies surrounding new technologies have often led to a backlash against their development, as has been seen in the fields of genetically modified organisms and nuclear power. It is essential that research into such technologies has a social licence to operate by conformingto international and domestic rules and ethical standards that at a minimum will require thorough evaluation and transparent engagement with society.
The emergence of interest in climate geoengineering, broadly defined as the deliberate large-‐scale manipulation of the planetary environment to counteract climate change, has provoked controversy about the practicality and wisdom of such ideas.
We are aware that some researchers are currently proposing to conduct solar radiation management (SRM) experiments in the ambient environment. While these are on a scale that would appear to present no immediate physical danger, we note that this is the most controversial of geoengineering proposals. We also note that there is no bright-‐line boundary between SRM research and implementation, hence it is important that early experiments also establish a clear pattern of environmental and social responsibility from the very beginning of experimental work in this area.
We therefore call upon governments, research funding organizations and scientific and professional bodies to withhold approval or endorsement of any experimental work on such techniques without the establishment of an open and transparent review process that ensures that such experiments have thenecessary social licence to operate.
At a minimum such a review process should involve prior disclosure of research plans in order to reassure the public as to the integrity of the process, independent evaluation of all existing evidence,
plans and results, and should actively seek public participation. These requirements are reflected in
the Oxford Principles and the Asilomar Principles and have been broadly endorsed by policymakers and researchers in this field.
We believe that failure to do this will seriously undermine the scientific integrity and public legitimacy of such experimental work.
For suggested amendments, please contact Tim Kruger by email on email@example.com by 13:00 on Wednesday 20 August 2014.
28th August 2014
The Climate Engineering Conference 2014 (CEC-14) was recently held to discuss technologies for deliberately counteracting climate change.
These include Solar Radiation Management (SRM), for example, adding sulphates to the stratosphere like a volcano, to reflect sunlight; and Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) techniques - such as planting new forests to draw down CO2 from the atmosphere.
These technologies would allow us to exercise a degree of direct control over the climate. Unsurprisingly, the potential exercise of this God-like power is highly controversial.
Advocates say we need to be deploying these technologies urgently to save Earth from catastrophe. For opponents, they are a 'get out of jail free' card that would allow a business as usual approach to the profligate burning of fossil fuels, and carry huge risks of their own.
This background of controversy was no surprise to conference participants, who are well-aware that wider opinion of geoengineering is split along logical and ideological fault lines.
Delegates' big surprise - a ready-made declaration
However knowledge of the necessary methods cannot be erased, so Pandora's box is already open. Tough choices have to be made about what will be permitted - from basic scientific research to full deployment.
Studying this new-found power is now an important academic endeavour, and both public and academic interest is growing rapidly. CEC-14 was the first public scientific conference in the growing field of climate engineering, and similar events will likely follow.
As an academic discipline, geoengineering is here to stay. As a potential policy option, it is being carefully and publically scrutinised by experts. But sadly, that's not the story the media reported.
What attracted journalists' attention - and astonished delegates - was having a controversial document thrust into their hands after one of the first plenary sessions.
Demanding yet more restrictions on experimentation
This text, which became known as the 'Berlin Declaration', was not a draft from the conference organisers. Instead, it was a ready-made edict, promoted by attendees from the Oxford Martin School - an offshoot of Oxford University, which concerns itself with the study of socially challenging technologies and trends.
This so-called 'declaration' demanded yet another review process on experiments. This would further restrict a field that is already so tightly regulated that almost no faculty researchers have managed to do any outdoor experimentation at all.
In the opinion of many delegates, its effect would be to impose a de facto 'test ban' on most geoengineering experiments.
The assembled academics were understandably rattled by these events. A fully-formed 'declaration' had appeared. It seemingly awaited only a nod-through before becoming a concrete piece of governance, forever associated with the conference.
Moreover the 'declaration' came against a background of much pre-existing restriction on experimentation. Obviously, scientists can't release a new superbug in a stadium, just to see what happens.
What's less obvious is that there is a complex system of approvals for many types of experiment. This ensures that both obvious and concealed risks are carefully considered, whenever potentially-dangerous research is proposed.
We need responsible research - not a ban
In practice, this means that even completely harmless experiments in a scary-sounding field such as geoengineering are often nightmarishly difficult to get clearance for.
As Cambridge University's SPICE project (Stratospheric Particle Injection for Climate Engineering) showed, even squirting a bathtub of ordinary water out of a hosepipe can be pretty controversial if you say the 'g-word' anywhere near it.
Other examples of similar controversies exist, with Ocean Iron Fertilisation (OIF) trialsbeing a notable example. In fact, perhaps the most controversial 'experiment' - which involved fertilising the ocean with iron - came from outside the mainstream scientific process.
Regardless of whether one is hopeful about geoengineering or not, it's reasonable to suggest that careful research might be a good idea. Without testing, we lack important practical knowledge, and without that knowledge, we have less ability to appraise the technology, or use it safely.
A test ban would be a very big deal indeed, especially if the banning text ruled out tiny, harmless experiments, as well as big, risky ones. Deliberately closing the door on scientific research would be essentially unprecedented, and this caused significant concern among delegates.
It's possible that some believed that a new tier of regulation would have the opposite effect, instead facilitating responsible experimentation with a clear and dependable public process. However, this was certainly not a view which was shared widely enough to result in general support for the draft.
Sloppy journalism distorting the truth
A small uproar ensured. When scientists are in uproar, it is often barely detectable to the outside world, as they are polite people. This fretting turned into a 'Town Hall Meeting' - an opportunity to criticise the proposals in a thorough, public way.
This would leave the proposers in no doubt about the strength of feeling. The real story should have been this effective demonstration of good governance. But that was also not the story the media reported. As a result of some sloppy journalism, the news hit the internet in a form that was utterly mangled.
The draft declaration was wrongly attributed to the Royal Society - a body which has produced what is probably the World's seminal report on Geoengineering. What the Royal Society thinks matters. The most influential scientific organisation in the World on the issue of geoengineering was now calling for a de facto test ban. Except it wasn't.
This newly-invented story also needed a soundbite, and the 'Berlin Declaration' was born - despite the fact that the text hadn't been declared, didn't originate from a Berlin group, and didn't contain the word 'Berlin'.
The name of this sombre-sounding edict was reported and re-reported, as the story took on a life of its own. All this happened without anybody declaring anything, and with the Royal Society having had nothing to do with it at all.
Exciting-but-false stories are hard to replace with dull-but true ones. The true story of the landmark conference and its sensible scrutiny process was relegated to article corrections.
Even the shining beacon of 'Science' magazine had to eat its words. But the original stories, not the corrections, are what will have had the most impact.
Meanwhile, they missed the real story
The Town Hall meeting duly arrived. Senior scientists voiced concerns about many things: how anyone would know what was or wasn't a 'geoengineering experiment'; why we needed to have a new tier of regulation on something that is almost regulated out of existence anyway; and why delegates from the Oxford Martin School had turned up at an international conference and promoted a pre-drafted text outside of the formal conference process.
As a result of this public, transparent and logical scrutiny, the proposal died - and nobody declared anything. This story of self-regulation is not as interesting as a formidable-sounding declaration. So that was not the story the media reported.
Without being declared, a 'declaration' is therefore no such thing. The grandly-misnamed 'Berlin Declaration' left the conference in the way it came - as just a piece of paper.
Despite this, the scientists left the conference just as tied down by the onerous approvals process as they always were. And still, global warming continues - for which we have no effective strategy in place. That is the story. But it is not what the media reported.
So is this all over? Possibly not - because bad reporting can grow legs and walk around. Even without a declaration, people may read and remember the stories, and not the corrections. They may decide that further regulation is A Good Thing. They may then join pressure groups because of it, ask politicians for it, and vote because of it - all in spite of the facts.
As a result, we may lack crucial information on geoengineering. It may end up being deployed in ignorance by future leaders - and may cause chaos as a result.
Let's hope that's not the story.
Andrew Lockley is an independent consultant and researcher interested in geoengineering. His current research focuses on the areas of ballistics for SRM particle delivery, methane geoengineering, and the use of computer games to research public opinions.