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Research

Research

Research

Summary

The Climate Engineering Governance Initiative (CEGI) serves as a platform for collaboration and coordination among people at ASU and beyond who are engaged in policy, law, markets and other aspects of climate engineering and carbon dioxide removal strategies. Governance refers to the way human action evolves and takes shape, with what kinds of rules, cultures, and norms. CEGI’s mission is to foster critical research into the nuts and bolts of governance in this rapidly changing field and, through collaborations with partners nationally and globally, bring more clarity to these issues and meaningfully engage scientists, scholars, decision-makers and citizens.

Why CEGI? The 2016 Paris Climate Agreement and 2018 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change “Global Warming of 1.5o C” conclude that keeping global average temperatures below the most dangerous threshold (i.e., that push planetary systems beyond tipping points or risk the survival of humans and other life) demands multiple strategies. Shifting to non-carbon, renewal energy sources plays a major role, and there is a growing conversation about designing more policy tools, more market innovations, more social entrepreneurship, and more contingency plans.

Climate engineering (CE) includes numerous experimental strategies that aim either to shield the Earth from warming caused by greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions or to remove accumulated GHGs from the atmosphere. Shielding approaches (called solar radiation management or SRM), may create temporary cooling by blocking sunlight from fully reaching the earth’s surface. Carbon dioxide removal (CDR) methods take warming gasses out of the atmosphere though agricultural, biological, or engineered practices and then store more carbon in plants, soils, rocks and oceans or recycle them into industrial or commercial products. Some argue that CDR should be considered a mitigation strategy. If successful at large commercial scales, CDR could spur a new circular economy in which carbon from the atmosphere becomes a valued commodity.

SRM, CDR, and new markets raise questions about how existing laws or policies apply and what kinds of innovations might be needed. Geopolitical and economic implications, as well as potential environmental, health and other risks, require examination. Policy debates of various kinds may arise. Consequently, CEGI is an inclusive, interdisciplinary and welcoming community.

Events and activities:
Climate Engineering Governance: Deepening the Dialogue, Sept 14-16, 2017
Cases for Public Engagement in Climate Engineering Governance, April 5-6, 2018
Case Critical: Ethics of Climate Engineering, April 5, 2018
Crafting the Long Tomorrow, co-sponsor, University of Arizona, Feb 20-21, 2019
Playing God, GreenFaith 2018, advisor

 

SDG Goals: Affordable and Clean Energy, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Industry Innovation and Infrastructure, Reduced Inequalities, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Responsible Consumption and Production, Climate Action, Life Below Water, Life on Land, Peace Justice and Strong Institutions, Partnerships for the Goals

Personnel

Funding

Multiple sources

Timeline

January 2018 — Ongoing