Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Scientists from countries including Bangladesh, Ethiopia and China have demanded more involvement with global climate change geoengineering initiatives, to be funded by cash from other countries.
Scientists suggest a giant sunshade in the sky could solve global warming
Scholars from developing countries call for greater say in solar geoengineering research, arguing poor nations have most at stake
It sounds like the stuff of science fiction: the creation, using balloons or jets, of a manmade atmospheric sunshade to shield the most vulnerable countries in the global south against the worst effects of global warming.
But amid mounting interest in “solar geoengineering” – not least among western universities – a group of scientists from developing countries has issued a forceful call to have a greater say in the direction of research into climate change, arguing that their countries are the ones with most at stake.
Now a dozen scholars, from countries including Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Ethiopia, India, Jamaica and Thailand, have joined the debate, arguing in the journal Nature that poor countries should take a lead in the field since they have most to gain or lose from the technology.
“The technique is controversial, and rightly so,” they add. “It is too early to know what its effects would be: it could be very helpful or very harmful. Developing countries have most to gain or lose. In our view, they must maintain their climate leadership and play a central part in research and discussions around solar geoengineering.”
The Nature Post;
Developing countries must lead on solar geoengineering research
The nations that are most vulnerable to climate change must drive discussions of modelling, ethics and governance, argue A. Atiq Rahman, Paulo Artaxo, Asfawossen Asrat, Andy Parker and 8 co-signatories.
A. Atiq Rahman,
People in the global south are on the front line of climate change. As global temperatures creep upwards, the Intergovernmental Pane on Climate Change (IPCC) is forecasting rising seas eroding small island states, declining food production in many regions of Asia, water stress across Africa3 and major loss of biodiversity in South America.
Developing countries have spoken out on climate policy. Links between climate justice and development are now accepted, as is the idea that nations have common responsibilities — emitters are liable for impacts felt elsewhere. Despite having emitted very little greenhouse gas themselves, the world’s least-developed countries and small-island states demanded that the 2015 Paris climate agreement require warming to be kept “well below” 2 °C, and that a 1.5 °C limit should also be explored.
Developing countries must be in a position to make up their own minds. Local scientists, in collaboration with others, need to conduct research that is sensitive to regional concerns and conditions. For example, what effects might solar geoengineering have on hurricanes in the Caribbean, flooding in Bangladesh or agriculture in East Africa? Broader discussions among academics, policymakers, the public and public intellectuals are needed on climate risks and justice.
Further outreach and research in the developing world will require extra support from governments, universities and civil society worldwide. Research funders in advanced economies should fund collaborations with scientists in developing countries. We would like to see an IPCC special report on the risks and benefits of solar geoengineering. Ultimately, a coordinated global research initiative — perhaps under an organization such as the World Climate Research Programme — is needed to promote collaborative science on this controversial issue.
No doubt everyone will look expectantly to the USA to fund this nonsense.