In June 2011 the IPCC met in Peru to discuss geoengineering solutions. The meeting marked the culmination of an international debate on direct technological intervention to counteract, or at very least mitigate, the negative effects of climate change on the planet.
A number of theoretical models have been developed in the field of geoengineering and it has sparked a lively scientific debate which has also revealed a range of risks and uncertainties: The side-effects of geoengineering techniques could have as dramatic an impact on the planet as the climate changes they aim to curb. Nevertheless, a lack of political resolve and the resulting sluggish implementation of emission reduction targets are currently fuelling the debate. Christina Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, stated in the British Guardian newspaper, for example, that it would become increasingly necessary to develop technologies to remove CO2 from the atmosphere (carbon dioxide removal, CDR) if countries did not implement their emissions reduction programmes in a timely manner. Failure to do so would make it impossible to keep to the 2°C annual limit.
adelphi has already studied the risks of geoengineering within the scope of the EU-funded research project SECURENV, focusing in particular on carbon capture and storage. In cooperation with the University of Hamburg's research group Climate Change and Security and its Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy (IFSH) and Centre for Science and Peace Research (ZNF), adelphi will also hold a conference in November 2011 to examine the extent to which geoengineering could create challenges in area of peace and security policy.
At the same time, adelphi will put together a number of publications over the next few months exploring various issues and perspectives in the field of geoengineering. adelphi is thus contributing to the international debate on geoengineering and the search for suitable techniques to curb climate change and its impact on the planet.