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CLIMATE ENGINEERING:ETHICS AND RISKS



  Apr 16, 2024

CLIMATE ENGINEERING:ETHICS AND RISKS



Q: What is climate engineering?

A: Climate engineering, or geoengineering, encompasses technologies aimed at deliberately altering the climate. It includes Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) techniques, which remove and store CO2 from the atmosphere, and Solar Radiation Modification (SRM) methods, which reflect sunlight back into space to cool the Earth.

Q: Why is climate engineering gaining attention?

A: The interest in climate engineering has risen due to the gap between current climate policy targets and the reductions in greenhouse gas concentrations needed to avoid catastrophic climate change impacts. Recent reports suggest that current efforts may not prevent global temperatures from exceeding critical thresholds.

Q: What are the ethical, social, and cultural implications of climate engineering?

A: The UNESCO report emphasizes the need to assess not only the technical feasibility but also the ethical, social, and cultural risks of climate engineering. This includes considering the effects on vulnerable, neglected, and marginalized communities, and ensuring these communities are key stakeholders in policy decisions.

Q: What recommendations does the UNESCO report make?

A: The report calls for:

● An assessment of the ethical, social, and cultural implications of climate engineering.
● Legislation that regulates climate action, considering transboundary impacts.
● Regional agreements to avoid unequal distribution of effects.
● A ban on using climate engineering techniques as weapons.
● Ensuring that political or economic interests do not interfere with scientific research.
● The global sharing of scientific knowledge and research data on climate engineering.

Q: What are the concerns related to climate engineering technologies?

A: Key concerns include:

1. Development and control by a small group of countries, firms, and academics, necessitating a global conversation.
2. Potential unknown and unintended consequences of deploying such technologies.
3. The need for thorough risk assessments.
4. The possibility of relatively inexpensive SRM methods becoming accessible to private entities without international coordination.

Q: How does UNESCO suggest addressing these concerns?

A: UNESCO urges the introduction of regulatory measures that consider the wider impact of climate engineering, fostering international dialogue and cooperation, and ensuring that climate engineering actions are informed by a comprehensive understanding of their potential global effects and ethical implications.



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