Duncan McLaren, Emmett Institute, School of Law; Livia Fritz, Department of Business Development and Technology;
Continued procrastination in cutting climate-changing emissions has drawn much elevated attention to climate (geo)engineering interventions: techniques to extract carbon from the environment or to directly reduce global temperatures through solar radiation modification (SRM). Such technological interventions threaten a neo-colonial enclosure of atmospheric, oceanic and terrestrial commons, taking control of skies, seas and land in the name of combating the climate crisis.
Terrestrial carbon removal projects are fast multiplying with hundreds of initiatives and businesses involved, while speculation and research into oceanic carbon removal prospects has redoubled. Experiments in solar radiation modification are moving out of models and laboratories into the skies. Ad-hoc governance is emerging in national and multilateral settings with only limited public and indigenous engagement. Scientific knowledge is being converted into technologies, business models and governance regimes with limited reflexive examination of the knowledge politics involved. Research has begun to highlight social, environmental, political and security risks – among others – and both advocates and critics of geoengineering are calling for careful risk-risk analysis. The convenors of this panel interrogate the research, development and governance of these emerging technologies, with particular interests in the risk politics, environmental justice and security implications as well as the formation of publics and diverse modes of engagement.
This panel aims to convene research examining the transitions from science to deployment of climate (geo)engineering interventions, including - but not limited to - issues of knowledge politics, epistemic presumptions, technology assessment, public engagement, indigenous involvement, governance mechanisms and institutions.