The Asilomar Conference Recommendations on Principles for Research into Climate Engineering Techniques

Conference report with policy recommendations.

"Despite ongoing efforts to reduce emissions and adapt to the changing climate, global greenhouse gas emissions are far above what is required to reverse the increasing changes in atmospheric composition. In response to growing calls for research to explore the potential for climate engineering to provide additional options for responding, the Asilomar International Conference on Climate Intervention Technologies was held at the Asilomar Conference Center in California from March 22 to 26, 2010. The conference attracted a diverse group of experts from fifteen countries on six continents. Presentations and discussions covered the two major categories of climate engineering: (a) remediation technologies, such as afforestation, carbon removal, and ocean fertilization, that attempt to reduce the causes of climate change, and so represent an extension of mitigation, and (b) intervention technologies, such as solar radiation management, that attempt to moderate the results of having altered atmospheric composition, and so represent an extension of adaptation to climate change. To promote the responsible conduct of research on climate engineering, recommendations were made to adopt five principles: (1) climate engineering research should be aimed at promoting the collective benefit of humankind and the environment; (2) governments must clarify responsibilities for, and, when necessary, create new mechanisms for the governance and oversight of large-scale climate engineering research activities; (3) climate-engineering research should be conducted openly and cooperatively, preferably within a framework that has broad international support; (4) iterative, independent technical assessments of research progress will be required to inform the public and policymakers; and (5) public participation and consultation in research planning and oversight, assessments, and development of decision-making mechanisms and processes must be provided. The conferees concluded that expanding and continuing the discussion with an even broader set of participants will be an essential step in moving forward to explore the potential benefits, impacts, and implications of climate engineering."


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