The Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment is an initiative of the Global Environmental Politics program in the School of International Service at American University in Washington, DC. We are concerned with the social, political, and legal implications of climate engineering technologies. Our public outreach efforts are guided by the observation that, to date, the conversation about climate engineering’s development, deployment, and implications has been confined to a relatively narrow set of voices. Our goal is to generate space for perspectives from civil society actors and the wider public, to produce a heightened level of engagement around issues of justice, agency, and inclusion.
Much of the discussion about the appropriateness or usefulness of geoengineering has relied upon a shared assumption about who might end up deploying these new tools- rich and powerful nations. But what if weak and less powerful nations deploy geoengineering to defend themselves against climate impacts?
Overall, taking a closer look at the non-ideal-theoretic reasons for climate engineering weakens the argument for SRM but strengthens the argument for CDR—especially if it were used in ways that prevent climate policy from making it harder for the global poor to lift themselves out of poverty.
The Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment (FCEA) at American University is pleased to announce the launch of a multi-year look at international governance pathways for Solar Radiation Management (SRM) technologies.
In this brief video message, Simon Nicholson, Co-Director of the Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment, argues that after CoP 21 in Paris, we must have more honest assessment of goals and the tools available to us. This means, he argues, a need for open consideration of ideas that to this point have largely been seen…
The mismatch between the academic and popular conception of geoengineering can muddle the conversation on whether/how we should be pursuing geoengineering solutions to climate change. If academics and non-academics think geoengineering is two different things, productive conversation about appropriate policy and regulatory pathways for the various climate solutions that potentially fall under the geoengineering umbrella is unlikely to emerge.
Rather than initially categorizing strategies by their physical mechanism and then ask what they can do for us and how risky they are, we should instead start with the normative considerations as the foundation for our initial categorization.