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PhD dissertation: Climate Imagineering. Practices and politics of sunlight reflection and carbon removal assessment

This thesis explores recent proposals for novel carbon sinks (carbon dioxide removal, CDR) and sunshades (solar radiation management, SRM) – often treated as forms of climate engineering (CE), or deliberate and large-scale climate interventions.  I examine CDR and SRM as case studies of emerging sociotechnical strategies in climate governance. Drawing on insights from global environmental governance, science and technology studies, and futures-thinking, I explore the hidden politics of scientific assessment: how knowledge is constructed, challenged, and communicated by expert networks, and how experts shape understandings of future options for addressing climate change.

The chapters represent three directions. The first is from analytical to applied work: using critical mappings of the knowledge economy to inform bridging engagements between experts and stakeholders. The second is from retrospective to generative work: from analysis of how knowledge is constructed, to activities that use the future as an experimentation space or sandbox to generate new knowledge, in turn informing SRM and CDR assessments. The final direction moves from general technological categories to specific approaches: focusing first on the broader politics of planetary interventions, and then on the politics of specific approaches and their associated expert networks.

Start date and time
End date and time
Location
ONLINE
PhD candidate
Sean Low MSc
Dissertation
Climate Imagineering. Practices and politics of sunlight reflection and carbon removal assessment
PhD supervisor(s)
Professor F.H.B. Biermann
Co-supervisor(s)
Dr J.M. Vervoort