Global coalition of leading scientists calls for International Non-Use Agreement on Solar Geoengineering

More than 60 senior climate scientists and governance scholars from around the world have launched a global initiative today calling for an International Non-Use Agreement on Solar Geoengineering. They argue that solar geoengineering deployment cannot be fairly governed globally and poses unacceptable risks if implemented as a future climate policy option.

“The risks of solar geoengineering are poorly understood and can never be fully known”, explains Prof Frank Biermann from Utrecht University’s Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development and leader of the call for the Non-Use Agreement on Solar Geoengineering. “Research on solar geoengineering is not the preparation of a Plan B to prevent climate disaster, as its advocates argue. It will instead simply delay and derail current global climate policies. Moreover, the current system of international institutions is incapable of effectively regulating the deployment of this technology on a global scale. Solar geoengineering is no solution.”

The group therefore calls on fellow academics, civil society organizations and concerned individuals to sign an open letter to governments, the United Nations and other actors to stop development and potential use of planetary-scale solar geoengineering technologies. The initiative draws on an academic journal article published today in WIREs Climate Change, co-authored by 16 scientists and initiators of this group.

The initiative for a non-use agreement mobilizes especially against the most widely debated speculative technology: the massive spraying of aerosols in the stratosphere to block a part of incoming sunlight to cool the planet. Such dangerous planetary-scale interventions cannot be governed in a globally inclusive, fair and effective manner and must therefore be banned, according to this group of scientists and governance experts.