Climatic impacts of irrigated afforestation of the Sahara in a complex Earth System Model
Authors: Tronje Kemena, Katja Matthes, Thomas Martin and Andreas Oschlies
Afforestation of the Sahara might potentially be effective to mitigate climate change but requires substantial amounts of irrigation to sustain the planted trees. Enhanced evapotranspiration would moisten the Saharan air. Its impact on the global atmospheric hydrological cycle and circulation is widely unexplored.
Here we use for the first time a high-top state-of-the-art Earth system model, (NCAR’s CESM-WACCM), to investigate in detail atmospheric feedbacks and their side effects to such a large-scale afforestation project.
Atmospheric feedbacks reduce the precipitation potential over an afforested Sahara and raise questions at the self-sustainability of such an intervention. Only 26% of the evapotranspirated water re-precipitates over the Saharan Desert, considerably large amounts are advected south- and westward to the Sahel zone and to the North Atlantic. In the Sahel zone, the West African Monsoon precipitation enhances and in the North Atlantic tropical cyclones (TCs) are intensified. Humidity induced changes in mid-tropospheric relative humidity, sea surface temperatures, vertical wind shear and maximum potential intensity provide substantial contributions to intensified TC development. The Saharan afforestation has a considerably larger impact on the TC development than a worst-case global warming scenario.
Analyses of climate engineering (CE) governance have accelerated in the last decade, with a central claim being that CE remains a largely ungoverned space, i.e. that shared norms, institutional arrangements, and formal rules to regulate CE do not yet exist. In contrast, we argue that de facto governance of CE is underway, through a shaping of the CE governance landscape by sources of epistemic steering that are not acknowledged or recognized as (seeking to) govern. In making this claim, we analyse discernible steering effects from interventions by high-level authoritative assessments of CE. We argue that authoritative interventions in moments of epistemic contestation have contributed to shaping (and ordering) the CE landscape by normalising, technicalising and institutionalising the field of inquiry, therefore shaping the nature and direction of the governance conversation. We conclude that scrutinising the (distinct) nature and political implications of de facto governance, particularly of novel and speculative technological trajectories not yet subject to formal steering, is a key task for governance scholars.
Ina Möller is a PhD candidate at Lund University, Department of Political Science. Her work revolves around the governance of climate change, where she focuses on the institutionalisation of ideas and the role of non-state actors in shaping global governance. Her research project aims to explain the expansion of the debate on climate engineering, looking at the connectedness of scientific communities to the political realm and the role of various non-state actors in shaping the way we talk and think about climate engineering.
In the GeoMIP project, the G4 experiment proposes an injection in the stratosphere of a certain number of Tg-S/yr in order to offset the warming produced by the increase of well mixed greenhouse gases (WMGHG). The produced thick sulfate aerosol cloud would scatter part of the incoming solar radiation, thus cooling the surface. At the same time, it would warm the lower stratosphere, producing changes in the global circulation, as well as changes in the concentration of radiatively active species such as O3 and CH4. Another possible environmental side effects would be the potential increase of surface deposition of sulfate aerosols. In this study we present results from a climate-chemistry coupled model (ULAQ-CCM) and a chemistry-transport model (GEOS-CHEM), assuming a sustained lower stratospheric tropical injection of 8 Tg-SO2/yr.
As expected from budget estimates, total S-deposition is found to increase by approximately 3% with respect to baseline atmospheric. According to the models, S-deposition changes range from approximately zero over continental Europe to 10% over the Arctic, Oceania and Antarctica, up to 13% over the South Indian ocean.
Daniele Visioni received his Master in Atmospherical Physics in 2015 and is now a PhD student in Atmospherical Physics and Chemistry at University of L’Aquila, in Italy. His primary area of research is Stratosphere-Troposphere interaction and the dynamical and chemical effects of sulfate geoengineering.
The political deliberation and governance of geoengineering technologies is, to date, very restricted, despite various calls for political discussion of these very complex, highly consequential approaches. This opens a vacuum concerning the basis upon which to make governance decisions for climate engineering. The discussion of climate engineering – both of its possibilities and its (social) risks – takes place mainly in academic circles in the UK, the US and Germany. Based on a constructivist approach of International Relations (IR) as well as frame theory from communications studies, this poster presents a framework to study the potential impact of this strongly academia-centered discussion on the future governance of geoengineering. The poster draws on several strands of constructivist theory as well as empirical discourse and frame analyses of other emerging technologies and climate change. Based on this, the argument is made that, if a dominant frame exists in the mainly academic discussion on geoengineering, this might be picked up by decision-makers in a situation characterized by uncertainty and urgency, thus bolstering on of two possible extremes of governance decision: either a complete moratorium of geoengineering or an all-out development of one or more of these approaches. Sessions: “Communicating climate engineering” or “Climate engineering governance”
Judith Kreuter is Research Fellow at the Chair for International Relations at Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany, and associated PhD candidate at the German Research Foundation Priority Programme "Climate Engineering". Her research focuses on the framing of climate engineering and the role of academic experts in political decision-making. After graduating with a BA in Political Science and Philosophy from the University of Heidelberg, she studied the master’s program “International Studies/ Peace and Conflict Research” at the Universities of Frankfurt/ Main and Darmstadt. Subsequently, she worked at the Political Science Institute at the University of Münster. She teaches courses at undergraduate and graduate level on International Relations theory, environmental and climate change governance and international and global technology politics.
Water requirements of large-scale bioenergy plantations in a +1.5°C world
We assess the freshwater limitations for terrestrial Carbon Dioxide Removal as a Climate Engineering option to stay within 1.5°C mean global warming (as part of the mitigation portfolio) or to set back warming once this threshold might be crossed (as a method for overshoot drawdown). This will possibly require substantial negative emissions within the 21st century (amounting ~10 GtC per year or more). We analyze, spatially explicitly, the availability of freshwater for irrigation of biomass plantations dedicated to achieving these negative emissions through CO2 assimilation, while taking account of the simultaneous water needs for agriculture (food crops), industries and household, also accounting for environmental flow requirements needed to safeguard aquatic ecosystems. Furthermore we assess to what extent different forms of improved water management on bioenergy plantations and on agricultural fields may relax the situation, i.e. increase yields without using more freshwater and without compromising soecosystem functioning. All simulations are based on the dynamic global vegetation model LPJmL.
Fabian holds a Master’s degree in Geophysics from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (2015). Since September 2016, he is part of the SPP 1689 of the DFG and writes his PhD thesis at PIK Potsdam and the HU Berlin. Prior to this, Fabian worked as a research assistant for the Department of Geophysics at LMU and conducted research at the University of Sydney and Simula Research Laboratories in Norway.
Mid-latitude stratospheric ozone loss during summer caused by enhanced sulphate aerosol due to climate engineering
The impact of stratospheric sulphur injections and climate change on the ozone column in the mid-latitudes are a matter of debate. Anderson et al. (2012) proposed an ozone loss mechanism affecting the mid-latitude ozone layer in summer. This ozone loss could be intensified by climate change, yielding stratospheric moistening, and climate engineering, leading to enhanced sulphur concetrations. The mechanism comprises inorganic chlorine activation on the surface of cold condensed particles followed by catalytic ozone loss cycles similar to polar ozone chemistry.
We analysed the processes of heterogeneus chlorine activation and catalytic ozone loss using a box-model study of CLaMS based on enhanced water vapor measurements from the MACPEX campaign in April 2011. As a result of these studies we discuss the details of the proposed chemical ozone loss mechanism and its sensitivity to various conditions. Varying water vapor content and sulphate concentrations in model-runs we test the effect of stratospheric moistening and additional sulphate aerosol particles on ozone. This allows us to estimate the potential risk of climate engineering for the mid-latitude ozone layer.
Sabine Robrecht is holding a Master's degree in chemistry (2016, focus on Physical chemistry) from the University Bielefeld. Since February 2017 she is a PhD student at the Forschungszentrum Jülich. Her research is focused on the potential stratospheric ozone loss in the mid-latitudes due to enhanced sulphate concentrations, caused by SRM, in combination with increased water vapor ratios.
Scientific validity claims in relation to lay person's perspectives
The scientific community has a crucial role to play in conducting climate research and assessments for political decision makers. Hence, researchers in climate sciences bear heavy responsibility. However, issues of climate sciences, for example regarding trade offs between CDR-technologies and mitigation strategies cannot be object of scientific debates and expert judgements exclusively. Different arguments exist within democratic theory and climate ethics to justify this perception. My
PhD-thesis aims at
supplementing the ethical point of view by a discussion of established methods of natural climate sciences from an epistemological perspective. Therefore, one part of the project focuses on epistemic and ethical “difficulties” which exist in climate research. I would like to discuss how scientific validity claims can or cannot be justified here. Another part will focus on the analyses of a citizen’s jury which our research group will conduct regarding climate engineering technologies.
The overall claim of the PhD-thesis is to identify justifiable validity claims of natural climate sciences on the one hand and on the other hand to identify if lay people’s perceptions can complement these research results (and in which way). While the project can be framed within applied ethics as well as scientific theory, it also includes perspectives from social epistemology as a relatively new sub-discipline within philosophy.
Julia Pohlers is a doctoral candidate in philosophy at Kiel University. Her background is within philosophy as well as social sciences. She received a B.A. in philosophy and Scandinavian languages from the University of Greifswald and she obtained a M.Sc. in 'Sustainability, Society and the Environment' from Kiel University. Currently, she takes part in the research program ENTRIA which is an interdisciplinary research project concerned with nuclear waste storage. Furthermore, Julia Pohlers participates in the climate engineering priority programme (SPP) of the German research foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG). There, she participates in the research group 'Trade-offs between mitigation and climate engineering: an interdisciplinary approach' (TOMACE).
Her research interests are focused on issues of environmental ethics, epistemology, technology assessment, deliberation as well as inter- and transdisciplinarity.
Medium and Message: An ePoster on Climate Intervention and Why It Matters Today
New forms of social media are rapidly changing the structure of traditional academic conferences, opening up new communication channels for a wide variety of audiences. Plenary lectures, parallel sessions, and sponsored receptions are being supplemented by meeting wifi, hashtags, and other trending and trendy apps that simultaneously distract and enable us. Traditional posters, although ubiquitous at scientific meetings, lack the pizazz of new media and are not popular among humanists. On the other hand, eposters, such as the American Geophysical Union’s experiment with eLightning, although innovative, are not truly interactive. They restrict the presenters to a 3-minute time slot, severely constrain the possible formats, and increase the meeting costs.
This eposter is anything but traditional. It uses both print and electronic formats (cool and hot media) to examine the history of climate intervention ideas and practices and to demonstrate why this history matters. An iPad Pro installed at the center of a printed poster will coordinate the experience, allowing flexible formatting, and shaping the discussion of both the content and the form of the message whether the poster author is present or not.
Jim Fleming is the Charles A. Dana Professor of Science, Technology, and Society at Colby College, Maine. He has written extensively on the history of weather, climate, technology, and the environment including social, cultural, and intellectual aspects. His books include Meteorology in America (Johns Hopkins, 1990), Historical Perspectives on Climate Change (Oxford, 1998), The Callendar Effect (AMS, 2007), Fixing the Sky (Columbia, 2010), Inventing Atmospheric Science (MIT, 2016), and Breaking through the Clouds: Joanne Simpson and the Tropical Atmosphere (MIT, forthcoming).
I) The public trust doctrine and geoengineering
The Public Trust Doctrine (PTD) is a legal construct that dates back to Roman times. Familiarly applied to the shoreline between high and low tides, natural resource assets under a public trust (PT) are held in a form of collective ownership for public benefit at a national level. The state has a fiduciary duty to maintain and preserve the assets placed in a public trust for the benefit of current and future generations.
II) Licence to chill: Building a legitimate authorisation process for commercial SRM operations
Solar Radiation Management (SRM) has been suggested as a technique to counteract some of the changes expected as a result of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW).
It has been suggested that SRM could be carried out by commercially motivated actors. This process has been envisaged as using the Voluntary Carbon Offset (VCO) market as a mechanism for monetising the SRM process, due to the secondary effects of SRM on the carbon cycle.
Current VCO customers are typically businesses: those looking to be ‘carbon neutral’ or reselling offsets alongside high-carbon goods and services (for example, airlines). Other potential VCO customers include states, or philanthropists. In this short scoping paper we provide a broad overview the issues of regulation and legitimacy, as may be applicable to the activities of future commercial SRM actors. We discuss the need for a two-pronged regulatory approach, encompassing first legal and corporate regulation and second, scientific and technical regulation. In conclusion, we identify differing regulatory requirements, according to whether the intended effect on the climate system of the SRM industry, or of individual firms, can be regarded as de minimis. We additionally suggest the use of a two-tier market place structure in order to ensure regulatory demands can be efficiently and transparently enacted.
Andrew Lockley is a Research Assistant at UCL, working mainly in the field of geoengineering economics. He also moderates the geoengineering Google group. His particular interest is in alternative financial and social models of geoengineering commencement.
Risks and Opportunities of Large-scale Biosequestration
The explicit reference to "a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases" (Art. 4) in the 2015 Paris agreement has given a strong impetus to Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) proposals that aim to remove greenhouse gas emissions through bioenergy and carbon capture and sequestration (BECCS) or large-scale bio-sequestration. While actual implementation of BECCS is still in a state of "infancy" according to the latest IPCC report, large-scale biosequestration in the form of monoculture tree plantations for carbon sequestration and/or bioenergy production is already supported with climate finance, including through the voluntary forest carbon offset market and the Forest Investment Program.
The paper will describe existing trends in the field of large-scale biosequestration and the potential risks, opportunities and impacts of different CDR approaches. Depending on the approach, there could be positive or negative impacts on biodiversity, hydrological flows, land degradation, agrochemical contamination, albedo effects and the Earth System, and social impacts like elite resource capture, land grabbing, rural (un)employment, and gender-specific impacts. The paper will highlight how current trends in climate finance, including the growing emphasis on private sector support, might lead to a prioritization of biosequestration approaches that have significant negative rather than positive impacts.
Oliver Munnion is a bioenergy campaigner and graphic designer with the Global Forest Coalition, and a co-Director of Biofuelwatch.
Biomass plantations used for fossil-fuel substitution are more efficient for climate-change mitigation than afforestation
Using biomass for fossil-fuel substitution is an economically viable method of carbon dioxide removal. In simulations with the Max Planck Institute Earth System Model, we covered the abandoned agricultural areas of RCP4.5 with either forests or herbaceous biomass plantations and assessed their effects on the climate under RCP8.5 emissions. Our scenario simulated an expansion of herbaceous biomass plantations to 5.6 million square kilometers. Global yields over the 95 years simulated amount to 255-330 PgC. When used for fossil-fuel substitution, they reduce carbon dioxide concentrations by 150-170 ppm and temperatures by 0.8-1.0°C compared to RCP8.5 while afforestation reduces these values by 85 ppm and 0.4°C respectively. Forests respond to CO2-fertilization more strongly than do herbaceous biomass plantations, therefore a replacement reduces the area’s sink capacity, nevertheless, with fossil-fuel substitution biomass plantations become more effective than forests within 30 years in most areas of the globe assuming a 100% fossil-fuel substitution level. They remain effective in many areas even when current technological limits of 30-70% substitution levels are accounted for. Overall, we conclude that herbaceous biomass plantations reduce CO2-concentrations more than the regrowth of forests when used for fossil-fuel substitution.
Dorothea Mayer is serving as a Post-Doc at Max-Planck-Institute for Meteorology (MPI) in Hamburg, Germany since 2017. From 2013 to 2017 she completed her PhD in Earth System Science at the MPI in the International Max-Planck Research School on Earth System Modelling (IMPRS-ESM), a cooperation between the MPI and the University of Hamburg. She received her Master degree in Forest Ecology and Management and her Bachelor diploma in Biology from Albert-Ludwigs University in Freiburg, Germany.
Protection of the ocean from climate-induced euxinia
Paleozoic ice caps and permafrost contain fertilizer and organic litter. Melt water, molten mud, and activated weathering of thawed surfaces provide the water run-offs with huge organic and mineral loads. Increasing melt water and precipitation volume generate nutrient-rich fresh water layers spread on the ocean surface. Stratification effect of this fresh water layer interrupts O2 and CO2 surface-to-bottom-transport and eutrophicates the phytoplankton surface layer. Rain of organic litter induce additional reduction of O2, nitrate, iron(III), sulfate and CO2 by generation of toxic H2S and GHGs CH4 and N2O.
Paleozoic ice cap melt events induced euxinic catastrophic mass extinctions. Even incomplete ice cap and permafrost melt would induce stratification but stronger eutrophication than last interglacial melts. Current ocean fertilizer and organic litter input by rivers and melt are definitely higher: Oxygen deficiency and decreasing vertical currents in the ocean were detected recently.
Anoxia and euxinia would fast destroy parts of this essential ocean food base. This heat-induced threat must be stopped as fast as possible. The only known realistic measure to cool the Earth’s surface is a sustainable geoengineering method. To our knowledge only the Iron Salt Aerosol method can fit this demand.
Since young age Oeste had affinities to nature, especially intrigued by geology, chemistry and biology. Chemical Engineer in different branches of the processing industry and the chemical industry as a Research Scientist from 1971 to 1996, when he founded gM-Ingenieurbüro located in Kirchhain, Germany. His engineering company is specialized in technical services and finding novel methods for the in-situ investigation and treatment of surface water, groundwater, waste water, exhaust and atmosphere. Furthermore Oeste has developed processes for waste reuse and improvement of technical production processes (carbon fiber production, disc brake production, cupola furnace operation). Through his research, Oeste has developed various new technologies, and has been awarded many patents in the different fields of his recent and former activities. Oeste is the inventor of the nature-mimicking ISA method, the only existing CE method acting in the lower troposphere by simultaneous and environmental friendly depletion of atmospheric methane, ozone and CO2 and accompanied by cloud albedo increase.
Earth system effects, side-effects, and carbon cycle feedbacks of reforestation and ocean alkalinization
For the assessment of CDR methods side-effects and carbon cycle feedbacks play an important role as they may alter the methods’ mitigation potential. Here we comparatively assess a reforestation scenario and an ocean alkalinization scenario as examples for land- and ocean-based CDR methods with respect to their effects in the coupled Earth system. We perform model experiments using the Max Planck Institute Earth System Model (MPI-ESM) with prognostic carbon cycle, forced by fossil-fuel CO2 emissions according to the high-emission scenario RCP8.5. The two CDR scenarios are very different regarding their potential to reduce global warming. Yet, normalized to the same reduction in global warming, we find that more CDR is needed via reforestation than via ocean alkalinization. This lower cooling efficiency of reforestation is due to the biogeophysical effects of land cover change counteracting the cooling CDR signal and to the climate sensitivity possibly being state-dependent. Furthermore, we find a lower efficiency to remove carbon from the atmosphere for reforestation compared to ocean alkalinization, since the ocean releases more carbon in response to reforestation than the land in response to alkalinization. Overall our findings illustrate how side-effects and feedbacks in the Earth system alter the mitigation potential of CDR methods.
Sebastian Sonntag is a scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany. He has a background in physics, he holds a PhD in geoscience, and his research involves understanding interactions and feedbacks in the Earth system using models of different complexity. He is working on both SRM as well as land- and ocean-based CDR methods with a focus on the climate and carbon cycle response as simulated with an Earth system model.
Solar Radiation Management (SRM) is a potential technology to offset global climate change. While probably cheap, impact heterogeneities at a regional scale are expected to imply different optimum amounts of SRM for different countries. To avoid global externalities caused by excessive SRM, discussions have brought up liability regimes as a form of governance institution. I build a theoretical model of SRM liability that takes into account two specific challenges such regimes face when moving from traditional liability settings to SRM: The definition of 'harm' and the interpretation of the negligence rule in a setting with multiple victims and third-party beneficiaries. Considering two definitions of harm, an interpretation of strict liability and three interpretations of the negligence rule, I examine the performance of different liability regimes compared to the social optimum. I find that only one of the liability regimes leads to the first-best outcome. A numerical implementation into the Regional Climate Response model (Moreno-Cruz et al. 2012) of the liability model using climate model data from the Geoengineering Intercomparison Project illustrates the findings.
Tobias Pfrommer is a PhD student in economics at the University of Heidelberg. His research focuses on the incentive effects liability law provides for the use of novel technologies. In the specific context of solar geoengineering, he is particularly interested in the issue of attribution of harm and the interaction of liability regimes with the strategic setting solar geoengineering provides.
Evolution of the characteristics of heat waves relative to cumulative carbon emissions
Authors: Yann Chavaillaz, Philippe Roy, Diane Chaumont, H. Damon Matthews
Cumulative carbon emissions are near linearly related to global and regional changes in surface air temperature, both in annual and seasonal means. This relationship remains similar over a large range of emissions. It enables to directly link emissions with climate changes for both decision-makers and the general public. It is also well suited for impact studies and mitigation measures. However, extremes and one-time events might have a stronger influence on our societies, ecosystems and infrastructures. Therefore, we focus here on the relationship between cumulative emissions and several relevant extreme events at both global and regional scale. We address the evolution of the duration, the intensity and the frequency of heat waves, droughts and extreme precipitation, by conducting climatic and statistical analyses such as extreme value theory. An ensemble of CMIP5 simulations is selected and several concentration scenarios are considered in order to assess the dependence of relationships on the rate of our emissions and on the implementation of CDR measures. Outcomes of this work may give supplementary insights to adjust the link between cumulative emissions and their impacts.
Yann Chavaillaz is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at Ouranos Inc and Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. His main motivation in research is to develop new ways to communicate about climate change to be relevant for general audience and to deliver useful results for end-users. He currently focuses on creating a catalogue of changes in the characteristics of extreme events in the province of Quebec due to abrupt climate changes occurring in the climate system and link them with cumulative carbon emissions. He also involved in several projects regarding consequences of climate engineering implementation, working capacity under extreme heat, floods and restoration of mining rejections.
Initiating SRM: A Terrestrial Ecosystem Approach- Jamaica
Climate Change impacts are being experienced in increasing severity in Small Island Developing States despite current mitigation and adaption strategies. The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) has coordinated significant research and project activities related to climate change, but to date, no research is being undertaken in the region in the area of Solar Radiation Management (SRM). The two leading universities in Jamaica, University of West Indies, Mona Campus (UWI) and the University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech, Ja) are jointly interested in initiating research activities relevant for the region which explores the use of socially acceptable SRM methodologies. The UWI already has a climate research group while UTech, Ja has a Sustainable Energy and Innovation Institute which intends to use applied climate research to stimulate innovation and green business among the youth and at the community level.
Our joint poster will focus on the potential for initiating SRM research focusing on the terrestrial ecosystem, using Jamaica as a case study. Potential SRM actions which are consistent with the country’s proposed climate change policy will be explored including cool roofs for a large residential community of approximately 50,000 dwellings (Portmore), preservation and expansion of forest cover and a mix of individual actions. The poster will examine benefits and co-benefits to be gained from cooperation among local and international stakeholders; voluntary participation; awareness building; political and governance issues.
The poster will be presented by Michael Taylor and Ruth Potopsingh.
Dr Ruth Potopsingh is Associate Vice President–Sustainable Energy, at the University of Technology, Jamaica where she heads the Caribbean Sustainable Energy and Innovation Institute. With over thirty years’ experience in the fields of energy, environment and development planning she has successfully impacted the advancement of commercial renewable energy in Jamaica. A strong advocate of Eco efficiency she has effectively combined her experience in corporate Jamaica with academia to create a Master’s degree in Sustainable Energy and Climate Change supported by the GIZ which includes innovation and green entrepreneurship.
The statement on SRM governance research in China
The presentation is going to introduce some basic information of geoengineering research in China. Specifically, the content of the presentation should be included as follows: the basic framework designing of China geoengineering research programme; issues concerned by China researchers in the field of SRM governance; general advances and standpoints of the research outputs in China.
The poster will be presented by Dr. Yuan Xin and Prof. Ying Chen.
Towards developing an effective global geoengineering governance regime – one regional research platform at a time
Due to the global reluctance in congregating to develop a concerted approach on regulating geoengineering research, there is an unfettered growth in the risk perception associated with climate engineering, which is significantly stymieing progress in this sector. One approach that interested countries may consider adopting,as a start to addressing the issue, could be to set up national/ regional-level geoengineering research platforms (with a three-pronged focus on governance, funding and collaboration on expertise related to geoengineering). Apart from enabling co-ordination among the existing pool of climate engineering researchers in the region, such a platform could also serve as a repository of information on all past and on-going research, which would serve to both raise public awareness and facilitate discussion around governance issues among global leaders. The poster would focus on the relevance and institutional design of such a dedicated multi-stakeholder (including climate scientists, regulators, funding agencies, representatives from climate think tanks, etc.) research and development platform and also examine how this could, through eventual bilateral and multilateral agreements, create a network of such platforms, leading to the establishment of an integrated global geoengineering governance body.
Anjali Viswamohanan is an analyst at the Council on Energy, Environment and Water, where she works extensively on regulatory and finance issues in the energy space. Her broader role is centred around assessing the feasibility of energy transition scenarios as a response to the perpetually evolving technology mix. She is keen on developing frameworks around governance issues, specifically to advance the development of technology that deals with the mounting climate change-related concerns of the underdeveloped and developing world.
A lawyer by training, she has in her previous role, worked extensively on energy projects and public-private partnerships (PPPs) in the Indian infrastructure space.
Solar Radiation Management - Perspectives of Bangladesh and Practical Actions
The poster presentation will be based on Bangladesh, as one of the hotspots of climate change impacts and the journey of SRMGI in Bangladesh. The poster will be divided into four (4) sections. The first section will give a climate change overview of Bangladesh by elaborating its risks, vulnerabilities and hotspots. The second section will be based on how the Bangladesh government is making great strides to address climate change issues, both in terms of adaptation and mitigation. The third section will be based on demonstrating the solar initiatives taken by Bangladesh so far, explaining the Solar Home Systems (SHS), Sustainable Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA), among others. It will also pose suggestions why opinions from Bangladesh really matter and the ideas of success and failures of SRM that emerge from Bangladesh, as a developing country. Lastly, the poster will address what kind of SRM future the world can envision, in terms of governance structure, research, finding and public discussions, i.e. the future journey of SRM in Bangladesh. This section will refer to some previous work, like the research affiliation with The Royal Society (with reference to the scientific work, Geoengineering the Climate, 2009); SRMGI's engagement with Bangladesh through participatory workshop and conferences- the case of Dhaka workshop in February 2017 and the present, Berlin conference in October 2017. It will also present the key outcomes of the Dhaka workshop from key researchers, academicians and global negotiators. Finally, the poster will propose key ideas by sharing a four (4) year plan with SRMGI, which will be mainly based on ethics and governance; potential early experimentation- ideas from Bangladesh; people's perception on SRMGI and the degree of acceptance; and finally, roles and reflection from Bangladesh government, private sector, research communities and relevant stakeholders from the rural an urban communities on SRM.
Ms. Sirazoom Munira is a Senior Research Officer at the renowned policy-research institute, Bangladesh Center for Advanced Studies (BCAS). She is also an Adjunct Lecturer at the Department of Environmental Science and Management (ESM) at North South University (NSU). Ms. Munira has an outstanding academic profile. She completed her O/A Levels from Scholastica school with Honors and The Daily Star Award. In 2014, she graduated with the prestigious Summa Cum Laude Award upon the completion of her Undergraduate Degree in the discipline of Environmental Science at NSU. In 2015, she completed her Master’s program on Environmental Management at NSU and was awarded the Chancellor’s Gold Medal by the Honorable President of Bangladesh on attaining a perfect GPA of 4.0. In 2016, she was offered the prestigious Commonwealth Scholarship by the Commonwealth Scholarships Commission in the UK and such, she attained her second Masters on Risk and Environmental Hazards from Durham University. She completed this degree with an overall Distinction. Ms. Munira has experience working with the Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS) in London and is currently an active member of the Commonwealth Alumni Association in Bangladesh. Ms. Munira wants to continue working on the climate change sector in Bangladesh and envisions her country be free of poverty and hunger. She is also an occasional classical music singer and is exhibits interest in the arts.
Climate Engineering and Bangladesh: A Low income/ Low laying country perspective
Authors: Mofizur Rahman, A K M Saiful Islam
There is a scientific consensus that anthropogenic climate change is real. Global average temperature is projected to increase 2°C or more by the end of this century. However, this is a conservative estimation. The resulting effects will have worldwide implications for humans, ecosystems and the economy. Populations in low-income countries will bear a disproportionate burden of adverse consequences. Low-lying river deltas such as Bangladesh are particularly sensitive to the effects of climate change in many ways such as extreme weather effects, urban heat stress, migration etc.
Climate Engineering is relatively new and unfamiliar to the Bangladeshi society but the other solutions to climate protection are not. Bangladesh proven to be one of the adaptation leaders and already shown pathways to building social resilience. Now the question is shall we continue to do what we are good at, such as adaptation and building resilience societies or start discussion on other solutions which might be essential for meeting the 2°C target. In this poster, we will discuss a case study of Bangladesh drawing a pathway of immense vulnerability to resilience building. We will also extend our thought on risk of climate engineering (there are many and different in scale), associated uncertainty and necessity of climate engineering governance discussion.
I) Geoengineering may be the only means to protect human rights in a world with a changed climate. Scientists generally agree that mitigation efforts will fall short of avoiding significant planetary warming. The resulting climate change will impact many basic needs of human populations. A number of human rights will be implicated by these impacts, such as the rights to life, food, water, and housing.
Parties to human rights treaties commit not only to respect these rights, but to protect them. Thus, if society is to protect these rights, geoengineering may be the only option.
Nevertheless, using human rights to compel geoengineering remedies will not be easy. Human rights do not protect environmental quality. Furthermore, they protect citizens from acts of their government, not those committed by a government of a different state. However, recent developments in human rights law can support their application to impairments caused by climate change.
Application of human rights to geoengineering decisions could yield additional benefits. First, it will provide a basis to decide among possible responses to climate change. Second, human rights laws require procedural safeguards, such as environmental assessments and transparency. Third, it keeps a focus on human suffering and possible remedies.
II) Renewable portfolio standards (RPS) can be used to incentivize and accelerate the development of negative emissions technologies (NETs). IPCC models rely upon NETs to avoid dangerous planetary warming, yet NETs are woefully underdeveloped, and questions abound concerning their viability at scale.
State and national governments have used RPSs to require utilities to generate a mandated percentage of electricity from renewable sources. These jurisdictions tailored their RPS mandates to fit the states’ particular circumstances. Consequently, use of RPSs accelerated development of renewable energy. For instance, up to 60% of the growth of renewables in the United States is attributed to their use.
Similarly, RPSs can stimulate development of NETs. Jurisdictions can craft RPSs to promote particular NETs that fit the states’ economies, their resources, and/or industries they seek to develop. State-level RPSs, as opposed to national standards, enable the “laboratories of democracy” to experiment with different regulatory approaches, complementing the heterogeneity of NETs. Current RPSs include mechanisms (credits multipliers, specific mandates, etc.) to stimulate development of preferred technologies. Jurisdictions can apply similar mechanisms to promote particular NETs. Also, states that have already established carbon credits systems through their RPSs can apply them to monitor and measure the effectiveness of their NETs.
Anthony E. Chavez is Professor of Law at Chase College of Law, Northern Kentucky University. He teaches classes on environmental law, renewable energy law, the law of climate change, natural resources law, and the legal and environmental aspects of business transactions. Professor Chavez’s scholarly work focuses on climate engineering, including legal systems to facilitate development of negative emission technologies, the interaction of geoengineering and human rights laws, using legal principles to guide the deployment of geoengineering, and the patenting of climate engineering inventions. Professor Chavez received his B.S. in Accounting from Loyola Marymount University and his J.D. from Yale Law School. Before beginning his teaching career, he practiced as an attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, Bingham-McCutchen in San Francisco, and the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund in Los Angeles. Prior to joining Chase, he was the director of legal writing at the University of California at Davis.