This plenary aims to stimulate creative exploration of governance challenges and potential responses, by posing a few provocative questions in the form of brief challenge scenarios. The World Café format aims to allow a more participatory and engaged discussion than normally possible in a plenary session.
The session will open with a very brief (10-minute) introduction by Ted Parson of FIVE challenge scenarios to be discussed at separate table groups. The scenarios will be distributed at the session, and are also available at the links below. Participants will choose which scenario they wish to discuss, and join a corresponding table group, each led by a designated “issue team leader,” for a 30-minute discussion. Table representatives will then re-convene to be debriefed for the plenary by Oliver Morton, who will then facilitate a general plenary discussion.
The challenge scenarios target several of the most challenging problems yet identified in climate engineering governance, including both research and potential future challenges related to operational deployment. Given the session’s tight time limit, all scenarios are crafted to apply predominantly to solar radiation interventions – but table groups who judge it necessary to broaden their scope to also include carbon-cycle interventions are free to do so.
With Ted Parson - UCLA and Oliver Morton - the Economist
Issue Team Leaders
- Holly Buck
- Haomiao Du
- Jane Flegal
- Peter Frumhoff
- Daniel Heyen
- Andrew Light
- Duncan McLaren
- Christine Merk
- Pablo Suarez
- Anjali Viswamohanan
Edward A. (Ted) Parson is Professor of Environmental Law and Faculty Co-Director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the University of California, Los Angeles. Parson studies international environmental law and policy, the role of science and technology in policy-making, and the political economy of regulation. His most recent books are A Subtle Balance: Evidence, Expertise, and Democracy in Public Policy and Governance, 1970-2010 (McGill-Queens University Press, 2015), The Science and Politics of Global Climate Change (with Andrew Dessler) (2nd ed. Cambridge, 2010), and Protecting the Ozone Layer: Science and Strategy (Oxford, 2003).
Parson has led and served on multiple advisory committees, such as the National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Global Change Research Program. In addition to his academic positions, Parson has worked for and consulted several political bodies including the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the U.N. Environment Program. He holds degrees in physics from the University of Toronto and in management science from the University of British Columbia, and a Ph.D. in Public Policy from Harvard. In former lives, he was a professional classical musician and an organizer of grass-roots environmental groups.
Oliver Morton writes about scientific and technological change and their effects. He concentrates particularly on the understanding and imagining of planetary processes.
He is a senior editor at The Economist, responsible for the magazine’s briefings and essays. He was previously Chief News and Features Editor at Nature and editor of Wired UK, and has contributed to a wide range of other publications. He writes on subjects from quantum physics to synthetic biology to moviemaking; his articles have been anthologised and won awards.
He is the author of three books: Mapping Mars: Science, Imagination and the Birth of a World (2002), which was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award; Eating the Sun: How Plants Power the Planet (2007), a book of the year in The Spectator and the Times Literary Supplement; and The Planet Remade: How Geoengineering Could Change the World (2015), longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize and shortlisted for the Royal Society Book Prize. In The Sunday Times Bryan Appleyard described it as “ambitious, enthralling and slightly strange”.
He is an honorary professor in Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy at UCL and has a degree in the history and philosophy of science from Cambridge University. He lives with his wife in Greenwich, England, and Asteroid 10716 Olivermorton is named in his honour.
Holly Jean Buck is a assistant professor at the Department of Environment and Science at The State University of New York at Buffalo. Her research interests include agroecology and climate-smart agriculture, energy landscapes, land use change, new media, and science and technology studies. She has written on several aspects of climate engineering, including humanitarian and development approaches to geoengineering, gender considerations, and the social implications of scaling up negative emissions. Her book After Geoengineering: Climate Tragedy, Repair, and Restoration (Verso Books, 2019) looks at best-case scenarios for carbon removal and solar geoengineering. She holds a doctorate in Development Sociology from Cornell University and a MSc in Human Ecology from Lund University, Sweden.
Jane Flegal is a PhD candidate in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at UC Berkeley, where she is also affiliated with the Center for Science, Technology, Medicine, and Society and the Energy & Environment Policy Lab. Her research focuses on science and technology policy, in particular on the politics of science and expertise in the governance of emerging technologies. Jane is a Visiting Fellow at the School for the Future of Innovation in Society at Arizona State University in fall 2017. Prior to beginning her PhD, Jane worked as a Senior Policy Analyst at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, DC, where she led research on climate engineering and federal energy innovation policy. She earned a BA in Environmental Studies & Politics from Mount Holyoke College in 2009.
Peter C. Frumhoff is director of science and policy and chief climate scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) – a non-profit science advocacy organization headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A global change ecologist, he has published and lectured widely on climate science and policy, the climate responsibilities of fossil fuel companies and the conservation and management of tropical forests and biological diversity.
He serves on the board of directors of the American Wind Wildlife Institute, the steering committee for the Center for Science and Democracy at UCS, and the Board of Editors of Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene, and is a non-faculty associate of the Harvard University Center for the Environment. Previously, he served on the Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resource Science at the US Department of Interior, and the Board of Editors of Ecological Applications.
He was a lead author of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, lead author of the 2000 IPCC Special Report on Land Use, Land-use Change and Forestry and Chair of the 2007 Northeast Climate Impacts Assessment (NECIA). He was the 2014 Cox Visiting Professor in the School of Earth Sciences at Stanford University. Previously, he taught at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Harvard University and the University of Maryland, and was a AAAS Science and Diplomacy Fellow at the US Agency for International Development.
Dr. Frumhoff is quoted frequently in print and electronic media and has given congressional testimony on multiple occasions. He received a PhD in ecology and MA in zoology from the University of California at Davis, and a B.A. in psychology from the University of California at San Diego.
Daniel Heyen is a postdoctoral researcher in economics at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. His research focuses mainly on the role of uncertainty and learning in environmental decision-making and the intergenerational and strategic challenges raised by climate engineering technologies. Daniel holds a PhD in Economics from Heidelberg University
Andrew Light is Distinguished Senior Fellow in the Climate Program at the World Resources Institute, in Washington, D.C., and University Distinguished Professor of Public Policy, Philosophy, and Atmospheric Sciences at George Mason University. From 2013-2016 he served as Senior Adviser and India Counselor to the U.S. Special Envoy on Climate Change and Staff Climate Adviser to Secretary of State John Kerry in the Office of Policy Planning in the U.S. Department of State. In this capacity he served on the senior strategy team for the UN climate negotiations and Director of the U.S.-India Joint Working Group for Combating Climate Change. In recognition of this work, Andrew was awarded the inaugural Public Philosophy Award, from the International Society for Environmental Ethics in June 2017, the inaugural Alain Locke Award for Public Philosophy, from the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy in March 2016, and a Superior Honor Award, from the U.S. Department of State in July 2016, for his work creating and negotiating the Paris Agreement on climate change. In his academic career, Andrew is the author of over 100 articles and book chapters, primarily on the normative dimensions of climate change, restoration ecology, and urban sustainability, and has authored, co-authored, and edited 19 books, including Environmental Values (2008), Moral and Political Reasoning in Environmental Practice (2003), Environmental Pragmatism (1996), and the forthcoming Ethics in the Anthropocene.
Duncan McLaren is currently a freelance consultant and researcher, and part-time PhD student at Lancaster University investigating the justice implications of climate geoengineering. From August 2017 he will be working on the UK-research council funded 'Avoiding Mitigation Deterrence in Greenhouse Gas Removal’ project at Lancaster Environment Centre. His research interests extend from cities and sustainability, to climate change, energy and geoengineering, with particular focus on the interactions of technology and behavior, and on issues of justice arising in these areas and the consequences for policy. He is currently an advisor to the Virgin Earth Challenge, for the development of a commercially viable, scalable and sustainable form of carbon removal, and a member of the Leverhulme Centre for Climate Change Mitigation International Advisory Board. Previously he worked for many years in environmental research and advocacy, most recently as Chief Executive of Friends of the Earth Scotland from 2003 until 2011, where he was influential in the adoption of world leading climate change legislation by the Scottish Parliament. In 2011 he moved to Sweden to spend more time with his children.
Christine Merk works as a postdoctoral researcher at the Kiel Institute for the World Economy. With respect to climate engineering (CE), she researches the trade-offs individuals make between mitigation and CE technologies. Within TOMACE – an interdisciplinary project within the German Priority Programme 1689, Climate Engineering – she conducts economic experiments integrating concepts from the psychology of risk perception to learn more about individuals’ perceptions and reactions to climate engineering. She has a background in political and administration science, and holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Kiel University.
Pablo Suarez is Associate Director for Research and Innovation at the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, where he leads initiatives linking applied knowledge with humanitarian work, and explores new threats and opportunities on climate risk management (such as geoengineering, financial instruments, or participatory games for learning and dialogue). Pablo is also Artist in Residence at the National University of Singapore (NUS-IPUR), visiting fellow at Boston University, honorary senior lecturer at University College London, and faculty member at University of Lugano (Switzerland). He has consulted for the UN Development Programme, the World Food Programme, the World Bank, Oxfam America, and about twenty other international humanitarian and development organizations, working in more than 60 countries. His current work addresses institutional integration across disciplines and geographic scales, and the use of innovative tools for climate risk management – ranging from self-learning algorithms for flood prediction, to collaboration with artists and humorists to inspire thinking and action. Pablo holds a water engineering degree, a master’s in planning, and a Ph.D. in geography.
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.
Haomiao has been working on the topic of climate engineering and international law since October 2012. She holds a PhD in international environmental law from the University of Amsterdam. Recently, she published a monograph titled 'International legal framework for geoengineering - Managing the risks of an emerging technology' (Routledge). Haomiao is also a lawyer qualified in China and has worked as a legal intern at the UNFCCC.