(3a) Preparing for the Worst:  The Case for Solar Geoengineering Research and Oversight

Authors: 
Crandall, B. S., University of South Carolina
As global greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, the threat of climate change is becoming a growing concern. To avoid the intensification of risks associated with climate change, the world may begin considering drastic measures to address this issue like solar geoengineering, or albedo modification. A variety of key conflicts and concerns including unintended consequences, the fine line between solar geoengineering research and implementation, and the possibility of rogue actors implementing solar geoengineering will be discussed. Policy recommendations including mechanisms to prioritize adaptation and mitigation, to promote federally funded research, and to establish international oversight will be made to address increased solar geoengineering interest. It is critical for the U.S. to prioritize emission reduction strategies prior to advancing federal solar geoengineering efforts to avoid being accused of moral hazard. This can be accomplished by rejoining the Paris Agreement and by enacting policy to achieve the goals established by this international agreement via a bipartisan “Green Deal”. The establishment of international oversight should be achieved within the United Nations by expanding the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Finally, it is recommended that a “U.S. Federal Solar Geoengineering Research Program” be established and managed by the Department of Energy Office of Science.

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