To start with, I show you the official COP21 video; it is more like a plea that climate change concerns us all, to stress the importance of an international climate conference and international decisions for our future.
To come back to the topic of this post, Geoengineering in international policies, I want to underline first of all the increasing influence of Geoengineering in climate change debates. The best example for that is the intake of Geoengineering in the latest IPCC report (IPCC 5, 2014). Even though it is described very crucial, it is still named as a possible opportunity. The Guardian even calls this intake as a ‘legitimation’ from the IPCC. Mostly because it is the final paragraph in the summary for policymakers, which could implicate, it is the most important part.
In addition, there are lots of conspiracy theories, for instance on the web side ‘Coalition against Geo-Engineering’, which are presuming that most governments already doing Geoengineering without the public knowledge. In general I would say, I don’t believe in such conspiracies, in particular from not trustworthy sources like this. But I cannot certainly deny it either. At least I can give you the official statements, from a few governments to this issue. Hence, you can create your own opinion.
For example, the German government first raised this issue in summer 2012, where representatives of the opposition party demanded a statement. In the officialreply, the government strongly denied any on going projects concerning Geoengineering and rejected this as the only solution to stop climate change. Therefore, Geoengineering will be not a replacement of reducing CO2 emissions, but it could be an addition in a worth case scenario.
The government is not giving a clear response, many maybe’s and could be’s, but more like a no to Geoengineering than a yes. Which is stressed in a citizens’ initiative response (Sauberer Himmel). Unfortunately there is no recent statement particularly concerning any position to this issue in the upcoming COP21 conference.
If you look at the US, it will get even more obscure. There are again lots of conspiracy theories that the US government is already using Geoengineering to modify our climate. The trustworthiest source is an article on the web side geoengineeringwatch about an original document from 1978. A statement from the US government regarding the on going weather modifications. Therefore, a proof that the US actively interfered with the climate, which could be a hint that they are already practicing Geoengineering methods. Unfortunately, I am not able to find any official position papers, concerning this issue, published by the US.
The UK even published in their ‘Science and Technology Committee -Fifth Report The Regulation of Geoengineering’ in 2010 a concrete opinion to Geoengineering. Unlike Germany, they are stressing the importance of Geoengineering, but at the same time underlining the need for more research. At moment there are to many risks and uncertainties to use Geoengineering. In addition, they are demanding a national and international regulatory for Geoengineering to reduce risks and rash action by other countries.
To conclude for today, I found more uncertainties concerning Geoengineering in international policies than actual facts. Which emphasizes even more the deep disagreement and crucial attitude to this issue. On the one hand, I am looking forward to see some results at the COP21 regarding Geoengineering, but on the other hand, I am afraid that it could be a development in the wrong direction. Because I am convinced, to ‘play’ with our climate system is not a solution. Instead we should focus more on reducing CO2 and using more renewable energies.