The new science, until recently, was supposed to be a cure for all climate problems, and now it raises concerns. Frans Timmermans talks about them.
The issue of geoengineering, which was supposed to be a rescue for our planet from climate problems, has been loud for several years. Scientists alternately talked about the positive and negative effects of such a solution. It is very possible that research and first implementations in this field have already been introduced by as many as 50 countries, including the United States.
“These unknowns and ever-evolving understanding of Earth’s complex systems make a compelling case for research to better understand both the potential benefits and risks,” the White House report published less than a month ago said.
The European Commission has concerns
However, the European Commission has reservations about this solution. Frans Timmermans spoke about them two weeks ago.
“No one should conduct experiments alone on our common planet,” said the head of the European Union’s climate policy. – This should be discussed in the appropriate forum, at the highest international level – he added, probably referring to the ongoing NATO summit in Vilnius.
There are two types of geoengineering
It is important to note that geoengineering can be conducted in two directions. The first, less invasive and less controversial, concerns the removal of CO2 emissions from the atmosphere on an ongoing basis. The second, the one that Timmermans is concerned about, is SRM, i.e. Solar Radiation Modification, which consists in breaking the rays reaching the earth.
The opinions of scientists are divided
Emeritus professor at Imperia College in London, Joanna Haigh, told Reuters that there could be two risks from such an action. One fact is the physical fact that Timmermans mentions, and the other is the possible permission to continue polluting the planet in the hope of reducing the effect.
Governing geoengineering will be extremely complex, but necessary to regulate any future geoengineering technologies that could lower average global temperatures Haigh said.
Despite the threats, the workings of the new science are still being questioned.
“None of the proposed techniques can be realistically applied on a global scale in the coming decades. In other words, we cannot assume that they will contribute to keeping the increase in average temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius, much less below 1.5 degrees Celsius. ” – said Mark Lawrence, geoengineering researcher and director of the Institute for Advanced Research on Sustainable Development in Potsdam, Germany.