Background of the dialogue
As the recent Royal Society report on geoengineering states, the best way to tackle climate change is by cutting emissions of greenhouse gases. However, the report notes that
"Unless future efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are much more successful than they have been so far, additional action may be required should it become necessary to cool the Earth this century."
Therefore we need to research different potential geoengineering options and their environmental, social and regulatory implications.
Through a series of workshops with members of the public and an online survey, NERC will explore people's attitudes towards various potential geoengineering methods. At the workshops, participants will come together to discuss the ethical, moral and social issues associated with the possible use of geoengineering methods to alter our environment. The workshops will also be supported by public debates and events around the UK.
The findings will be used to help NERC inform their decisions around future funding of research into geoengineering.
The Royal Society report – Geoengineering the Climate (September 2009) is available as pdf from: http://royalsociety.org/geoengineeringclimate
Our objectives for this public dialogue are to:
- better understand the public’s perceptions and opinions of geoengineering research
- identify areas of particular public concern about geoengineering, and ensure new research takes account of the needs and concerns of society on this topic
- increase public awareness of geoengineering and its potential implications
- inform the development of geoengineering research in NERC’s strategy, based on the widest range of views and opinions.
For this online survey, our objective is to:
- give as many people as possible the chance to tell us their views on geoengineering.
- NERC's strategy: http://www.nerc.ac.uk/publications/strategicplan/nextgeneration.asp
- Climate science statement from the Met Office, NERC and the Royal Society: http://www.nerc.ac.uk/press/releases/2009/29-climate.asp
- University of Copenhagen synthesis report from ‘Climate Change; global risks, challenges & decision’ Copenhagen 10-12 March 2009 available from: http://climatecongress.ku.dk
- Brief history of climate change: http:www.direct.gov.uk/en/Environmentandgreenerliving/Thewiderenvironment/Climatechange/DG_072901
- Met Office: "Climate change — your essential guide": http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climatechange/guide/quick/
- Act on Copenhagen website: http://www.actoncopenhagen.decc.gov.uk/en/ambition/evidence/
- UK climate projections: http://ukclimateprojections.defra.gov.uk/
- OECD Policy brief: "Climate Change: Meeting the Challenge to 2050"(pdf):http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/6/21/39762914.pdf
- Met Office: "Climate change — frequently asked questions": http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climatechange/guide/faqs/
- DECC: Statistics about climate change: http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/statistics/climate_change/climate_change.aspx
- Institute of Mechanical Engineers report "Geoengineering: giving us the time to act?" available from: http://www.imeche.org
- IOP, RSCI and the Royal Academy of Engineering report: ‘Geoengineering: Challenges and global impacts’