Engaging the Global South on climate engineering research


The Global South is relatively under-represented in public deliberations about solar radiation management (SRM), a controversial climate engineering concept. This Perspective analyses the outputs of a deliberative exercise about SRM, which took place at the University of California-Berkeley and involved 45 mid-career environmental leaders, 39 of whom were from the Global South. This analysis identifies and discusses four themes from the Berkeley workshop that might inform research and governance in this arena: (1) the 'moral hazard' problem should be reframed to emphasize 'moral responsibility'; (2) climate models of SRM deployment may not be credible as primary inputs to policy because they cannot sufficiently address local concerns such as access to water; (3) small outdoor experiments require some form of international public accountability; and (4) inclusion of actors from the Global South will strengthen both SRM research and governance.

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Figure 1
Figure 2: Geographic distribution of participants at the Berkeley workshop.


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Research was supported by the US National Science Foundation (grant 1331256). For their important contributions to the Berkeley workshop, the SRMGI, B. Banerjee, W. Burns, G. Collins and all of the presenters deserve thanks. The 2014 UC Berkeley Beahrs ELP participants and staff were key partners in this project. Thanks to E. Dougherty for his work on the figures.

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D.E.W. contributed study design, writing and editing. J.A.F. contributed data analysis, writing and figures. A.A. contributed writing and editing.

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Correspondence to David E. Winickoff.

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Winickoff, D., Flegal, J. & Asrat, A. Engaging the Global South on climate engineering research. Nature Clim Change 5, 627–634 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate2632

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