Geoengineering Technologies explained

The notion of geoengineering includes a wide array of technologies centred around reflecting sunlight back into space or removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. All seek to intervene in and alter earth systems on a large scale – a “technofix” to climate change.

The technologies proposed all come with far-reaching and profound social, political, and environmental risks and impacts. The effects would - by nature of the intervention - be transboundary, as well as potentially large-scale, unpredictable and irreversible.

FAQs

Webinar

Join CIEL, Heinrich Böll, Oil Change International, and DiCaprio Foundation/OneEarth for three short presentations and a Q&A on three seminal reports on geoengineering.The presenters answered questions following presentations about each of these reports.

Our recent work on Geoengineering

Fuel to the Fire

The present report investigates the early, ongoing, and often surprising role of the fossil fuel industry in developing, patenting, and promoting key geoengineering technologies. 

The Big Bad Fix: The case against geoengineering

Report

The “Big Bad Fix” provides a comprehensive overview of the key actors, technologies and fora relevant in the geoengineering discourse. It opposes geoengineering as a technofix for climate change and as a threat to world peace, democracy and human rights.

Civil society positions and reports

The risks of large-scale biosequestration in the context of Carbon Dioxide Removal

The Paris Agreement’s target of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees is largely dependent on Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) approaches and climate finance institutions are already supporting such afforestation schemes. The report describes existing trends in the field of large-scale biosequestration and examines the social and ecological impacts of such projects.

What is wrong with Solar Radiation Management?

A briefing explaining why Solar Radiation Management (SRM) experiments are a bad idea. SRM describes a set of geoengineering techniques that aim to counter human-made climate change by artificially increasing the reflection of heat from sunlight (solar radiation) back into space. 

Geoengineering worldwide

Click here to see the full geoengineering map

This interactive geoengineering map, prepared by ETC Group and the Heinrich Boell Foundation, sheds light on the worldwide state of geoengineering by showing the scope of research and experimentation. There is no complete record of weather and climate control projects so this map is necessarily partial.

Last-ditch climate option or wishful thinking?

This report summarises the key evidence which must be considered about BECCS. It looks at the overwhelmingly destructive impacts of existing large-scale bioenergy production and use and the implications of massively scaling it up, as would be required for a global BECCS programme.

A change of course - How to build a fair future in a 1.5° world

In Paris in 2015 governments agreed to keep global warming to well below 2 degrees. The mainstream pathways pin theirhopes to risky and costly technologies. In this joint publication, together with Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND) and Misereor, we present alternatives that are possible and necessary for a change of course.

For further information and background on geoengineering and its ecological, economic, social and justice implications please see geoengineeringmonitor.org.

Videos & Podcasts

Lili Fuhr on geoengineering

"Geoengineering should not be on the table for adressing climate change" - input of department head Lili Fuhr on Geoengineering at the Climate Engineering Conference 2017: Critical Global Discussions in Berlin.

Podcast on geoengineering

Can and should the global climate be regulated by technological means, the so called geoengineering? In our first episode of our podcast "Tipping point" our host took off to hear from experts what these approaches mean for the planet’s environment and society.

Read the text version here

For your further reading