RFF Conference on Solar Geoengineering Futures
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RFF Conference on Solar Geoengineering Futures

Event details
September 28, 2023
Online Event
Solar Geoengineering Futures: Interdisciplinary Research to Inform Decisionmaking

An RFF conference exploring the big questions surrounding solar radiation modification and its potential consequences for climate change.

Solar geoengineering represents a set of risky and untested—yet potentially beneficial—technologies that could help address the growing risks of climate change, especially when paired with aggressive emissions mitigation, carbon dioxide removal, and climate resilience efforts. While interest has been growing in solar geoengineering, more physical climate and social science research is needed before policymakers consider developing deployment capability. Additionally, ongoing and robust public engagement with a diverse set of global stakeholders and communities is crucial, especially as the impacts may affect regions differently.

Join Resources for the Future (RFF) on September 28 and 29, for “Solar Geoengineering Futures: Interdisciplinary Research to Inform Decisionmaking”, a two-day conference focused on the key questions informing ongoing research and decisionmaking on solar geoengineering. This hybrid event will feature an interdisciplinary group of leading solar geoengineering experts exploring the major challenges, uncertainties, and potential benefits related to this emerging set of technologies.

Find here the working papers of the RFF solar geoengineering research team.


Join in Person: Click here to register to attend the event in person.

Join Virtually: To attend this event virtually, please RSVP and follow the instructions in the Zoom confirmation email.

More information here.



Thursday, September 28, 2023

10:00 a.m. | Coffee


10:30 a.m. | Welcome and Introduction
Introductions by Richard Newell and Billy Pizer


10:45 a.m. | Panel 1. Biophysical impacts: Climatic & non-climatic risks and benefits.
The starting point for social science research on solar geoengineering (SG) is the biophysical parameters of a possible SG intervention. This session will provide a grounding in SG knowns and unknowns, as well as ongoing research in this area.
Moderator: Peter Irvine
Panelists: John MooreDaniele VisioniLili Xia, and Babatunde Joseph Abiodun


12:00 p.m. | Lunch
Lunch Discussion:
 A conversation with a member of the Climate Overshoot Commission, moderated by Jonathan Wiener


1:30 p.m. | Panel 2. Would solar geoengineering crowd out emissions cuts? The “moral hazard” risk examined
A key concern about solar geoengineering research is the notion of “moral hazard” risk, where any movement to consider SG weakens the motivation to pursue mitigation. This session will examine latest social science research on SG moral hazard risk.
Moderator: Joe Aldy
Panelists: Talbott AndrewsDave McEvoyChristine Merk, and David Morrow


2:45 p.m. | Coffee Break


3:05 p.m. | Panel 3. Solar geoengineering’s place within the broader climate strategy portfolio
If solar geoengineering is deployed, it will likely occur alongside other key climate strategies, such as emission mitigation, CO2 removal, and adaptation. The aim of this session is to describe the role of SG under different development of mitigation and adaptation policies, assuming countries cooperate to fight climate change.
Moderator: Massimo Tavoni
Panelists: Mariia BelaiaTony HardingDoug MacMartin, and Simone Tilmes


4:20 p.m. | Day 1 Closing Remarks


Friday, September 29, 2023

9:00 a.m. | Panel 4. Plausible non-optimal near-term solar geoengineering scenarios
Several decades of experience with global coordination and cooperation around climate mitigation suggests that solar geoengineering might emerge in a non-optimal manner. This session will examine how this might happen, what it might mean, and what actions might be warranted in the near term.
Moderator: Tyler Felgenhauer
Panelists: Beth ChaleckiJoshua HortonJessica Seddon, and Erin Sikorsky


10:15 a.m. | Coffee Break


10:35 a.m. | Panel 5. Capacity building for competent, just, and inclusive decision-making
As momentum around research and governance discussions is growing, questions arise around how we should make decisions around both research and potential deployment of solar geoengineering, and who is part of a decision-making process. This panel will examine key steps to enabling and building meaningful engagement in this space.
Moderator: Shuchi Talati
Panelists: Julie ArrighiMarion HourdequinHassaan Sipra, and Billy Williams


12:00 p.m. | Lunch
Lunch Discussion:
 US Federal Government research on solar geoengineering.


1:30 p.m. | Panel 6. Important next steps for policy and research: A solar geoengineering research agenda for the next decade
In this final panel, we hope to bring together themes from the previous session in a discussion of funding and policy possibilities and priorities.
Moderator: Shannon Osaka
Panelists: Holly BuckDavid KeithAndy Parker, and Ted Parson


2:45 p.m. | Closing Remarks