RFF Conference on Solar Geoengineering Futures
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.
Thursday, September 28, 2023
10:00 a.m. | Coffee
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 Moore, Daniele Visioni, Lili 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 Andrews, Dave McEvoy, Christine 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 Belaia, Tony Harding, Doug 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 Chalecki, Joshua Horton, Jessica 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 Arrighi, Marion Hourdequin, Hassaan 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 Buck, David Keith, Andy Parker, and Ted Parson
2:45 p.m. | Closing Remarks