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Special Topics in Environmental Policy and Culture (390-0-25)


Climate Geoengineering


William Charles Geoffrey Burns
1808 Chicago Avenue
Office Hours: call or email

Meeting Info

Parkes Hall 212: Mon, Wed 2:00PM - 3:20PM

Overview of class

Climate change is the keystone environmental issue of this generation, and most likely for many generations to come. While the world community and individual countries have formulated policies to address climate change, these policies are almost universally recognized as being wholly inadequate to effectuate the objective of the Paris Agreement to hold global temperatures to well below 2ºC above pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to limit increases to 1.5ºC. Indeed, it has become increasingly obvious that achievement of Paris temperature objectives will require both aggressive emission reduction initiatives and large-scale deployment of carbon dioxide removal/negative emissions technologies and processes (CDR), sometimes also referred to as a major sub-category of climate geoengineering. Moreover, many believe that we will also need to deploy solar radiation management approaches, which seek to reduce the amount of incoming solar radiation, to buy us time as we decarbonize the world economy.

This course will discuss the exigency of deploying SRM and CDR approaches at scale, including potential benefits and risks of these options. It also will discuss regulatory and governance considerations at both the national and international level, as well as strategies to incentivize large-scale adoption of these approaches.