Headline: Kick-Off of the DFG Priority Research Program to evaluate climate engineering: Risks, challenges, and opportunities?

Climate Engineering – the planetary-scale intentional intervention in the climate system to counter global climate change and its side effects – is gaining importance in scientific and public discussions around the world. Against this background, the German Research Foundation (DFG) initiated a priority program (SPP 1689) on examining the risks and side effects of climate engineering. The Kick-Off meeting was held on June 3-4, 2013, including a public presentation of the projects that were selected for funding.

Illustration by Gabrielle Schlipf as Graphic Recording of the Panel discussion. www.momik.de

The main objectives of the priority program are:

  • Reduce the uncertainties in our understanding of the ecological, social, and political risks of CE. Investigate the challenges and opportunities of CE.
  • Conduct broad, interdisciplinary, basic research to comprehensively assess CE from scientific, environmental, economic, social, political, ethical, and communicative perspectives.

This is intended to lead to a better assessment of climate engineering technologies. Development is explicitly not a focus of the program.

Together with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the University of Hamburg, the IASS will receive funding from the priority program for the project CEMICS (Contextualizing Climate Engineering and Mitigation: Complement, Substitute or Illusion?). CEMICS aims at pioneering an integrative view of climate engineering and mitigation options. It is the initial hypothesis of the project that society will decide about CE deployment not only based on the characteristics of a certain technology, but in the context of available alternatives.