A few weeks ago, 100+ concerned academics worldwide called for a Non-Use Agreement on Solar Geoengineering, asking governments to declare not to fund or deploy the development of solar geoengineering technologies. Many concerned scholars, such as Prof Frank Biermann, Dr Jeroen Oomen, Prof Aarti Gupta and others, who initiated the open letter, have expertise in global governance and other related fields. It has been endorsed by Stefan Rahmstrof, Dr Amtiav Ghosh and Prof Jennie Stephens and more, with many more to be announced this week.
The International Non-Use Agreement on Solar Geoengineering asks governments to commit to five core prohibitions and measures:
1. No public funding: The commitment to prohibit national funding agencies from supporting the development of technologies for solar geoengineering, domestically and through international institutions
2. No outdoor experiments: The commitments to ban experiments of solar geoengineering technologies
3. No patents: The commitment to not grant patent rights for technologies for solar geoengineering including supporting technologies such as for the retrofitting of aeroplanes for aerosol injection
4. No deployment: The commitment to not deploy technologies for solar geoengineering if developed by third parties
5. No support from international institutions: The commitment to object to future institutionalization of planetary solar geoengineering as a policy option in relevant international institutions, including assessments by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Open Letter in English: https://www.solargeoeng.org/non-use-agreement/open-letter/
The extended argument in English: https://wires.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/wcc.754
Their petition takes the stance that “solar geoengineering deployment at planetary scale cannot be fairly and effectively governed in the current system of international institutions. It also poses an unacceptable risk if ever implemented as part of future climate policy. A strong political message from governments, the United Nations and civil society is urgently needed.”
This initiative is a groundbreaking step in the fight against geoengineering and its creeping normalisation as a response to the climate crisis. This is the first time leading academics worldwide have organised and spoken up against solar geoengineering.
For a long time, a small group of scientists have published articles & editorials advocating in favour of solar geoengineering. This minority of researchers set the tone for how solar geoengineering should be discussed, researched and considered; influencing institutions, policymaking and other decision-making actors.
The open letter also states that “the current global governance system is unfit to develop & implement the far-reaching agreements needed to maintain fair, inclusive, and effective political control over solar geoengineering deployment.” The Hands Off Mother Earth Campaign supports this view and believes that we should never deploy these technologies. As mentioned in The Hands Off Mother Earth Manifesto, the Campaign advocates for a ban on geoengineering field experiments and deployment; where the ban is upheld through a UN multilateral governance system that is global, transparent, participatory and accountable.
The Hands Off Mother Earth Campaign invites civil society organisations and academics to endorse the Open Letter against the normalisation of solar geoengineering as a climate policy option. Also, the initiative has set up a global petition via Change.org for citizens to support the call for an International Non-Use Agreement on Solar Geoengineering.
The Hands Off Mother Earth Campaign welcomes their invitation for civil society to sign the International Non-Use Agreement on Solar Geoengineering.