Civil society says geoengineering has no place in climate negotiations

By Laura Dunn, Geoengineering Monitor Editor

False climate solutions are dangerous distractions – this is the key message from yesterday’s action calling out false climate solutions like carbon markets and geoengineering. Civil society organisations, grassroots community leaders and Indigenous peoples came together to stand against the rise of false “solutions”.

Geoengineering allows the polluting industries that caused climate change to continue increasing their carbon emissions, and make new profits selling risky technologies to “offset” them. They are mostly just theories and haven´t even proved they would function to address climate change. Let´s not be tricked!

Sereyna Solanki of the HOME Alliance.

“As Indigenous peoples we don’t align with this ideology that you can sell your mother earth for a personal profitable gain at the expense of the sacrifice and loss of not just Indigenous peoples, but humanity,” said Thomas Joseph of Indigenous Environmental Network. 

He added, “carbon markets have failed for the last 20 years. We cannot fail now. We need real solutions not based on capitalizing on our mother earth. The time is now to end colonial practices. Business as usual must come to an end.”

The concern shared across these groups is that real solutions are being pushed aside in favour of false “solutions” like carbon markets and geoengineering. Both carbon markets and geoengineering allow companies and countries that are heavy polluters to appear that they are taking climate action, when in reality they are worsening the climate crisis. 

Increasingly, geoengineering schemes are cropping up at UN fora like the UNFCCC Bonn Climate Conference. Biomass energy generation, marine land and solar geoengineering, carbon capture and storage are just some of the geoengineering strategies that Demand Climate Justice highlighted in their recent briefing. This briefing covers the false “solutions” that are likely to come up in climate negotiations and provides an overview of why each “solution” is false. 

ETC Group released a briefing highlighting the UN Fora where geoengineering is becoming more and more prevalent. As predicted, Article 6.4, the article defining terms for carbon market mechanisms, is a critical space where false “solutions” are being promoted. Carbon markets themselves are considered a false climate “solutions”, but with Article 6.4 there is an increasing risk that dangerous and ineffective technologies like carbon capture and storage could be considered legitimate ways of reducing carbon when in reality, carbon capture and storage requires massive amounts of water and energy and is still extremely inefficient. 

At the action, civil society members, Indigenous peoples and grassroots representatives reminded everyone present at the UN that real climate solutions exist and are already being led and implemented by communities – but we don’t have any time or resources to waste on false solutions. 

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