Priority Program 2013-2019 | KIEL Earth Institute | DFG Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
Risks, Challenges, Opportunities?
Launched in May 2013, the German Research Foundation (DFG) Priority Programme (SPP) 1689 examines the risks and side effects of “Climate Engineering”. The term Climate Engineering (CE) describes technological methods that could be used to mitigate or compensate for anthropogenic climate change by either reducing the atmospheric CO2 concentration or by directly changing the Earth’s radiation balance.
The main objectives of the Priority Programme 1689 are:
- Investigation of the climatic, ecological and social risks and potential effectiveness of different Climate Engineering methods
- Evaluation of the scientific and public perception of Climate Engineering
- Assessment – not development! – of Climate Engineering, including scientific, social, political, legal and ethical aspects
1) The DFG should first promote research on Climate Engineering (CE) to “assess the effectiveness and consequences” of it. This research will take into account the fact that previous research has heavily focused on the technical feasibility of climate engineering. The new research should provide the scientific basis for a comprehensive evaluation of the advantages and disadvantages of different types of CE. A major research gap that needs to be addressed is our limited knowledge of the possible negative side effects of climate engineering.
(2) The research on the possibilities, effectiveness, and impacts of CE must be carried out within an interdisciplinary framework that includes scientific, technical, social, economic, legal, ethical and political dimensions.
(3) Presently, the research priority should be to investigate and assess the side effects of different types of CE using improved Earth system models. All assessments need to be done with a close collaboration between the natural and social sciences.
(4) Due to the advanced political debate in some countries, studies of the legal, social, and international political dimensions of a potential deployment(s) of CE technology are urgently needed. Furthermore, potential CE regulations should be developed.