Monday, December 3, 2012

Views on Geoengineering from UNFCCC COP18 in Doha

Halfway through COP18 in Doha, a Reuters correspondent has spoken to several principals regarding their current views on geoengineering.  Highlights include:
  • "Let's first use what we know ... There are so many proven technologies we know that are tried and true that have not been used to their maximum potential" - Christiana Figueres, UNFCCC Executive Secretary
  • "Let's face it, geo-engineering has a lot of unknowns ... How can you go into an area where you don't know anything?" - Rajendra Pachauri, IPCC Chairman
  • "It's a little premature to start looking at geo-engineering" - Mira Mehrishi, head of the Indian delegation
  • "There's a lot of skepticism ... Research is necessary to see if it could be viable in one way or other" - Artur Runge-Metzger, European Commission
The most notable of these statements is from Rajendra Pachauri.  In 2009, Pachauri expressed cautious support for future CDR interventions: "At some point we will have to cross over and start sucking some of those [greenhouse] gases out of the atmosphere."  His words this week may presage renewed skepticism as the IPCC works to complete its Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), including for the first time a section on geoengineering, by 2014.

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