Friday, September 20, 2013

Russia Pushing IPCC WGI to Recognize Geoengineering as Policy Option?

The Guardian newspaper is reporting that Russian negotiators are pushing for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group I (WGI) Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) on the physical science basis of climate change, due to be finalized next week in Stockholm, to acknowledge the potential role of geoengineering as a response to climate change.  According to documents the Guardian claims to have seen, Russia has suggested the report's conclusion state that a "possible solution of this [climate change] problem can be found in using [sic] geoengineering methods to stabilize current climate."  These documents also reportedly indicate that geoengineering research is currently being conducted by Russian scientists.

The Guardian continues by quoting Silvia Ribeiro of the ETC Group:

We have been warning that a few geoengineering advocates have been trying to hijack the IPCC for their agenda.  We are now seeing a deliberate attempt to exploit the high profile and credibility of this body to create more mainstream support for extreme climate engineering.  The public and policymakers need to be on guard against being steamrollered into accepting dangerous and immoral interventions with our planet, which are a false solution to climate change.  Geoengineering should be banned by the UN general assembly.

The story ends by claiming that Sweden, Norway, and Germany have expressed discomfort with Russia's proposal, with German negotiators noting that "The information on geoengineering options is too optimistic as it does not appropriately reflect the current lack of knowledge or the high risks associated with such methods."

While all these facts may be accurate, it is important to bear in mind that not only has the Guardian kept these leaked documents from public view, it also has a history of very bad reporting on geoengineering (for example, see More Questionable Reporting from the Guardian, 7/19/12).  The Guardian also has a barely concealed working relationship with the ETC Group, which long ago erased any semblance of objective, unbiased reporting by its journalists on the subject of geoengineering (for example, see OIF Accusations Fly at CBD COP11, 10/17/12).  Hopefully more information from alternative sources will come to light over the next few days to provide a fuller picture of what is happening.

1 comment:

  1. It would also be pretty weird to have WG I recommending solutions. That isn't their business.