110 civil society organizations and popular movements demand an immediate stop to climate geoengineering
In a widely-supported Manifesto released today, 23 international organizations, six “Alternative Nobel Prize” recipients, and 87 national organizations from five continents called for a halt to testing and political consideration of climate geoengineering. The signatories include Indigenous Peoples’ and farmers’ movements and climate justice and environmental networks, among others.
The Manifesto is being released in the same week that the Intergovernmental Panel of Experts on Climate Change (IPCC) is meeting in South Korea to debate a new report on how to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsuis. Many predict that the IPCC report will promote the use of controversial and unproven climate geoengineering techniques.
Climate geoengineering refers to a suite of theoretical large-scale climate change techno-fixes that could have devastating impacts on the environment, ecosystems and communities across the world. Proponents claim that geoengineering would alleviate the symptoms of climate change either by lowering the Earth’s temperatures by blocking some of the sun’s rays or reflecting sunlight back into space, or by capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to store indefinitely underground or in the oceans.
The concept is largely promoted by a small group of governments, corporations and scientists from the most powerful and polluting countries, who in recent years have been driving geoengineering research; lobbying for geoengineering to be considered as a political response to climate change; and most recently, moving forward open-air experiments to test geoengineering technologies.
The Manifesto signatories dispute the proclaimed benefits of geoengineering and point to the evidence that all proposed geoengineering technologies present high risks and, if deployed, many could even worsen the impacts of climate change. They call for, among other demands:
- A ban on all geoengineering field experiments and deployment.
- A stop to all open-air experiments, including: the SCoPEx project in Tucson, Arizona, which proposes to inject sulphate particles and other materials into the atmosphere to test their effectiveness at blocking the sun; the Ice911 project in Alaska, which would scatter millions of tiny glass bubbles over Arctic ice to slow melting and reflect sunlight; the Marine Cloud Brightening project in Monterrey Bay, California, which would inject salt water into the clouds to whiten them and reflect sunlight; and the Oceaneos ocean fertilization project in Chile. All three US experiments are planned on original and traditional Indigenous territories.
- A stop to all large-scale Carbon Capture and Storage and Direct Air Capture projects because they perpetuate fossil fuel extraction and combustion, and a stop to all Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage projects, which besides being unproven and not technically feasible would have grave consequences for land use, food sovereignty environment and biodiversity.
- Support for the diversity of alternatives to confront climate change that are already proven and less risky but are sidelined in climate change deliberations.
The movement against geoengineering was born in 2010, when more than 35,000 representatives from climate justice grassroots organizations and popular movements gathered at the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and declared their opposition to geoengineering, initiating the “Hands Off Mother Earth” Campaign (HOME Campaign) against geoengineering. Last month in San Francisco, at the Solidarity to Solutions Week devoted to grassroots solutions to climate change, a broad alliance, including the Climate Justice Alliance and the Indigenous Environmental Network, vowed to amplify and reinvigorate the HOME Campaign. This was deemed essential because of the growing presence of climate geoengineering in negotiations and among academics, including the proposals for open air testing of technologies.
A renewed international movement has been launched to stop geoengineering and to stand in solidarity with the communities and organizations resisting geoengineering experiments.
►Download the Manifesto