The opening of the Climate Engineering Conference 2017 in Berlin, 10 October 2017. Photo: Dirk Enters / IASS

By Kate Connolly
14 October 201

(The Guardian) – Leading climate scientists have warned that geoengineering research could be hijacked by climate change deniers as an excuse not to reduce CO2 emissions, citing the US administration under Donald Trump as a major threat to their work.

David Keith, a solar geoengineering (GE) expert at Harvard University has said there is a real danger that his work could be exploited by those who oppose action on emissions, at the same time as he defended himself and colleagues from the claims GE strengthens the argument for abandoning the targets set by the Paris climate agreement.

“One of the main concerns I and everyone involved in this have, is that Trump might tweet ‘geoengineering solves everything – we don’t have to bother about emissions.’ That would break the slow-moving agreement among many environmental groups that sound research in this field makes sense,” Keith said on the sidelines of the Climate Engineering Conference (CEC) in Berlin.

Indeed, utterances from people in or close to the Trump administration – most notably GE proponent secretary of state Rex Tillerson, who has referred to climate change as “just an engineering problem” – make it clear they either tacitly or directly support the idea of climate engineering. […]

“All the techniques being proposed have potentially severe environmental impacts,” said Silvia Ribeiro of the ETC Group, leading campaign monitors of new technologies and their possible impact on the world’s poorest.

“They also ignore the question as to why there’s not enough political will to have done more to tackle climate change until now and they in turn serve to justify the inaction,” she added. [more]

Geoengineering is not a quick fix for climate change, experts warn Trump

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