C2GLearn

Governance of Marine Cloud Brightening

This topic aims to present a detailed overview of Marine Cloud Brightening (MCB) to an audience interested in understanding the basic principles of MCB, as well as the benefits and risks associated with this Solar Radiation Modification (SRM) approach and the underlying governance issues associated with MCB. It seeks to answer the following questions:​

  • What is MCB and what role could it play in managing climate risk?
  • What do we know about the potential risks and benefits associated with this approach?
  • What do we know about research, readiness, potential and cost of MCB?
  • How do we make an informed decision whether or not we should consider developing or deploying MCB?
  • What are some of the potential geopolitical and security implications of MCB?
  • What are some of the governance considerations around MCB (whether it is deployed or not)?
  • How might some of the governance challenges be considered or addressed in the context of current governance processes and mechanisms?

Webinars

This webinar features three ten-minute expert overviews on the governance of MCB. It will be followed by a 45-minute moderated Q&A session, during which audience members are invited to submit written questions via the Zoom chat. Speakers include:

Anna-Maria Hubert / Canada

Anna-Maria Hubert is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Calgary. She is also an Associate Fellow at the Institute for Science, Innovation, and Society at the University of Oxford. Anna-Maria’s research interests lie generally in the area of public international law, focusing on the law of the sea, international environmental law, international human rights law, and international law and policy of science and emerging technologies. She has published extensively on the topic of the regulation and governance of climate engineering, and has provided information and advice to governments, intergovernmental organisations, NGOs, and scientific institutions on this topic. From 2015 to 2019, she was Principal Investigator of the Geoengineering Research Governance Project (GRGP), a joint initiative of the University of Calgary, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam and the University of Oxford, a project which sought to enhance understanding about the complex issues posed by proposed geoengineering techniques, and to analyse the changes required in governance and legal frameworks necessary to enable effective oversight in this space in line with accepted principles.

Daniel Harrison / Australia

Daniel Harrison completed both his Masters in Engineering, and PhD in biological oceanography at the University of Sydney where he also started his postdoctoral career. Other previous appointments include senior research fellow at the Sydney Institute of Marine Science, visiting scholar for 2 years to the University of Southern California, and recently as a Myer Innovation Fellow.

Daniel’s research seeks to evaluate the extent to which human intervention in marine systems can improve ecological, environmental, or societal outcomes. His work spans topics from estuarine and ocean biogeochemistry, fisheries management, hydrodynamic and biogeochemical modelling, through to ecoengineering and climate altering technologies.

Many ‘ideas’ are touted as having the potential to provide benefits in global climatic or marine ecosystems, yet all too often detailed feasibility analysis from an engineering standpoint is lacking. Quantitatively assessing the prospective efficacy of deliberate intervention in marine ecosystems is at the core of my research. Equally important is understanding the risk landscape across both natural and human systems.

With the majority of earths biological, ecological, chemical, atmospheric, marine, and climate systems now significantly influenced by human activity, conservation can no longer rely so heavily on simply minimising direct human impacts. The risks of intervening in these systems for the purposes of conservation must now be weighed against the risks of leaving life to fend for itself in a rapidly changing world.

John Shepherd / United Kingdom

Professor John Shepherd CBE FRS is Emeritus Professor in Earth System Science in the School of Ocean & Earth Science at the National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton. He is a physicist by training, but has worked on a wide range of environmental issues, including the deposition of sulphur dioxide in the atmospheric boundary layer, the dispersion of tracers in the deep ocean, the assessment & control of radioactive waste disposal in the sea, the assessment and management of marine fish stocks, and most recently on Earth System Modelling.

He has extensive experience of international scientific assessments and advice in controversial areas such as fisheries management and radioactive waste disposal, as well as climate change. He is a member of the Research Board of the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, and a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1999, was a member of the Royal Society’s study on Ocean Acidification (2005) and chaired its study on Geoengineering the Climate (2009).

Moderator: Paul Rouse / United Kingdom

Paul Rouse is Science Advisor for C2G. Rouse spent over 20 years designing and delivering interdisciplinary research programmes that produce policy evidence and impact within UK research councils. During this time, he headed up environmental, energy and food security agenda for the Economic & Social Research Council, including thinking on geoengineering research and engagement activity with the SPICE initiative. Rouse left the science policy community to undertake a PhD, at the University of Southampton, on the governance of geoengineering, which he completed in 2018.

Rouse has a record of accomplishment in taking research evidence into the government policy arena, advising key actors on a wide range of issues from climate change adaptation and geoengineering, to enhancing STEM skills within schools. Internationally, he worked with the Belmont Forum, Future Earth and was an EU Framework Programme National Contact.

Most recently, Rouse has been working with the UK Research & Innovation, taking a particular interest in enhancing ethical thinking and responsible innovation approaches within engineering.

He has postgraduate and professional qualifications and a MA and PhD. Rouse is a Visiting Fellow in Politics and International Relations at the University of Southampton and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Register for the next webinar

Watch recordings of past webinars

Introduction
Presentations
Q&A

Campfire Chat

This Campfire Chat aims to provide diverse points of view on the governance of MCB (presented in the webinar above), in a relatively informal, moderated, semi-structured discussion between experts. Audience members are invited to suggest topics via the Zoom chat. Guests include:

Anna-Maria Hubert / Canada

Anna-Maria Hubert is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Calgary. She is also an Associate Fellow at the Institute for Science, Innovation, and Society at the University of Oxford. Anna-Maria’s research interests lie generally in the area of public international law, focusing on the law of the sea, international environmental law, international human rights law, and international law and policy of science and emerging technologies. She has published extensively on the topic of the regulation and governance of climate engineering, and has provided information and advice to governments, intergovernmental organisations, NGOs, and scientific institutions on this topic. From 2015 to 2019, she was Principal Investigator of the Geoengineering Research Governance Project (GRGP), a joint initiative of the University of Calgary, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam and the University of Oxford, a project which sought to enhance understanding about the complex issues posed by proposed geoengineering techniques, and to analyse the changes required in governance and legal frameworks necessary to enable effective oversight in this space in line with accepted principles.

John Shepherd / United Kingdom

Professor John Shepherd CBE FRS is Emeritus Professor in Earth System Science in the School of Ocean & Earth Science at the National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton. He is a physicist by training, but has worked on a wide range of environmental issues, including the deposition of sulphur dioxide in the atmospheric boundary layer, the dispersion of tracers in the deep ocean, the assessment & control of radioactive waste disposal in the sea, the assessment and management of marine fish stocks, and most recently on Earth System Modelling.

He has extensive experience of international scientific assessments and advice in controversial areas such as fisheries management and radioactive waste disposal, as well as climate change. He is a member of the Research Board of the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, and a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1999, was a member of the Royal Society’s study on Ocean Acidification (2005) and chaired its study on Geoengineering the Climate (2009).

Louise Sales / Australia

Louise Sales is the Media Spokesperson on emerging technologies of Friends of the Earth Australia. She has over 10 years of campaigning experience, working for a range of NGOs – including Greenpeace, Environment Victoria and Corporate Watch in the UK. She has an Honours degree in Biology and a Masters degree in Biodiversity and Conservation.

Janos Pasztor / Hungary & Switzerland (Moderator)

Janos PasztorJanos Pasztor (a Hungarian and a Swiss citizen) is Senior Fellow of the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, and is Executive Director of the Carnegie Climate Governance Initiative (C2G).

He has four decades of work experience in the areas of energy, environment, climate change, and sustainable development. Before taking up his current assignment he was UN Assistant Secretary-General for Climate Change in New York under Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Earlier, he was Acting Executive Director for Conservation (2014), and Policy and Science Director (2012-2014), at WWF International. He directed the UNSG’s Climate Change Support Team (2008-2010) and later was Executive Secretary of the UNSG’s High-level Panel on Global Sustainability (2010-2012). In 2007 he directed the Geneva-based UN Environment Management Group (EMG). During 1993-2006 he worked and over time held many responsibilities at the Climate Change Secretariat (UNFCCC), initially in Geneva and later in Bonn.

His other assignments included: the Secretariat of the UN Conference on Environment and Development (Earth Summit ’92); Stockholm Environment Institute; United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); Secretariat of the World Commission on Environment and Development (Brundtland Commission); the Beijer Institute; and the World Council of Churches.

He has BSc and MSc degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

C2G strives to achieve a diversity of views and backgrounds across all its events. To that end, it is always open to feedback and suggestions regarding future participants and topics, to ensure a range of perspectives by sector, gender, race, geography, age and other dimensions. It will not always achieve the necessary diversity in all circumstances due to issues of availability and familiarity, but aims over time to expand the range of contributors able to address its issuessubject to the broad principles outlined in its mission statement.  

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