Youth Voices for Emerging Climate Governance 

Learn from experts and engage with peers on the Governance of Solar Radiation Modification 

The C2G is an initiative working to catalyse the creation of effective governance for climate-altering approaches, in particular for carbon dioxide removal and solar radiation modification. Youth voices are currently largely absent from international discussions about how best to manage the rapidly increasing risks of overshooting 1.5/2C global warming and the need for stronger governance around solar radiation modification. To help address this, C2G has secured funding to deliver a one-year project to support building the capacity of a small group of youth leaders.   

Between 2022-23 C2G will support up to six Youth Climate Voices from around the world, aged between 19-24 to learn more about the need for strengthening governance for solar radiation modification in the context of the increasing likelihood of overshooting 1.5/2C warming and to catalyse the same learning amongst their peers. The project will provide participants with a unique opportunity to learn from a diverse range of leading international experts about the governance issues surrounding solar radiation modification and consequently contribute to emerging global discussions around this issue including through broadening the understanding of the issue among their peers. 

 

The challenge

The latest Sixth Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) makes it clear that despite growing evidence of climate action, the likelihood of overshooting the agreed 1.5/2C Paris Agreement temperature goal is increasing.  

Solar Radiation Modification (SRM), aims to address a symptom of climate change by reflecting sunlight back into space, or allowing more infrared radiation from Earth to escape, in order to reduce the Earth’s temperature. It includes various different proposed methods, none of which are ready for deployment. SRM could not be a substitute for reducing greenhouse gas emissions or removing atmospheric CO2 which must remain the primary effort of climate action. However, scientists have begun to explore SRM techniques, such as Stratospheric Aerosol Injection (SAI), Marine Cloud Brightening, and Cirrus Cloud Thinning, and concluded that some have potential to offset warming and ameliorate some climate hazards.  

However, if they were to be implemented, SRM would introduce a widespread range of new risks to people and ecosystems. These risks are not well understood and could for example, exacerbate global inequality, poverty, peace and security and have serious implications for delivery of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).   

Awareness of SRM both within global policy circles and among the general public is low and perhaps more than any other potential climate change response option, the choice of whether or not to research, develop or even one day deploy SRM (e.g. SAI) would affect – for better or worse – everyone on the planet. Decisions made in the next few years on how to govern SAI may lock in these decisions for decades and constrain options available to future generations. 

Young people are largely absent from early-stage conversations about SAI and its governance, even though they potentially have the most to gain or lose from any decisions made in the coming years on if, when, by who, and how SAI may or may not be used. It is important that young people be aware and informed about and their perspectives reflected in emerging discussion about SAI governance given its potential impacts on the global climate in both the short and long term.  

Young people’s voices need to be heard in emerging governance conversations now, including e.g. when awareness is raised, research is defined, governance processes and activities are shaped and when global SAI guardrails and guidelines are still to be decided, and young people’s views can be most powerfully heard and have impact. That is why it’s critical to kickstart such conversations as soon as possible, and to encourage young people to learn more about these issues.  

It is in everyone’s interest that SRM be governed effectively, and especially for young people who will inherit the consequences of the decisions and actions (or lack of them) made today to address   a rapidly warming world. Young people globally are already experiencing the impacts of temperature rise, such as food insecurity, extreme weather and increased natural disasters, resulting in forced climate migration. The global south faces particular challenges from the impacts of climate change and the issues of climate justice and intergenerational equity are growing concerns. We therefore encourage applications from young people who can share a diversity of views and perspectives – whilst reaching and amplifying the voices of those who are often less well represented in international discussions. 

In recent years, young people across the world have been increasingly engaged in some of the most dynamic, and visible climate mobilisation efforts, and policymakers (and the broader public) are increasingly listening. Some youth leaders who are already engaged in youth climate networks have expressed an interest to help their peers raise awareness, learn, from their views and participate in global discussions on SRM governance, with a focus on SAI. To address this challenge, the C2G has secured funding to support a time-limited project for up to six youth voices from around the world, in particular the global south to learn about, SRM and the need for its governance in the context of a world in which the 1.5C goal is increasingly likely to be exceeded, and to support them engage in activities to strengthen youth voices in international discussions.  

Read about this unique opportunity to learn about and strengthen youth voices around the need for international governance of Solar Radiation Modification!

You can subscribe to C2G’s newsletter here to receive information on our work and upcoming events.

Dig deeper into C2G’s  youth resources!

How can young people get involved in governing climate-altering approaches?

3 Feb 2021 An interview with Marie-Claire Graf, Global Focal Point of YOUNGO, the Children and Youth constituency to UNFCCC

Video/Audio

Young People Tackle the Tough Decisions on Carbon Dioxide Removal

Young People Tackle the Tough Decisions on Carbon Dioxide Removal

In support of the UN Youth Climate Summit, C2G hosted a series of interactive games for young climate leaders exploring how society might tackle difficult decisions about whether or not to deploy climate-altering technologies to tackle global heating. Climate...

Blogs

Infographics

Learn more about Solar Radiation Modification (SRM) 

Below are a selection of resources you may find useful.

C2GTalk

C2GTalk is a series of interviews with influential practitioners and thought leaders, to explore the governance challenges raised by climate-altering approaches. Watch the interviews.

C2GLearn

C2GLearn provides the latest information and research about emerging climate-altering approaches and their governance, from varying perspectives. Watch on demand.

C2GDiscuss

C2GDiscuss moderates in-depth conversations between diverse experts on some of the governance challenges facing decision-makers, now and in the future. Watch on demand.
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. No attribution is needed, but if you do use attribution, please credit C2G.

Share This