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Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

Managing Climate Risks Through Geoengineering

Date and Time
Friday, October 16, 2020 - 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Online Webinar
Managing Climate Risks Through Geoengineering


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Anthropogenic climate change poses serious risks. Yet even aggressive reductions of greenhouse gas emissions will most likely not be able to prevent harmful impacts, especially to already-vulnerable people, organisms, and ecosystems. Humans may be able to artificially cool the planet to counter climate change. What’s more, this “solar geoengineering” appears able to manage risks in ways that emissions reductions and adaptation to a changed climate cannot. At the same time, it poses environmental risks and governance challenges of its own. For example, solar geoengineering would be global in effect but seems technically feasible and inexpensive enough that many states—or perhaps even nonstate actors—could implement it on their own, regardless of any international consensus. How can its potential be explored without catalyzing new types of climate conflict? Dr. Jesse Reynolds will offer a brief introduction to solar geoengineering’s capabilities and limitations, with an emphasis on incentives and problem structure. After responses from our discussants, substantial time will be reserved for participants’ questions.

This webinar is co-sponsored by the Duke Center on Risk seminar series on “Perspectives on Planetary Risks,” and the Environmental Institutions Seminar Series of Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment, Sanford School of Public Policy, and Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions.


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Dr. Jesse Reynolds researches how society can manage environmental opportunities and challenges, particularly those involving new technologies. While his approach is centered within international environmental law, he draws from international relations and economics. Reynolds’s book The Governance of Solar Geoengineering: Managing Climate Change in the Anthropocene was recently published on Cambridge University Press. He is an Emmett/Frankel Fellow in Environmental Law and Policy at the UCLA School of Law. He is also an associate researcher at the Utrecht University Center for Water, Oceans, and Sustainability Law and a research affiliate at Harvard’s Solar Geoengineering Research Program.

Juan Moreno-Cruz, Associate Professor, School of Environment, Enterprise and Development, and Canada Research Chair, University of Waterloo

David M. McEvoy, Professor of Economics and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs & Administration, 
Appalachian State University

Mariia Belaia, Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University

Tyler Felgenhauer, Research Scientist, Duke Center on Risk in Science & Society, Duke University