This document was crafted by the approximately 175 scientists attending the Asilomar meeting, but approved only by the Scientific Organizing Committee of the conference:
PRESS RELEASE - ASILOMAR INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CLIMATE INTERVENTION TECHNOLOGIES
More than 175 experts from 15 countries with a wide diversity of backgrounds (natural science, engineering, social science, humanities, law) met for five days (March 22-26, 2010) in the Asilomar conference center in Pacific Grove California. The participants explored a range of issues that need to be addressed to ensure that research into the risks, impacts and efficacy of climate intervention methods is responsibly further discussions must involve government and civil society. Such discussion should be undertaken with humility and recognition of the threat posed by the rapid increase in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations.
Participants reaffirmed that the risks posed by climate change require a strong commitment to mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, adaptation to unavoidable climate change and development of low-carbon energy sources independent of whether climate intervention methods ultimately prove to be safe and feasible.
The fact that humanity’s efforts to reduce global emissions of greenhouse gases (mitigation) have been limited today is the cause of deep concern. It is thus important to initiate further research in the natural and social sciences to better understand and communicate whether alternative strategies to moderate future climate change are, or are not, viable, appropriate and ethical. Such strategies, which could be employed in addition to the primary strategy of mitigation, include climate intervention methods (solar radiation management) and carbon remediation methods (carbon dioxide removal).
We do not yet have sufficient knowledge of the risks associated with using climate intervention methods, their intended and unintended impacts, or their efficacy in reducing the rate of climatic change to assess whether they should or should not be implemented. Thus, further research is indispensable.
Recognizing that governments collectively have ultimate responsibility for decisions concerning climate intervention research impossible and possible implementation, this conference represents a step in facilitating a process involving broader public participation that insures research on this issue to progress in a timely safe ethical and transparent manner that addresses social, humanitarian and environmental issues.
The Asilomar International Conference on Climate Intervention Technologies was developed by the Climate Response Fund in partnership with Guttman Initiative and organized by the Scientific Organizing Committee for the Climate Institute. For further information contact the Climate Institute at email@example.com or visit www.climateresponsefund.org.