Geoengineering: Science & Governance

A Harvard University Center for the Environment and MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change initiative.

Solar geoengineering is the concept of deliberately cooling the Earth by reflecting a small amount of inbound sunlight back into space. It is the only currently known method for reducing temperatures in the short term (years to decades), and therefore has the potential to reduce many of the worst impacts of global warming. But what would be the side effects, both physical and socio-political? How would it work and who gets to decide if it is deployed?  Does humanity have the wisdom and the institutions to govern the development of such a powerful technology in this messy, multi-polar world?
This seminar series, held jointly by the Harvard University Center for the Environment (HUCE) and MIT’s Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, explored the science, technology, governance and ethics of solar geoengineering. In bringing together international experts, participants learned some of the greatest challenges and heard opinions on how this technology could and should be managed.



Wednesday, September 17
“Climate Engineering Research and Stakeholder Engagement at the IASS”
Mark Lawrence, Scientific Director at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies Potsdam

Thursday, March 13
"Exploration of Marine Cloud Brightening"
Phil Rasch, Chief Scientist for Climate Science, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Thursday, February 20
"Geoengineering's Brave New World"
Scott Barrett, Lenfest-Earth Institute Professor of Natural Resource Economics, School of International and Public Affairs, Earth Institute, Columbia University


Monday, October 28
"Debating the Future of Solar Geoengineering"
A debate with Clive Hamilton, Professor of Public Ethics at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, Charles Sturt University, Australia and David Keith, Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics, SEAS and Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

Wednesday, May 1
"The Physical Science of Solar Geoengineering"
Ken Caldeira, Senior Climate Scientist, Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology; Professor, Stanford’s Environmental Earth System Sciences department

Wednesday, April 30
“Eastern Pacific Emitted Aerosol Cloud Experiment: Recent Findings and New Directions”
Lynn Russell, Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Tuesday, April 2
"Contesting Geoengineering Governance"
Steve Rayner, James Martin Professor of Science & Civilization and Director, Institute for Science, Innovation & Society, Oxford University

Tuesday, February 12
"Smoke and Mirrors: Is Geoengineering a Sign of Global Warming?"
Alan Robock, Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences, Rutgers University


Monday, December 10
“International Governance of Climate Engineering”
Edward A. Parson, Professor of Law, UCLA

“International Governance of Climate Engineering” with Edward A. Parson
Professor of Law, UCLA - See more at:
“International Governance of Climate Engineering” with Edward A. Parson
Professor of Law, UCLA - See more at:


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Center for the Environment

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Phone: (617) 495-0368

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