Carnegie Council Announces Launch of Carnegie Climate Geoengineering Governance Initiative (C2G2)
January 30, 2017
Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs announces the launch of the Carnegie Climate Geoengineering Governance Initiative (C2G2), led by Executive Director Janos Pasztor. Most recently, Pasztor was the United Nations assistant secretary-general for climate change under Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
This initiative comes at a very timely moment and addresses a critical gap in the world's response to climate change. With 2016 the hottest year on record, and 16 out of 17 of the hottest years in modern history occurring this century, it is clear the risks of dangerous climate change are accelerating. Scientists are exploring the possibility that climate geoengineering might be needed, in addition to the mitigation efforts under the 2015 Paris Agreement and elsewhere, to buy time or temporarily reduce global temperatures. However, at present there is no comprehensive international framework to govern these technologies, which have planetary-wide consequences, pose many serious, unknown risks, and raise profound ethical questions.
"There is a considerable lack of understanding of the governance requirements for addressing climate geoengineering—technologies that fundamentally require multilateral governance approaches," said Pasztor, the executive director. "This is what the C2G2 Initiative plans to address."
According to Pasztor, "The highest priority remains for countries to pursue their activities to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in line with the Paris Agreement. Climate geoengineering is not a substitute for the aggressive mitigation efforts needed at national and sub-national levels."
It is within this context that the C2G2 Initiative, supported by a generous grant from the V. Kann Rasmussen Foundation, will operate. The long-term objective of the C2G2 Initiative (www.carnegiecouncil.org/c2g2) is to encourage policy dialogues on and to contribute to the development of governance framework(s) for climate geoengineering, which is defined as deliberate, intentional planetary-scale interventions in the Earth system to counteract climate change.
The Initiative will neither promote nor be necessarily against the potential use of climate geoengineering, but will advocate for the development of governance frameworks necessary for expanded research on such techniques, including their environmental, social, and economic impacts, as well as for their potential deployment.
The Initiative is engaging relevant stakeholders in intergovernmental and international nongovernmental organizations, the research community, think tanks, the private sector, as well as government officials to raise awareness about the issues; to encourage policy dialogues; to develop elements of the necessary governance frameworks; and ultimately to catalyze intergovernmental action.
Executive Director Janos Pasztor has over 35 years of work experience in the areas of energy, environment, climate change, and sustainable development, working in intergovernmental as well as in nongovernmental organizations. In addition to serving as the United Nations assistant secretary-general for climate change, he was the director of the UN secretary-general's Climate Change Support Team from 2008-2010 and executive secretary of the UN secretary-general's High-level Panel on Global Sustainability in 2011-12.
The public launch of C2G2 will take place on February 16 at 8:30am EST in the Carnegie Council headquarters in New York City. The invitation-only event will be live-streamed for the general public at www.carnegiecouncil.org/live.
The event will include a panel discussion of the key issues in relation to climate geoengineering, its governance, and what the C2G2 Initiative will do. Panelists include: Professor Simon Nicholson, director, the Global Environmental Politics program, American University (facilitator): Dr. Doug MacMartin, California Institute of Technology; Dr. Jane Long, whose current positions include co-chair of the Task Force on Geoengineering for the Bipartisan Policy Center; Pablo Suarez, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Center; Jennifer Morgan, executive director, Greenpeace International; Oliver Morton, editor at The Economist; and Janos Pasztor, executive director, C2G2.
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Founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1914, Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs is an educational, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that produces lectures, publications, and multimedia materials on the ethical challenges of living in a globalized world.