Background

Conditions for Responsible Research on SRM: Analysis, Co-creation, and Ethos

Solar Radiation Modification (SRM) is a highly contentious matter: some oppose it completely, while others already pursue field experimentation. An evidence-based approach to the governance of SRM research is therefore crucial. The Co-CREATE project seeks to develop principles and guidelines for a possible governance framework – helping decision-makers to determine whether, and under which circumstances, SRM research may be warranted from scientific and societal viewpoints.

Find out more on the official Co-CREATE website. For timely updates about the project, follow Co-CREATE on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Year: 2024 Current Project

  • Overview

    Solar Radiation Modification (SRM) refers to a range of techniques which aim to limit global warming by reducing the amount of solar radiation reaching the Earth’s surface (reflecting sunlight or increasing how much heat escapes back into space). Examples of SRM include: 

    • Marine Cloud Brightening (MCB), which involves the injection of sea salt aerosols into persistent marine low clouds (to increase their reflectivity) 
    • Stratospheric Aerosol Injection (SAI), which involves releasing reflective particles into the upper atmosphere to increase the reflection of sunlight back into space. 
    • Cirrus Cloud Thinning (CCT), which seeks to reduce the amount of cirrus clouds by injecting ice nucleating substances in the upper troposphere – ultimately resulting in planetary cooling. 

     

    Views on SRM research are diverse, and conversations can be contentious. Some are concerned that the research and development of SRM would distract from vital efforts to reduce emissions. Others view SRM as a potential opportunity to limit heating, avoid dangerous ecological tipping points, and protect humanity from the worst impacts of the climate crisis. Many remain undecided, but see a need to study risks, uncertainties and potential benefits. 

    The European Union has asked for support in examining the conditions for research on SRM. Over the next three years, the Co-CREATE project will examine the governance principles and guidelines for responsible Solar Radiation Modification research. This will ultimately support decision-making on whether or not, and under which circumstances, SRM research and experiments may be warranted from scientific and societal viewpoints. 

    With few exceptions, proposed governance regimes for SRM research have come from scientific experts interpreting or speaking on behalf of wider society. Instead, the Co-CREATE project engages with diverse stakeholders and rightsholders, including marginalised and affected communities such as indigenous peoples in the Arctic and across the Global South. This collaborative approach will anchor project results in a diversity of voices, cultural contexts, and value systems, reflecting the grappling of society with this complex and contentious issue. 

  • Stakeholder Forum

    The Co-CREATE Stakeholder Forum is a platform where diverse individuals and parties can connect and exchange their thoughts on SRM research governance. Through the creation of this space, Co-CREATE seeks to foster a broad and inclusive community of practice that further advances the current dialogue on this matter. 

    By joining the virtual hub of the Co-CREATE Stakeholder Forum, you will be able to enter this dynamic space and engage with a diversity of perspectives on SRM research governance. Members can exchange publications and upcoming events related to this topic, making this a useful hub to receive the latest news from across this field of research. Furthermore, forum members will be the first to hear of Co-CREATE events and publications, and gain access to Forum activities and events.

    Join the Virtual Stakeholder Forum

  • Partners

    Partners  

    The full list of Co-CREATE partners can be found here. 

    Funders 

    Grant agreement No. GAP-101137642

    Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or CINEA. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them. 

    This work was funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) under the UK government’s Horizon Europe funding guarantee [No. 10123643 – Climate Strategies]. 

  • Publications

    Coming soon.