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The hidden injustices of advancing solar geoengineering research

  • Jennie C. Stephens (a1) and Kevin Surprise (a2)

Abstract

Advancing solar geoengineering research is associated with multiple hidden injustices that are revealed by addressing three questions: Who is conducting and funding solar geoengineering research? How do those advocating for solar geoengineering research think about social justice and social change? How is this technology likely to be deployed? Navigating these questions reveals that solar geoengineering research is being advocated for by a small group of primarily white men at elite institutions in the Global North, funded largely by billionaires or their philanthropic arms, who are increasingly adopting militarized approaches and logics. Solar geoengineering research advances an extreme, expert–elite technocratic intervention into the global climate system that would serve to further concentrate contemporary forms of political and economic power. For these reasons, we argue that it is unethical and unjust to advance solar geoengineering research.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the same Creative Commons licence is included and the original work is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use.

Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Prof Jennie C. Stephens, E-Mail: j.stephens@northeastern.edu

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The hidden injustices of advancing solar geoengineering research

  • Jennie C. Stephens (a1) and Kevin Surprise (a2)

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