Americas Conference on Solar Radiation Modification to be held at The UWI Regional Headquarters

by August 24, 2022

Vice Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Dr. Thelma Krug is among speakers slated for the 2022 Americas Conference on Solar Radiation Modification to be hosted at The University of the West Indies (The UWI) Regional Headquarters in Jamaica on August 24 and 25, 2022.

The conference, organised by the Inter-American Institute (IAI) for Global Change Research is themed Science, Governance, and Implications for the Region. It will focus on the science of Solar Radiation Modification (SRM), how it could be used to address climate change and how its use if any, should be governed.

Presentations will be made on current work and research as well as future possibilities in the Americas and across the globe. The speakers’ line-up also includes Professor of Physics and Dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology, The UWI, Mona Campus, Professor Michael Taylor; Chief Executive Officer, National Disaster Risk Management Fund in Pakistan, Mr. Bilal Anwar; Science and Technology Development Planner, Planning Institute of Jamaica, Mrs. Farrah Hansel Murray, and Senior Research Fellow, Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University, Dr. Doug McMartin.

The two-day conference which is expected to discuss issues surrounding international governance for SRM is also a follow-up to a workshop held in Jamaica in 2016, hosted by Solar Radiation Management Governance Initiative (SRMGI), the Caribbean Academy of Sciences Jamaica Chapter (CAS-J), Build Better Jamaica, the Government of Jamaica, and The UWI—the first open discussion of SRM in Jamaica and which positioned further discourse on SRM in the region.

With the level and nature of climate threats faced by Small Island States of the Caribbean, SRM is a proposed response to some of the risks of climate change. However, at the 2016 Workshop, Mr. Andy Parker, now CEO of The Degrees Initiative noted, “SRM cannot be an alternative to emissions reductions or adaptation, but modelling studies have indicated that it might be able to reduce some of the risks of climate change”.

Since 2010, the Degrees Initiative has led the world in building developing countries’ capacity to evaluate SRM and to play a central role in the global conversation around this controversial technology. Some participants at the 2016 workshop noted that the 2015 Paris Agreement Treaty on Climate Change, seeking as a global target to hold the increase of temperatures below 1.5 degrees puts SRM on the table to achieve this milestone. The UWI currently has a team of researchers on its Mona campus investigating the potential impact on the Caribbean of using SRM to achieve the 1.5-degree global target.

The 2022 conference is a collaborative effort by the Carnegie Climate Governance Initiative of the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs (C2G); the Degrees Initiative (formerly the SRM Governance Initiative); the Inter-American Institute (IAI) for Global Change Research and the University of the West Indies (The UWI), with support from the United States National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS).

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