Scenario 3: Interactions: CE Governance to Enhance (or at least Protect) Mitigation
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It is 2035. The context is the same as in Scenario 2. Fifteen years of solar geoengineering research has yielded promising (but not conclusive) results. Mitigation efforts have achieved mediocre success and efforts are ongoing. Global temperature is 1.7 C above pre-industrial. Climate-change impacts are serious, mounting, and highly unequally distributed.
A group of vulnerable nations has announced an intent to develop operational solar geoengineering capacity, with some degree of threat to proceed unilaterally if negotiations to develop international governance do not succeed.
Those negotiations have just started. They have a broad agenda, covering most major issues in international control and oversight of operational geoengineering proposals.
It is clear that the most challenging aspect of those negotiations will be managing the impact of decisions related to solar geoengineering and its governance on the rest of the international climate-change agenda – in particular, the effect on the rather fragile state of international commitments to steep emissions reductions.
The paramount concern is to do no harm: to ensure that these negotiations do not undermine recent modest mitigation gains or the pursuit of commitments to do more. Ideally, the aim is to do affirmative good: that the decisions made regarding climate engineering and its governance should aid and strengthen the international commitment to further mitigation, in pursuit of a coherent and effective overall strategic international climate response.
Your Group’s Task:
You are a consultative group of senior international officials with responsibilities broadly related to climate change. (Your group includes the Executive Secretary of the FCCC, plus leaders from UNEP, WMO, the GEF, the World Bank, the OECD Secretariat, and others.)
Your group has been informally convened by the Secretary-General, at the request of the co-Chairs and Bureau of the climate engineering governance negotiations, to focus specifically on the problem of these interactions – the effect of the climate engineering negotiations and associated decisions on the broader international climate-change agenda, particularly on mitigation efforts.
Your group must submit a set of recommendations to the climate engineering governance negotiations, but your role need not be limited to this. Given your broad mandate and the stature of your members, you may pursue additional initiatives aimed at influencing the decisions of existing international organizations, other international negotiations, or national governments. Of course, your influence is limited by all the normal constraints on international action – i.e., you cannot tell any of these people, particularly national decision-makers, what to do.
What specific recommendations do you wish to make to the governance negotiations? What additional initiatives or actions do you wish to pursue?