Climate Engineering in Context Conference Series: Critical Global Discussions 

The idea of deliberately intervening in the global climate system in response to climate change is increasingly being discussed in contemporary climate change research and politics. In the past, a wide range of such ideas has been subsumed under the term “climate engineering.” The proposed approaches have often historically been divided into two groups: those intended to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere (Carbon Dioxide Removal: CDR) and those intended to reduce the amount of solar energy that reaches the Earth’s surface (Solar Radiation Management: SRM). As scientists and policymakers continue to evaluate these ideas, the appropriateness of the term “climate engineering” as representative of the thematic field of research encompassing all large-scale interventions into global systems, has been debated. This runs parallel to discussions about the relationship between large-scale climate intervention, conventional strategies for addressing climate change, and sustainable development. At this important juncture in the debate, CEC21 will provide the opportunity to take stock of what these developments mean for the future of “climate engineering” as a response to climate change in the context of other large-scale interventions into global systems. 


The overarching objectives of CEC are:

  • Bringing together diverse stakeholders – academics as well as representatives from the policy and civil society communities.
  • Providing a forum to (1) present and discuss research findings, (2) review the state of the debate, and (3) scope key future questions and challenges for academia and society.
  • Providing a platform for co-creation, networking, collaboration and exchange across disciplines, sectors, countries, continents, and generations.


The unique feature of the CEC conference series has always been the increasing integration of transdisciplinary and co-creative approaches through interactive session formats. The conference organisers hope that this will widen perspectives, and contextualise “climate engineering” within ideas about large-scale interventions into global systems and sustainable transformations. CEC21 invites discussion of all approaches historically aggregated under the term “climate engineering”, and additionally aims to contextualise them among other proposed responses to climate change, including mitigation, adaptation, de-growth, rewilding and ecological restoration. The conference organisers encourage participation by anyone from the academic, policy, civil society or public spheres interested in the ethical, cultural, political, economic and scientific implications of such climate interventions.

How to participate

There will be three ways of registering to participate at CEC21. The CEC21 Steering Committee issued a call for session proposals in early 2020 to invite interested stakeholders (academics and non-academics alike) to submit their ideas for sessions.  The CEC21 Steering Committee and Advisory Group reviewed proposals in mid-2020 and selected based on thematic fit, use of engagement, interactive session formats, inter- or trans-disciplinary approaches and panel diversity. Since then the CEC21 Steering Committee have devised innovative virtual session formats as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. CEC21 will be held virtually. This strategic decision reflects the need for adaptation and reassessment of the need for travel to decreasing our environmental impact in light of increasing technological capabilities.

In summer 2021, the CEC21 Steering Committee will issue a call for contributions to invite interested parties (academics and non-academics alike) submit ideas for how they could virtually contribute to the conference. Proposed contributions are welcome to span a range of traditional academic (i.e. a talk or presentation) and creative mediums. Poster proposals - in traditional academic as well as multi-media formats (i.e. video/graphic/audio) - are also welcome. Both pre-recorded audio/video material and posters will be made available to registered participants on the conference platform during the whole conference period, as well as being presented during the (virtual) poster session. Submissions will be subject to review by the Steering Committee. Contributions will be selected based on quality and diversity of submissions, thematic fit and available slots. To ensure that a diverse range of voices is heard at CEC21, each participant will be limited to two active contributing roles (i.e. convening a session, giving a talk or contributing to a session). Selected contributors will be invited to register for CEC21.

Finally, the third way of participating at the CEC21 will be an open registration for non-contributing participants on a first-come-first-served basis (dates TBA).