Growing concern over the difficulty of efforts to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions has recently led to an intense discussion of “Climate Engineering” (CE) - techniques for global-scale intervention to offset global warming. These have great potentials, but also entail serious risks and uncertainties. CE is rapidly gaining scientific, political, commercial, and public attention, and the first national and international assessments of CE schemes have already been published. However, a distinct European perspective, particularly with regard to the EU and how CE relates to its ambitious climate targets, is still missing. The project “European Trans-disciplinary Assessment of Climate Engineering” (EuTRACE) has been formed to fill this gap. It will (1) pool top independent experts engaged in CE and general climate research across Europe to develop a next-generation assessment of the potentials, uncertainties, risks, implications, and the criteria to assess whether or not to implement various CE options; (2) actively engage in dialogue with the public and policy makers and other civil society stakeholders to disseminate information about CE and to adequately address concerns and perspectives across Europe and globally and incorporate them in the assessment; (3) outline policy options and pathways for the EU and its partners in Europe and abroad to address the challenges CE poses; and (4) identify the most important gaps in current understanding of climate engineering. 14 partner organizations from five countries ranging from the natural sciences & engineering, social sciences and the humanities have joined forces to address these questions. The assessment approach of EuTRACE is supported by European-level policy makers, and the consortium has already established partnerships with a large international network of top researchers from Europe, North America and Asia.
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