Solar radiation modification: a dangerous distraction from required emissions reductions
Solar radiation modification (SRM), where higher amounts of sunlight are reflected back to space through artificially altering either the Earth’s surface or the atmosphere, is presented by some as an option that may help to limit global temperature rise.
However, SRM cannot address the root causes of anthropogenic climate change – the continued emissions of greenhouse gases and nor can it address critical issues such as ocean acidification caused by CO2 emissions.
Some argue that a dedicated international SRM governance framework is required. But our assessment is that there is no such thing as a just and safe governance framework for SRM, and there is a significant risk that continued discussions of SRM governance could lead to a normalisation of SRM as a policy option that is not supported scientifically.
Serious risks from SRM are well established. Investing precious time and resources in this critical decade to explore SRM technologies distracts from the urgent need to step up mitigation efforts to halve emissions by 2030.