“Some of the technologies considered to keep the Earth habitable are a nightmare”

SOn the climate front, the most striking information of recent days is neither the drought that is setting in in France, nor the succession of heat waves which took several weeks for tens of millions of Indians and Pakistanis on the threshold of the unlivable. No: the most worrying climate news in recent weeks is the creation, within the Paris Peace Forum, of the World Commission on the governance of risks linked to climate overshoot. The launch of its work, on May 17, went unnoticed in France, where only The world, under the pen of Audrey Garric, reported on it. Its mandate should, however, hold our full attention.

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The fifteen members of this commission – former European commissioners, heads of state or ministers of countries in the North and South, high-level diplomats, etc. – will address issues that have never before been examined at such a level. This time, it is officially a question of reflecting on the conditions for the deployment of geo-engineering techniques – that is to say methods of large-scale climate modification –, not only on their feasibility, their benefits and their risks, but also their governance.

The mere fact that these techniques are now officially on the agenda should cause deep concern. This means first of all that the hope is fading of seeing the earth’s climate preserved from a catastrophic drift. Then, the radical nature of certain solutions envisaged to maintain the habitability of an overheated Earth gives an understanding of the seriousness of the situation. Some of these technologies are part of a dystopian nightmare unimaginable only a few years ago. They are now on the table – not yet that of the diplomacy of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, but at least in its antechamber.

A fallen taboo

“While the significant and rapid reduction of emissions must be the central objective of any climate policy, collective action against [réchauffement] must consider all possible responses to actively reduce risksexplains the new commission in its presentation. These options include greatly expanded adaptation measures to reduce climate vulnerability, carbon removal to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and possibly solar geoengineering to cool the planet by reducing incoming solar radiation. »

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