Commission of ‘high-powered’ climate head-scratchers gathers as 1.5C overshoot looms

Photosynthesis: nature requires carbon dioxide

A Climate Overshoot Commission (COC?) will try to dream up ways of altering nature’s carbon cycle. The mind boggles at the futility.
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Fifteen former leaders and ministers are set to address sensitive questions on the role of CO2 removal and geoengineering in climate action, reports Climate Home News.

The chances of keeping global temperature rise below 1.5C, the toughest goal of the Paris Agreement, are increasingly slim. “Well below 2C” is a stretch.

Yet there has been little discussion at an international level on how to handle “overshoot” of those goals. A high-powered commission due to launch in May aims to break the silence.

Climate diplomats are finalising a 15-strong lineup of former presidents, ministers and representatives of international organisations to explore options for deep adaptation, carbon dioxide removal (CDR) and geoengineering, Climate Home News can reveal.

The Climate Overshoot Commission will address sensitive questions around the ethics and feasibility of potential ways to reverse warming that are problematic or unproven at large scale.

“The primary strategy to combat climate change should remain reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but it has also become necessary to explore additional strategies,” Jesse Reynolds, executive secretary of the commission, told Climate Home.

France’s Pascal Lamy, director general of the World Trade Organisation between 2005 and 2013, has been appointed as chair. He is president of the Paris Peace Forum, which will host the commission.

The idea for a commission to assess climate engineering options was floated in 2017 by Edward Parson, professor of environmental law at the University of California.

Parson became one of 11 on a steering committee of politicians, policymakers and academics to shape what the commission should look like. Among them, five were from developing countries, including Cop27 host Egypt’s environment minister Yasmine Fouad, former Marshall Islands president Hilda Heine and Youba Sokona, vice-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Paris Agreement architect Laurence Tubiana and Janos Pasztor, executive director of the Carnegie Climate Governance (C2G) Initiative, were other members.

“How will the world manage the risk of temperature overshoot? That is the question that nobody is talking about,” Pasztor told Climate Home. “There isn’t enough attention paid to the magnitude of the risk for removing the huge amount of carbon dioxide that will keep us to 1.5C.”

With the latest science showing overshoot of 1.5C, if not 2C, is highly likely, the moment for that conversation may have arrived.

Full report here.

via Tallbloke’s Talkshop

April 25, 2022 at 04:24AM

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