The European Transdisciplinary Assessment of Climate Engineering (EuTRACE) – Removing Greenhouse Gases from the Atmosphere and Reflecting Sunlight away from Earth. Final report of the FP7 CSA project EuTRACE

Schäfer, Stefan; Mark Lawrence, Harald Stelzer, Wanda Born and Sean Low (ed.) 2015: The European Transdisciplinary Assessment of Climate Engineering (EuTRACE). Removing Greenhouse Gases from the Atmosphere and Reflecting Sunlight away from Earth. Final report of the FP7 CSA project EuTRACE. Potsdam: Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS).

The final report on the European Transdisciplinary Assessment of Climate Engineering (EuTRACE) provides an overview of the broad range of techniques that have been proposed for climate engineering, and what these can and cannot do. The report not only shows the potentials of greenhouse gas removal and possibly of albedo modification for partially counteracting climate change over the long term, but also discusses the many problems and challenges that would be associated with their implementation – not only in terms of costs, technologies and environmental impacts, but also in terms of societal impacts and the development of regulation and governance. Addressing the challenges and concerns associated with climate engineering, the report focuses especially on three example techniques: bio-energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), ocean iron fertilisation (OIF), and stratospheric aerosol injection (SAI).

A major part of the EuTRACE assessment report was to highlight the possible effects of various climate interventions on human security, conflict risks and societal stability. At present, no existing international treaty body is in a position to broadly regulate climate engineering in its entirety. The EuTRACE assessment therefore stresses the value of engaging the public into the discussion about climate engineering. It also suggests that EU member states could consider pursuing an agreement on a common position on various techniques or general aspects of climate engineering, especially if such an agreement could be made consistent with the high degree of importance that EU primary law places on environmental protection.

EuTRACE was formed to compliment other national and international assessments of climate engineering. The project was funded by the EU and brought together researchers from 14 European partner institutions, including adelphi.