Experts Urge Stakeholders To Invest In Solar Geoengineering Potential

The main proposed approach for Solar geoengineering is a stratospheric aerosol injection, which could increase the reflection of incoming sunlight back to space, cooling the planet.

Experts Urge Stakeholders To Invest In Solar Geoengineering Potential

Experts claim that as a result of climate change, the country has recently become one of the most susceptible and impacted nations, which has compelled the stakeholders to invest in studying the potential of solar geoengineering to reduce the effects of local warming and prevent unpredictable climate catastrophes.

In a recent study article, Professors Dr. Athar Hussain and Abdul Waheed of COMSATS University made an effort to research and analyse solar geoengineering techniques and their potential effects with reference to Pakistan and other developing nations that face comparable climate risks and hazards.

The authors of the research-based article claim that human activity has increased the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases. The global temperature of the atmosphere has increased as a result of this increase in emissions. “Climate engineering strategies seek to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide in order to combat global warming’s negative effects.

The methods used in this context to reflect incoming sunlight back into space are referred to as solar geoengineering. Global climate engineering plans and proposals have gained extra diplomatic clout in recent years as a sort of stand-alone solution to the threat of dangerous global warming.

Climate Geoengineering aims to reflect back a tiny fraction of incoming sunlight to the Earth, which can be achieved by releasing aerosols into the upper atmosphere to address impacts and climate change injustice.

The main proposed approach for Solar geoengineering is a stratospheric aerosol injection, which could increase the reflection of incoming sunlight back to space, cooling the planet. Large volcanic eruptions provide evidence that this injection would cool the planet.

The US government has approved a grant of $1.4 trillion to research geoengineering, which includes assessments of “solar climate interventions” and “proposals to inject material into the stratosphere”. Experts think that public funding for geoengineering research is “overdue”.

Pakistan contributes less than one percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions but is one of the most vulnerable nations to climate change. Pakistan’s recent devastating floods caused the deaths of more than 1,100 people, impacted more than 33 million people, and inflicted more than USD 30 billion in damages and economic losses.

The World Bank Report, published in October 2022, estimates that at least USD 16.3 billion will be required for rehabilitation and reconstruction to be done in a resilient manner. Therefore, at an international conference on a resilient Pakistan in Geneva on January 9, 2023, the Pakistani government made a USD 8 billion flood aid appeal.

Pakistan raised more than USD 9 billion for flood recovery, surpassing its goal by USD 1 billion. In terms of climate change governance, the Pakistani government introduced its first climate change policy in 2012 and its implementation framework in 2013, both of which were updated in 2021. The Climate Change Act was also created in 2017 to put climate change policy instruments into effect.

The need for solar geoengineering in Pakistan is likely due to the country’s vulnerability to the impacts of climate change. Pakistan needs to consider implementing solar geoengineering solutions to mitigate the effects of climate change and protect its population and economy

. Solar geoengineering is a controversial topic, with experts arguing that it is a necessary tool to combat climate change impacts, while others argue that it is risky and that there is not enough understanding of the potential consequences to justify its use.

Scientists at COMSATS University in Islamabad conducted a study on the impacts of sulphate aerosols on the climate of Pakistan, funded by the UK based DEGREEs Initiative. They concluded and recommended building a dialogue on science, governance, and policy at the national level. The climate models analysed were the first step in determining the relative magnitude of the impact.

In 2022, authors of this article conducted solar geoengineering research to analyse stakeholders’ perceptions and improve understanding of the risks, potential benefits, and other uncertain implications of the solar geoengineering approach among three developing countries in the global South.

Results showed that there are significant differences in awareness of global warming and solar geoengineering, as well as in the deployment of sulphate aerosols as a measure to delay the harshest effects of global warming.

In Pakistan, there is a significant knowledge gap regarding the potential impacts and effectiveness of solar geoengineering. Some research has focused on its potential impacts on global climate patterns rather than on its specific effects in Pakistan.