Tuesday 28 February 2023

UN: ‘Reflecting sunlight back to space could be climate answer’

UN: ‘Reflecting sunlight back to space could be climate answer’

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) is calling for more focus on technologies that reflect sunlight away from Earth and back into space to stop global warming.

This is because the world is “not on track to meet the 1.5°C Paris Agreement goal,” the UNEP claims, stating that alternatives must be considered to quash greenhouse gas emissions.

Solar Radiation Modification (SRM) is being investigated – which entails reflecting or beaming some sunlight away from Earth to keep it cool.

The UNEP has labelled SRM “the only option that could cool the planet within years.”

However, the technology is still in early stages, with it also conceding that “far more research” would be required “before any consideration for potential deployment.”

Its implementation and investigation was also caveated by the fact that cutting emissions from source should still be the main goal – but lowering temperatures by other means should not be ignored.

Andrea Hinwood, Chief Scientist at the UNEP, said: “The private sector and regulators need to address the basic uncertainties surrounding these technologies, answer some fundamental questions about safety and employ the precautionary principle before SRM can even be contemplated.

“There are no shortcuts or substitutes for slashing harmful emissions and there is no better alternative for our peace, health and wellbeing than a shift to a circular economy, in harmony with nature.”

Written by

Bruna Pinhoni

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