New challenges arise as NOAA considers the regulation of solar geoengineering

In the face of mounting climate change impacts, calls grow for stronger oversight of efforts to modify the Earth's climate through solar geoengineering.

Robin Bravender reports for E&E News.


In short:

  • The U.S. lacks robust regulations for solar geoengineering, sparking concerns among environmentalists and scientists over the potential consequences of unregulated climate intervention.
  • Current laws only require minimal notification before launching geoengineering experiments, a standard critics argue is insufficient for overseeing the complex implications of such activities.
  • As the planet warms, the interest in geoengineering as a stopgap solution to climate change increases, despite the significant risks and ethical questions it raises.

Key quote:

"I am more concerned about this than anything else. [Climate solutions] are not going to get deployed in time, which is only going to create more of a demand for something like this.”

— David Bookbinder, climate attorney and former Sierra Club’s chief climate counsel

Why this matters:

Geoengineering presents a controversial but increasingly considered option for temporarily mitigating climate change effects. However, its potential to alter weather patterns, impact global geopolitics, and cause unforeseen environmental consequences necessitates thorough regulation and public discussion.

EHN’s Pete Myers argues that once deployed, geoengineering gives excuses to avoid reducing carbon emissions.

chemical recycling Youngstown
Youngstown has a long industrial history and is still home to numerous sources of industrial pollution, including a steel plant and other metal fabricators, a concrete plant, and a hazardous waste processing facility. (Credit: Kristina Marusic for EHN)

Listen: Why communities in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia are fighting chemical recycling plants

EHN reporter Kristina Marusic discusses her new three-part series on the controversies surrounding chemical recycling.

PITTSBURGH — EHN reporter Kristina Marusic recently spoke with The Allegheny Front about three communities in the Ohio River Valley that are fighting proposed chemical recycling plants.

Keep reading...Show less
Senator Whitehouse & climate change

Senator Whitehouse puts climate change on budget committee’s agenda

For more than a decade, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse gave daily warnings about the mounting threat of climate change. Now he has a powerful new perch.
Amid LNG’s Gulf Coast expansion, community hopes to stand in its way
Coast Guard inspects Cameron LNG Facility in preparation for first LNG export in 2019. (Credit: Coast Guard News)

Amid LNG’s Gulf Coast expansion, community hopes to stand in its way

This 2-part series was co-produced by Environmental Health News and the journalism non-profit Economic Hardship Reporting Project. See part 1 here.Este ensayo también está disponible en español
Keep reading...Show less

Swiss seniors achieve a historic climate change legal victory in Europe

Europe's top human rights court recognizes the duty of nations to shield their citizens from climate change's harms, highlighted by a landmark win for Swiss senior women but dismisses a youth-led case on emission reductions.

Molly Quell and Raf Casert report for the Associated Press.

Keep reading...Show less

Charleston's battle with wastewater woes

In Charleston, S.C., environmental advocates are gearing up for legal action against Charleston Water for failing to curb frequent sewage overflows, raising health and environmental concerns.

Daniel Shailer reports for Inside Climate News.

Keep reading...Show less

Heat's impact on male fertility

A recent study highlights the substantial risk extreme heat poses to male fertility, marking a significant concern amid global warming trends.

Euronews Green reports.

Keep reading...Show less

Land deals in Africa prompt concerns for local communities

Communities in Liberia and other African countries face potential displacement and loss of livelihood due to extensive land sales to a Dubai-based company, Blue Carbon, aimed at conservation and carbon credit sales.

Taiwo Adebayo reports for The Associated Press.

Keep reading...Show less

Meat industry views Cop28 outcomes with optimism

In a recent summit, meat industry leaders found reasons to be hopeful about their future, despite environmental concerns.

Rachel Sherrington reports for The Guardian.

Keep reading...Show less
From our Newsroom
chemical recycling

Latest chemical recycling plant closing spurs concern over the industry’s viability

Oregon’s Regenyx plant announced its closing in late February, with those involved calling it a success, despite never reaching planned capacity and millions of dollars lost.

plastic treaty

Everything you need to know for the fourth round of global plastic pollution treaty talks

Countries will meet this month in Ottawa to move forward on the historic treaty — but obstacles remain.

zero waste business

Zero- and low-waste businesses band together against plastic pollution

As part of a national coalition, sustainable businesses are pooling resources to fight plastic pollution.

chemical recycling

Residents fear Pennsylvania, West Virginia chemical recycling proposals will deepen fossil fuel ties and pollution problems

"We’d like to be talking about positive things, focusing on our renewable energy future.”

chemical recycling

Q&A: Director of sustainability at Eastman Chemical Company talks chemical recycling

As fights over chemical recycling spread, we sat down to talk about one of the largest such facilities.

Op-ed: “Plastic People” — A documentary that changed my view on plastics

Op-ed: “Plastic People” — A documentary that changed my view on plastics

The plastic crisis has evolved from an environmental concern to a critical human health issue.

Stay informed: sign up for The Daily Climate newsletter
Top news on climate impacts, solutions, politics, drivers. Delivered to your inbox week days.