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27 Jun, 2023 22:05

EU to probe blocking the Sun – Bloomberg

Brussels is assessing the viability of massive ‘geoengineering’ interventions, according to the agency
EU to probe blocking the Sun – Bloomberg

The European Union is joining an international scheme to investigate whether major interventions in the Earth's natural processes, including deflecting some of the Sun's rays, can help mitigate climate change, Bloomberg reported on Monday. 

The agency cited a draft document that might be made public later this week, aimed at assessing the consequences of global warming on water and food scarcity, and the risks of them triggering new conflicts or mass migration waves.

The paper will also feature plans to study atmospheric re-engineering technologies and the dangers associated with them.

Such projects could range from reflecting a certain percentage of sunlight back into space to altering weather patterns, Bloomberg noted. The EU is seeking international discussions on the schemes and the potential to set down rules for this field. 

"The EU will support international efforts to assess comprehensively the risks and uncertainties of climate interventions, including solar radiation modification," says the document, which is still subject to change, according to Bloomberg. 

The paper acknowledges that such technologies "introduce new risks to people and ecosystems, while they could also increase power imbalances between nations, spark conflicts, and raise a myriad of ethical, legal, governance and political issues."

Geo-engineering plans are being taken more seriously amid expectations that countries will fail in their goal to limit global warming to 1.5C (2.7F), Bloomberg noted, adding that the EU might embrace more radical options, such as spraying stratospheric aerosols to reduce the amount of sunlight reaching earth. 

Bloomberg also noted that critics of geo-engineering have warned that such methods might involve unforeseen side effects such as changes in rain patterns.