Climate Weekly: Who will govern geoengineering?

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Geoengineering tends to get short shrift from environmentalists, seen as a distraction from the hard and necessary work of cutting emissions, at best.

All the same, it is increasingly hard to see the world avoiding dangerous warming without it – and research is proceeding, whether they like it or not.

Switzerland is calling on the UN Environment Programme to consider international governance options, in a draft resolution for this month’s summit obtained by Sara Stefanini.

Because as reader Felix Schenuit points out, more science cannot resolve the political dilemmas involved: debate is needed on the values and interests at stake.

GCF boss

The Green Climate Fund has named Yannick Glemarec as its next executive director, to lead the institution through a fundraising drive. He will coordinate with economist Johannes Linn, facilitator of the replenishment process.

With no shade on either appointee, who by all accounts are smart and competent, you have to ask how an institution drawing from an international pool landed on two white men. Particularly when the highly qualified Mafalda Duarte was in the running. Maybe the 7:1 male to female ratio on the selection panel goes some way to explain it…

Meanwhile cracks showed in developing world unity at a board meeting in Songdo, as Saudi and Seychellois members clashed over governance reform.

Cool trillion

French experts, backed by Paris Agreement architect Laurent Fabius, are promoting a trillion-euro EU climate finance pact, Natalie Sauer reports.

At a launch event in Paris, they outlined plans for a new bank and fund to mobilise cash on a large scale. Proponents hope to put it on the agenda of a summit on the future of Europe this month and European Parliament elections in May.

Big oil on defence

International Petroleum Week this year coincided with a winter heatwave in London. As activists superglued themselves to the doors, inside were some signs of humility from the oil majors.

Saudi Aramco chief Amin Nasser took a strikingly defensive tone, revealing that top financiers and policymakers had told him his industry had little future.

He begged to differ, unsurprisingly, arguing for better PR rather than a wholesale shift to clean energy – but there’s no denying the sector is rattled.

For all the talk of carbon pricing, some were kicking it old school: Financial Times correspondent Anjli Raval spotted a delegate wearing an I❤FossilFuels pin.

CR 4 EVs

Costa Rica launched a 2050 climate strategy, covering all sectors of the economy. This small central American country switching to electric vehicles may not make Nasser tremble on its own, but advocates hope it can be an example to others.

Brexit loopholes

With four weeks to the Brexit deadline, UK lawmakers scrutinised plans to replace EU environmental laws – and found them wanting.

The draft bill contains “too many get-out-of-jail-free cards”, warned Environmental Audit Committee chair Mary Creagh.

Read more on: Climate politics