UN to vote on solar geoengineering

By Sara Schonhardt | 02/23/2024 06:24 AM EST

The proposal would create a group to research the process of reflecting sun rays.

The sun sets on the Mediterranean sea as people watch from Marseille, France.

Some researchers want to study how sunlight could be directed away from the Earth. Nicolas Tucat/AFP via Getty Images

Governments are considering whether to create an expert group for studying ways to reflect sunlight away from the Earth to limit global warming.

A draft resolution submitted by Switzerland and seen by E&E News would invite countries and organizations to nominate experts for the group on solar geoengineering, a concept that includes altering cloud cover or injecting sunlight-blocking particles into the atmosphere to avoid catastrophic climate change.

The proposal, which is supported by Guinea, Monaco and Senegal, is expected to be voted on next week by nations on the U.N. Environment Assembly, the U.N. Environment Programme’s governing body. Nearly two dozen resolutions will be considered at the conference being held in Nairobi, Kenya.


The solar geoengineering resolution also asks the secretariat of the UNEP to prepare an “input document” that lays out information about geoengineering, also known as solar radiation management or SRM. That includes potential risks, impacts and uncertainties around different technologies, and ethical considerations.