"Manipulating the planet: Is there a role for Negative Emissions Technologies in tackling climate change?" - Next Big Thing

Past Event

25 February 2013, 7:30pm - 8:45pm

Policy Exchange
The Ideas Space, Clutha House, 10 Storey's Gate, London, SW1P 3AY

NB Tbanner

This London-based event is a collaboration between the Oxford Martin School, Policy Exchange
and Nesta

Geoengineering, or large-scale manipulation of the planetary environment, is championed as a potential solution to climate change. However, the various technologies remain largely unproven and the unintended consequences of using such techniques are essentially unknown. Opponents have argued they risk creating greater environmental problems and that they undermine ongoing efforts at reducing greenhouse gas emissions by creating illusions of a quick ‘technical fix’. Yet, on the current trajectory, global efforts to combat rising CO2 levels are falling dangerously short and scientists argue that we need to understand the possibilities of geoengineering and think seriously about how we govern this highly controversial research.

This event will discuss the major geoengineering technologies being developed and how policymakers should proceed with research into these controversial technologies. Look specifically at Negative Emissions Technologies (NETs), which target the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, this event will consider:

  • What are the major technologies being developed? What are NETs and what contribution can they make to climate change mitigation?
  • How should policymakers manage the risks created by such technologies, and how can such research be responsibly governed internationally?
  • Will support for NETs undermine or complement efforts at mitigation?
  • Is this the kind of technology Governments should support at all? And what is the role for the private sector, if any, in the development and development of these technologies?


  • Mike Childs, Head of Policy, Research and Science, Friends of the Earth
  • Henrik Karlsson, Chief Executive Officer, Biorecro
  • Oliver Morton, Briefings Editor, The Economist
  • Chi Onwurah MP, Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office
  • Professor Steve Rayner, Co-Director, Oxford Geoengineering Programme, Oxford Martin School

Chair: Guy Newey, Head of Environment and Energy, Policy Exchange

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For more information and booking a seat, please visit www.eventbrite.com/event/5437754470