SRMGI’s insights reflected in NASEM report

In September 2019, SRMGI’s Director, Andy Parker, was invited to present to the panel of the US National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM).


In his comments, Andy emphasised the importance of capacity-building in the Global South, where the work of SRMGI has led the world for a decade. He advised:

  1. The current North-South disparity over SRM research is problematic but not inevitable, and capacity-building can counter it.
  2. Capacity-building will be essential for the good governance of SRM. Developing countries will be most affected by decisions to implement or reject SRM and they should be playing an active and informed role in research and governance.
  3. SRMGI’s work has shown that capacity-building is possible and must be expanded.
  4. Research funders in the Global North should consider how they can collaborate with researchers in the Global South.

It was heartening to see that these messages were reflected in the recommendations of the final report:

Chapter 4.3
International support may be particularly useful for the development of local capacity in countries that have limited public funding to support SG research . . .  Support for international collaboration and coordination may also be particularly helpful.

Chapter 4.4
While the focus of this study is on a U.S. (national) research program, strong international engagement and open international collaboration will promote the strongest scientific and global policy outcomes.

Recommendation 5.1n
[SRM] researchers and funders should establish mechanisms to promote a diverse and inclusive community of SG researchers and research governance experts . . . [including] building capacity in underrepresented regions and nations.

Recommendation 5.1s
A coalition of state and non-state actors should self-organize to promote international information sharing and cooperation on [SRM] research and research governance through activities including (but not limited to) the following:

  • Providing grants for pilot projects or partnerships with countries that are underrepresented in the global research environment (e.g., capacity building institutions like the DECIMALS program).

Recommendation 5.1v
An ad hoc working group under the auspices of the UN General Assembly or another international body should be created to address future governance needs for [SRM] research. It could provide a range of deliverables including, but not limited to, assessments of . . . the adequacy of existing resources for capacity building related to [SRM] research in developing countries, and advisability of opening some existing pools of climate finance to [SRM] research or establishing new sources of funding.

Image credit: NASEM