Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Climate Solutions Lab

Climate Geoengineering

Illinois Institute of Technology


Fall 2020

Prof. William Burns

Undergraduate lecture

Climate change is the keystone environmental issue of this generation, and most likely for many generations to come. While the world community and individual countries have formulated policies to address climate change, these policies are almost universally recognized as being wholly inadequate to effectuate the objective of the Paris Agreement to hold global temperatures to well below 2ºC above pre-industrial levels, and pursue efforts to limit increases to 1.5ºC. This has led to increasing calls for research and development, and potential deployment, of so-called “climate geoengineering” options, defined as “deliberate large-scale intervention in the Earth’s natural systems to counteract climate change.”

This course will assess to examine the case for climate geoengineering as a third component to address climate change, alongside mitigation and adaptation, as well as the potential effectiveness and risks of the most widely discussed approaches. We will also discuss aspects of governance and public deliberation. Moreover, I will also seek to help students develop critical skills of analysis, public speaking, and writing.