Biodiv Sci ›› 2013, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (3): 375-382.DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2013.08022

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Current situation of geoengineering and its impact on biodiversity

Senlu Yin, Junsheng Li, Xiaopu Wu, Guo Li, Jing Xu*()   

  1. State Key Laboratory of Environmental Criteria and Risk Assessment, Chinese Academy of Environmental Sciences, Beijing 100012
  • Received:2013-01-25 Accepted:2013-04-19 Online:2013-05-20 Published:2013-06-05
  • Contact: Xu Jing

Abstract:

Interests in the process of geoengineering have grown and geoengineering is a focus for the Convention on Biological Diversity now. Geoengineering programs and experiments have been carried out to varying extent globally and are of significance to Chinese interests. This paper originates from a review of a conference discussion and of relevant literatures. It introduces the concept of geoengineering, describes the current status of its development and discusses the potential impacts geoengineering may have on biodiversity. Arguments about geoengineering in the Convention on Biological Diversity are also discussed. Researches show that geoengineering programs mainly affect biodiversity by changing the local or regional climate and environment. Large scale geoengineering programs may be prohibited in future due to uncertainty over their potential impacts on biodiversity. However, the necessity for energy saving and obligations to reduce emissions will drive the progress of geoenginering. The future development of geoengineering is also examined. It is concluded that the techniques involved need to be of a high standard, highly efficient, low in cost and environmentally safe. Precautionary measures should be taken in the implementation of geoenginering related activities, and mechanisms for monitoring their effects should be thoroughly explored.

Key words: Convention on Biological Diversity, Carbon Dioxide Removal, Solar Radiation Management, Compliance negotiations