January 17, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. / GENEVA (CH) – The Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) applauds the Mexican government’s announcement that it will not permit solar geoengineering experiments and deployment on its national territory. The announcement follows a private, US-based company’s (‘Make Sunsets’) recent unauthorized experimental solar geoengineering flights in Mexico. CIEL calls on all governments to take steps to ban solar geoengineering outdoor experiments, technology development, and deployment. 

“‘Make Sunsets’ launch of unauthorized geoengineering experiments for private profit demonstrates both the urgent threat of rogue geoengineering and the deeper risks of the rising reliance on geoengineering to counter some of the effects of climate change. By selling ‘cooling credits’ as atmospheric indulgences and offering a supposedly cheap and easy quick fix to the climate crisis, the company plays into the hands of the fossil fuel industry. Such actions distract from real solutions that require leaving all fossil fuels in the ground,” said Lili Fuhr, Deputy Director of CIEL’s Climate & Energy Program. “Experiments like the ones run by ‘Make Sunsets’ will lead us down a slippery slope towards deployment. Solar geoengineering is too risky and ungovernable to pursue. We support the Mexican government in their plan for a ban and call on them to immediately stop the new flights that ‘Make Sunsets’ has announced for January 2023.” 

The Mexican government’s announcement states that the government will take all necessary steps to enforce a moratorium agreed upon by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 2010 and to adhere to the ‘precautionary principle’ under international law.

The Mexican government follows scientific advice: The IPCC has warned that these technologies are not a credible solution because of their impacts and huge uncertainties. Masking global heating with sunlight reduction would bring huge shifts in atmospheric circulation and massively affect rainfall patterns, especially in countries already impacted by climate chaos. Models show that solar geoengineering could affect rainfall patterns and hydrological cycles that sustain the livelihoods of millions of people. Hundreds of leading scientists from over 50 countries are calling for an International Non-Use Agreement on Solar Geoengineering. The Non-Use Agreement would prohibit governments from supporting the development of solar geoengineering technologies with taxpayer funds and ban all outdoor experiments, patenting, and deployment.  

Source – https://www.ciel.org/news/ciel-welcomes-mexican-government-announcement-on-solar-geoengineering-ban/