Strategy for Promoting Interdisciplinary Solar Geoengineering Research in India

This working paper analyzes results from a survey administered to researchers and government and civil society leaders about their views on solar geoengineering research.



Sept. 5, 2023


Govindasamy Bala, B.S. Sushma, Indu K. Murthy, and N.H. Ravindranath


Working Paper in Strategy for Promoting Interdisciplinary Solar Geoengineering Research in India

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According to the latest IPCC Working Group I report (2021), changes in the climate in recent decades are widespread, rapid, intensifying, and unprecedented in at least the last 2,000 years. The global mitigation efforts under the Paris Agreement have been inadequate to reach the target of stabilizing warming below 1.5°C. Thus, it is likely that interest in solar geoengineering (SG) as an additional option to address climate change may increase in coming years. The latest IPCC Working Group II report (2022) concludes that SG could offset some of the effects of increasing greenhouse gases (GHGs) on global and regional climate but also notes large uncertainties and risks involved in large-scale deployment of SG. In this context, we assess the need for promoting SG research in India. We conducted an expert opinion survey of mainly researchers and a few individuals from government departments and civil society members who have some level of expertise in climate change and knowledge of SG. A literature review, examination of funded research projects, and survey results indicate very limited research in India on SG, and even more limited social science research. SG research in India is largely focused on modeling the climate hazards, and government support for research (currently only from the Department of Science and Technology) is very limited.

The survey indicates that a majority of experts in India believe that SG research should be a priority area, with overall support for a national policy focusing on modeling, risk and im-pact assessments, and policy analysis. A majority also indicate that the government departments should be the dominant funding agencies for research and international collaborations should be encouraged. The survey highlighted the need for transparency, public consultation, disclosure of all SG research, and monitoring by a government interministerial committee. Finally, respondents indicated a need for a governance protocol and international collaborations due to the risks involved and transboundary nature of impacts.


Govindasamy Bala

Indian Institute of Science

B.S. Sushma

Indian Institute of Science

Indu K. Murthy

Center for Study of Science, Technology, and Policy

N.H. Ravindranath

Indian Institute of Science

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