Can technology save the planet? As the impacts of the climate emergency become more severe and the timeline for action more restricted, more radical solutions – large-scale intervention in Earth’s climate – are being proposed. One of them is geoengineering, also called climate engineering or climate intervention.

Geoengineering is the technological intervention in the Earth’s climate, and includes low-risk activities such as large scale afforestation to higher-risk stratospheric aerosol methods.  It is currently being advocated by some scientists as a response to climate change.

Youth have been at the forefront of climate justice movements but tend to be excluded from environmental policy-making discussions and decisions, and there have been few efforts to include young people’s perspectives in social science research about geoengineering. Geoengineering is at a sufficiently early stage that the needs and interests of different groups of people in different parts of the world can be recognised, and mechanisms built into decision-making to ensure that outcomes are distributed fairly (taking account of both spatial and temporal scales of justice). 

This project aims to

  1. establish international interdisciplinary partnerships between academics (science/philosophy/geography education) and youth environmental networks to develop the capacity of young people to respond to proposed technological innovations;
  2. test online participative methods to generate an evidence base on youth responses to geoengineering science and the ethical, social and political questions that it raises; 
  3. understand youth perceptions of the implications of geoengineering for climate and inter-generational justice. 

Project activities

Together with our project partners, we will facilitate series of four online workshops focusing on geoengineering and exploring the four key elements – science, ethics, politics and society. 

Participants of the workshops will examine the social, ethical and political issues associated with geoengineering, and develop a youth vision for geoengineering to be shared with policymakers.

During four workshops, participants will: 

  • Learn about the potential and risks associated with engineering the Earth’s climate, and develop a position on geoengineering in relation to mitigation and adaptation;
  • Build networks with other young people in Europe;
  • Contribute to research on youth priorities for climate action;
  • Develop capacity for collective action on climate change;
  • Collaborate on a policy paper and geoengineering handbook which foreground youth perspectives and priorities.
  • 24 April 2021


    Science Workshop

  • 25 April 2021

    Society Workshop


    25 April 2021

  • 8 May 2021


    Politics Workshop

  • 9 May 2021

    Public Workshop


    9 May 2021

  • June 2021


Youth Guide and Policy Brief

Over the course of the workshops, youth participants co-wrote and produced a Youth Guide and Policy Brief on geoengineering. This resource was written by young people to inform their peers about geoengineering and to share youth views and perspectives with decision-makers.

The purpose of this guide is to introduce key ideas and questions about geoengineering in order to spark a conversation about intervention in the Earth’s climate system in the context of the range of possible responses to the climate crisis.

Download the full guide here 

Project partners