Geoengineering the Climate: An Issue for Peace and Security Studies?

The presentations of this workshop are now available for download (for workshop participants only!).


The conference program is now online here.


Research context of this workshop

There is a growing interest in the intentional manipulation and control of the climate system – known as “geoengineering” or “climate engineering”. Related concepts are moving into the mainstream debate. This is in part due to some scientists and political authorities considering geoengineering as a “Plan B” option for a “global last resort” to counter catastrophic climate change. Besides a growing research in climate engineering options the ethical and political discourse is picking up speed as well.

While research on climate engineering is attracting resources and interest, there is a lack of understanding of the potential consequences, in particular for peace and security. Actions that intentionally modify global temperature can induce difficult issues concerning national, international and regional security that could lead to new security dilemmas. As far as human and environmental security are concerned, the risks of geoengineering could provoke local responses of people who are concerned about the potential impacts and risks. This link between the global and local levels may have profound geostrategic implications and could provoke complex conflict constellations across geographic scales.

This workshop aims for a better understanding of the potential impacts of geoengineering. It provides a first mapping of the problem landscape and identifies knowledge gaps and emerging research questions. In particular, the workshop will explore the possible implications of geoengineering for peace and security affairs, based on a systematic analysis of geoengineering options and a taxonomy of possible consequences. It will discuss potential risks in an open discourse that involves researchers from various interdisciplinary backgrounds.


Date of the conference

November 10 & 11, 2011

Please note that sessions on November 10 will be open to the public.
Sessions on November 11 will be open to registered participants only.


Conference venue

KlimaCampus Hamburg
Center for Marine and Atmospheric Science (ZMAW) Building
Bundesstrasse 53
D-20146 Hamburg

The workshop will take place in room 022/023 (ground floor).


Important dates

October 28, 2011: End of registration period (has been extended from October 11, 2011)



Please register by eMail to climatesecurity@we dont want


Supporting organizations and organizing committee

Supporting organizations:

Organizing Committee:
Christian Alwardt, Holger Braun-Thürmann, Michael Brzoska, Martin Kalinowski, P. Michael Link, Achim Maas, Götz Neuneck, Jürgen Scheffran, Janpeter Schilling



Research Group Climate Change and Security
KlimaCampus Hamburg
Center for Marine and Atmospheric Sciences
University of Hamburg
Bundesstrasse 53
D-20146 Hamburg

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Scheffran (juergen.scheffran[at]
Dr. P. Michael Link ([at]
Janpeter Schilling (janpeter.schilling[at]


A pdf document summarizing key aspects of the workshop can be downloaded here.



Last update: November 03, 2011



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