Welcome to the SCoPEx Advisory Committee website. This information is intended to provide transparency into the work of the SCoPEx Advisory Committee and to serve as an invitation to interested parties to engage with the Committee as we move forward with our work.

The Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment (SCoPEx) run by Harvard University, is a scientific experiment to advance understanding of stratospheric aerosols that could be relevant to solar geoengineering. The independent Advisory Committee was established to provide advice on the research and governance of SCoPEx.

SCoPEx Advisory Committee Workplan and Operating Guidelines

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Statement from the SCoPEx Advisory Committee

May 18, 2020

We, the members of the Advisory Committee to the Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment (SCoPEx), commit to working with Harvard University to develop and implement a credible and sound governance framework for this research project. We are contributing to this Committee as individuals with different expertise, experiences, and perspectives, and we will remain true to our values and beliefs as we conduct this work.

As a Committee, we are united by two facts:

Climate change an enormous and pressing challenge facing nature and humanity, andReducing emissions and atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases as quickly as possible must be the highest priority to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

We also agree that the current limited state of knowledge does not permit us to reach a conclusion on the efficacy of solar geoengineering as a climate intervention. Therefore, SCoPEx is not a valid reason for shifting the global focus away from current, better known and understood adaptation and mitigation measures, especially the reduction of emissions.

Each of us is committed to the work of this Committee because of the possibility that governments or others may turn to solar geoengineering as an option for mitigating climate change as the impacts become more severe. While the SCoPEx research team designed the experiment to answer a set of scientific and engineering questions, we recognize that this experiment has implications far beyond these questions.

Moreover, current research practices are not well adapted to the ethical, moral, or even technical issues associated with geoengineering research. The SCoPEx project presents an opportunity to pilot comprehensive and inclusive approaches to research governance that are commensurate with the myriad, interconnected, and complex challenges presented by geoengineering research. We modestly hope that the processes we develop and employ to evaluate SCoPEx can both responsibly guide this particular experiment and serve as a model for other geoengineering research. We also hope that this work will provide a foundation and test-case for broadening participation in guiding research and making sound decisions about scientific experiments.

The Committee will strive to ensure that if the SCoPEx project is undertaken, it will be done in a transparent, responsible, and legitimate manner that meaningfully contributes both to science and to building appropriate public engagement. None of us is undertaking this work with a predetermined outcome in mind. Rather, we are committed to ensuring that this experiment demonstrates core principles of transparency, legitimacy, and technical soundness.