Negative Consequences of Geo-Engineering

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Geo-engineering was a tool of the struggle with the climate change. According to the Paris climate agreement, this is the most efficient method. However, is it really so effective and safe at the same time?

Geo-engineering is the technological manipulations with the biosphere of Earth. The main goal of these manipulations is to stop the climate change. Geo-engineering includes a large-scale intervention into the carbon and hydrological cycles. It consists of two directions: removal of the greenhouse gases from atmosphere and control of the solar radiation. However, there is no guarantee that “improved” water cycle or geochemical carbon cycle will work according to geo-engineers’ plan.

In its report, the Heinrich Böll Foundation specifies some problems concerning the using of the geo-engineering technologies.


To influence the climate, the intervention has to be on the planetary scale. Therefore, undesirable consequences will be also such transboundary.

 High level of risk

The geo-engineering intervention into the global ecosystems can yaw because of the numerous reasons like equipment failure, human mistake, natural phenomena and many others. Such situations can cause the sharp temperature jumps, which will lead to the tragic consequences.

Diversion of resources

Geo-engineering takes the financial and scientific resources away from the developing and using the real, predictable and environmentally friendly tools of the climate change mitigation.

Ecological risks

All the geo-engineering technologies have a huge potential influence on the environment. For example, the fertilisation of the ocean by iron sulphate for the reproduction of phytoplankton (absorbs СО2), leads to the destroying of the food chain, algae bloom and oxygen deficiency.

Depending on the geographical location, such technologies are capable to provoke the devastation of land and water resources, depletion of the ozone layer, hard droughts in Asia and Africa, food and water deficiency and many other negative consequences.

Military use

Weather-controlling technologies were developed for military use. Thus, there are no guarantees that geo-engineering technologies will be served only for the peaceful use. Those people, who will control the climate and weather change, automatically, get the powerful tool of the geopolitical influence.

Commercialisation of climate

There is already a rough competition between owners of the geo-engineering decisions of the climate crisis. In addition, the perspective of climate monopolization exists now.

Breaking of the international agreement

The using of the geo-engineering technologies means the breaking of the various agreements of UN like Convention on Biological Diversity, Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter, Environmental Modification Convention and others.

Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) does not consider the geo-engineering technology as efficient and safe. However, Paris Agreement and its mismatch to the fixed goals and national contribution to the carbon emission reduction make a situation where the stakeholders try to represent the geo-engineering technology as a “wonderful tool” against the negative consequences of the climate change.



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