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Our Axios Voices conversation on geoengineering.

I would only be comfortable with deploying solar geoengineering - the idea of deliberately increasing the reflectivity of the planet, most likely by introducing aerosols into the stratosphere - on a scale large enough to alter the climate if three basic conditions were met:

  1. At least a decade of serious international, open-access, transparent, and collaborative scientific research, including multiple small-scale field experiments. And, crucially, it would only make sense to proceed if the results of that research showed that the technology was highly likely to be effective with relatively low risks.
  2. More vigorous action to cut global emissions. Ideally I would like to see solar geoengineering linked to robust mitigation, with deployment taking place only after global emissions were on a clear downward trajectory.
  3. A multinational (though not necessarily universal) agreement dealing with decision-making authority, risk management, compensation, etc. Such an agreement would need to reflect a broad though not universal political consensus among governments and major stakeholders, and would also need to be widely viewed as just and legitimate.

Bottom line: We need more research.

Other voices in the conversation:

Go deeper

Biden Cabinet confirmation schedule: When to watch hearings

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on Jan. 16 in Wilmington, Delaware. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

The first hearings for President-elect Joe Biden's Cabinet nominations begin on Tuesday, with testimony from his picks to lead the departments of State, Homeland and Defense.

Why it matters: It's been a slow start for a process that usually takes place days or weeks earlier for incoming presidents. The first slate of nominees will appear on Tuesday before a Republican-controlled Senate, but that will change once the new Democratic senators-elect from Georgia are sworn in.

Kamala Harris resigns from Senate seat ahead of inauguration

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Photo: Mason Trinca/Getty Images

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris submitted her resignation from her seat in the U.S. Senate on Monday, two days before she will be sworn into her new role.

What's next: California Gov. Gavin Newsom has selected California Secretary of State Alex Padilla to serve out the rest of Harris' term, which ends in 2022.

3 hours ago - World

Putin foe Navalny to be detained for 30 days after returning to Moscow

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny. Photo: Oleg Nikishin/Epsilon/Getty Images

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has been ordered to remain in pre-trial detention for 30 days, following his arrest upon returning to Russia on Sunday for the first time since a failed assassination attempt last year.

Why it matters: The detention of Navalny, an anti-corruption activist and the most prominent domestic critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has already set off a chorus of condemnations from leaders in Europe and the U.S.