House Science Panel to Lead International Effort on Geoengineering

At an otherwise fairly pedestrian House of Representatives hearing on geoengineering today—the first of its kind in the United States—science committee chair Representative Bart Gordon (D–TN) announced a new partnership with the U.K. House of Commons to hold joint hearings on the controversial topic next year. The effort would mark the inaugural effort to set up international rules on the topic:

Chairman Gordon announced that this hearing will be part of a partnership with the United Kingdom House of Commons Science and Technology Committee. The two Committees will hold parallel hearings and share materials once they are publicly available.

“Geoengineering has decidedly global implications, and research should be considered in the context of a transparent international process,” said Gordon. “Yesterday the Commons Committee voted to undertake a parallel effort to examine the domestic and international regulatory frameworks that may be applicable to geoengineering. We will be in close contact with them, sharing the findings from our own efforts. When they complete their work in the spring the Chairman of the Committee will testify before us in a hearing on domestic and international governance issues.”

"We need to set some ground rules," said Gordon In an interview with ScienceInsider last week. The effort might include legislators from other countries, he said today.