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Youth co-authorship as public engagement with geoengineering

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  • Elizabeth Rushton
  • Eef Cornelissen
  • Jelle de Schrijver
  • Tetiana Stadnyk
  • Joshua Stubbs
  • Chrissy Su
  • Veneu Fernanda
  • Celena Blake
  • Saul Calvert
  • Clémentine Dècle
  • Kirndeep Dhassi
  • Rosalind Edwards
  • Greta Malaj
  • Jovana Mirjanić
  • William Saunders
  • Yara Sinkovec
  • Suzan Vellekoop
  • Xinyue Yuan


Publication details

JournalInternational Journal of Science Education Part B
DateSubmitted - 4 Jan 2022
DateAccepted/In press - 5 Jan 2022
DatePublished (current) - 30 Jan 2022
Original languageEnglish


Large-scale intervention in the Earth’s climate system (‘geoengineering’ or ‘climate engineering’) is increasingly present in discussions about possible responses to climate change. Research has tended to focus on the acceptability of geoengineering proposals to adults, with youth perspectives under-represented despite the intergenerational consequences of policy in this field. We report on a novel participatory approach to research and practice, resulting in the co-creation of a youth guide and policy brief by participants (aged 17-26) and facilitators. Findings fall into two categories: those pertaining to youth priorities for geoengineering and those in relation to authorial responsibility as an approach to engagement and advancing youth voices. We argue that co-creative and participatory approaches avoid polarisation and build reciprocity into the research process, promoting rational discourse about geoengineering and climate change and its intersection with ethics, politics and society. The model is potentially valuable for engaging youth at the early stages of technoscientific innovations. Tentative conclusions from youth participants are that mitigation efforts must be prioritised, i.e. action is needed now to mitigate and adapt to climate change, and there is a need for proactive international cooperation on the governance of geoengineering and for investment in research to understand potential environmental and social consequences of geoengineering for people at different temporal and spatial scales. Greater public dialogue on geoengineering and its governance is needed, particularly involving young people. The youth guide and policy brief co-authored by participants and facilitators, and the dialogic methods used in their production, can contribute to this dialogue.

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    Research areas

  • geoengineering, Climate Change Act; climate policy; The Big Ask; Friends of the Earth; policy entrepreneur; Multiple Streams Framework, participatory approaches, youth, policy

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