Trade-offs between mitigation and climate engineering: an interdisciplinary approach

The DFG-funded project Trade-offs between mitigation and climate engineering: an interdisciplinary approach (TOMACE) contributes to the hitherto expert-dominated climate-engineering (CE) debate by conducting detailed analyses of lay persons’ acceptance of solar radiation management (SRM) and the effects of SRM on people’s willingness to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

TOMACE looks at how and why people choose a portfolio of mitigation and SRM options for fighting climate change that involves making trade-offs between the options. The trade-off decisions are especially relevant as they require a weighing-up of the risks of climate change against the risks of SRM. The profound uncertainties and moral judgements involved make the responses particularly interesting. Our hypothesis is that a) the weighing of costs and benefits, b) the significance persons attribute to ethical arguments, c) lifestyles and d) self-image and identity determine the acceptance of SRM and the trade-off decisions between mitigation and SRM. The project thus provides important insights for policymakers about the acceptance of SRM and its influence on the climate policy portfolio.

TOMACE brings together three disciplines and their methodological approaches. The disciplines are environmental and behavioural economics, environmental ethics, and environmental psychology. These different approaches ranging from psychological surveys, choice experiments and field experiments to citizens’ juries will be closely connected to each other by the use of common scenarios developed at the beginning of the project. The synthesis of the results will then evaluate both the commonalities and the differences in the outcomes between the different methodological approaches and disciplines.

In line with the call for proposals, this project focuses on the general (German) public. With respect to the CE methods proposed in the call, we concentrate on the acceptance of the injection of aerosols into the stratosphere – referred to as SRM – and the trade-offs between mitigation and SRM people make when they learn about SRM.

Funding agency


Project duration

October 2016  −  September 2019

Project management

Andreas Ernst

Project staff

Geraldine Klaus