Harvard awards two Degrees scientists groundbreaking funding for SRM research

Two Degrees-funded scientists, Inés Camilloni and Athar Hussain, have been awarded research funding from Harvard University’s GEM Incubation Fund to undertake further SRM research in their regions. The fund was first announced in May, during the Global Empowerment Meeting: Growing in a Green World (GEM23), where Inés and Degrees’ CEO Andy Parker introduced members of the international development community to SRM governance and research.

The new fund is a collaborative effort between the Center for International Development and the Harvard Radcliffe Institute, to support innovative research projects that address development challenges and foster policy changes in developing economies. 

photo of Andy Park and Ines Camilloni and GEM23 Harvard
Degrees CEO Andy Parker and DMF scientist Inés Camilloni at GEM23: Growing in a Green World in May 2023 at Harvard University, USA. Photo Credits: The Degrees Initiative.

 

Inés’s project aims to broaden our understanding of the potential impacts of SRM and climate change on major coastal cities in Latin America. The 30,000 USD funding will also support a workshop in Argentina with policy-makers to discuss the implications of the results.

Inés began working on SRM research in 2018 thanks to a Degrees grant, and she continues to lead the Degrees-funded team at the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina. Her majority-female team models the impacts of SRM and climate change on the La Plata Basin’s hydroclimate, and she has emerged as a leading voice on SRM in Latin America and beyond. She gave a TED talk on the subject in 2022, co-authored the UNEP review of SRM and has been instrumental in the recent UNESCO ethics report on SRM

Athar’s project will look to develop a dashboard for health policy makers in South Asia to assess the impacts of SRM. Athar started working with Degrees in 2023, receiving a grant for a project modelling the impact of climate change and SRM on malaria in South Asia, hosted at COMSATS University Islamabad in Pakistan. Vector-borne diseases, such as malaria, can be particularly sensitive to a changing climate, creating new risks for millions of people in malaria-endemic countries. Learn more about Athar’s recent work on SRM in his podcast

These grants will provide opportunities to build on the work that Inés and Athar started through Degrees grants. This is an important next step in Degrees’ capacity building model, with initial grants seeding the development of local experts who then go on to attract additional funding for their work. We congratulate Inés and Athar, and we look forward to seeing the results of the projects in the coming year.

"SRM raises many challenging questions, including ethical ones, and it’s essential that the most climate-vulnerable countries are engaged in discussions that could affect decisions on the future of this technology."