Meet Research Collaborator Inés Camilloni

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Ines Camilloni in the Widener Library, Harvard University - July, 2022. Credit: The Degrees Initiative.

A leading voice in SRM research and climate science

Inés Camilloni is the principal investigator for the Degrees modelling project in Argentina, and one of volunteer research collaborators. She began working on SRM through a Degrees grant in 2018 to study the impacts of SRM on the hydrology of the La Plata Basin and continues to lead the Degrees-funded team at the University of Buenos Aires. It is the world’s first majority-female SRM modelling team, and Ines has emerged as a leading voice on the topic in Latin America and beyond, even giving a TED talk   on the subject in 2022.

2023 was an exciting year for Inés’s work on SRM and climate change. She was elected as a co-author for the UN Environment Programme’s independent expert review on SRM and was instrumental as a Commission member and co-author in the recent UNESCO ethics report on SRM. In October, she also took part in and organised a special session which included discussion of SRM at the World Climate Research Program’s Open Science Conference in Kigali, Rwanda. Towards the end the year, Inés was awarded funding from the Harvard Center for International Development. The grant from the  GEM (Global Empowerment Meeting) Incubation Fund supports Inés’s research on the potential impacts of SRM and climate change on major coastal cities in Latin America.

"I hope that the community of Global South scientists studying the potential benefits and risks of SRM will continue to grow in the coming years and play a vital role in shaping the future of climate intervention strategies."

Prof. Inés Camilloni

University of Buenos Aires

Get to know Inés

Do you have any highlights or milestones you’re particularly proud of or have enjoyed over your professional career?

Probably one of the milestones of my career was delivering a TED talk on SRM in Buenos Aires, in front of an auditorium with thousands of attendees. Despite the challenges, it was a highly rewarding experience that offered me the opportunity of distilling complex ideas and research into a concise and engaging 12-minute talk.

What challenges have you faced in your career?

Analysing the climate, its changes and impacts and how human actions generate consequences in the environment is more than just a job. Being a woman in science has enormous challenges, big and small daily battles, some individual and others collective. I live almost daily with the guilt of the time taken away from my family and friends, but I continue to choose to be a climate scientist not only because I like it but because I’m convinced that women can generate the necessary change in the way science is done.

What advice would you give to new researchers looking to get into SRM research?

Studying the potential impacts of SRM in the Global South is a complex and interdisciplinary endeavour. I would advise new researchers to integrate disciplines and collaborate with experts from various fields to build a comprehensive understanding and approach to their research. I would also recommend engaging in conversations with policymakers and international organizations to contribute to the development of fair and effective governance structures for SRM research.

What do you hope to see more of in the SRM research world?

I hope that the community of Global South scientists studying the potential benefits and risks of SRM will continue to grow in the coming years and play a vital role in shaping the future of climate intervention strategies.

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.

Is there anyone who inspires you to work in climate change?

Human activities are changing the climate system at an unprecedented rate and scale. Current global policies would lead to a median warming of around 3°C by 2100 and extreme weather and climate events could become the biggest global risk over the next decade. One thing that inspired me recently to study SRM as a strategy to address climate change was a quote by Ray Bradbury: “People ask me to predict the future, when all I want to do is prevent it.”

If you could share one fact about climate science to someone new to the field, what would it be?

There are several well-established certainties about climate change that are widely accepted by the scientific community: global temperature is rising, and human activities are the primary driver of observed climate change with significant and widespread ecological and societal impacts. These certainties underscore the urgency of addressing this climate crisis through ambitious efforts in mitigation, adaptation, and sustainable development along with further research into the feasibility and effectiveness of alternative technologies such as SRM as a complementary strategy to avoid the worst risks of climate change.

From left to right, Dr Vibha Dhawan (TERI), Clara Blotto (SRMYW), Janos Pasztor (C2G), Prof. Inés Camilloni (Degrees), Andy Parker (Degrees) and Dr Shuchi Talati (DSG) during UN Science Summit session in New York, USA. Photo Credit: the Degrees Initiative.

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