STATEMENT BY THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE CLIMATE RESPONSE FUND
March 19, 2010
We, the members of the board, are honored that more than 195 scientific and policy leaders from around the world will join us at the Asilomar Conference on Climate Intervention Technologies, March 22-26, 2010. CRF’s objective for this conference is solely to initiate relevant discussions between scientists, environmentalists and policy makers and to facilitate the development of voluntary guidelines for the field of climate intervention technologies or geoengineering. CRF considers this conference as the beginning of a process.
The mission of the Climate Response Fund:
When the Climate Response Fund was formed we discussed and considered all potential activities related to climate intervention that CRF might fund, including among other activities field experiments in tropospheric aerosols, adding alkalinity to the ocean and ocean fertilization. We soon rejected the notion of funding field experiments as inappropriate for us. Our mission was formulated with this in mind.
Our mission is to:
- Foster safe and responsible research on climate intervention by:
- providing a neutral forum where norms and guidelines for climate intervention research can be discussed and developed
- working with national and international partners to encourage appropriate organizations to incorporate the suggested norms and guidelines into their deliberations on climate intervention research; and to
- Work with national and international partners to communicate information about climate intervention research to interested groups and the general public.
In other words, the Climate Response Fund exists to fund conferences, dialogues and discussions about climate intervention, and to assist in conveying the results of such deliberations to all parties interested in mitigating climate change.
To be absolutely clear, Climate Response Fund will not fund field experiments for any climate intervention technique now or in the future including, but not limited to, ocean fertilization, solar radiation management by stratospheric aerosols, tropospheric aerosols, adding alkalinity to the ocean or any other particular climate mitigation techniques.
Regarding the “Thank You Dinner” on March 26 at Asilomar:
The Climate Response Fund is hosting a private dinner following the Asilomar International Conference for our donors, board and advisors. This is neither a conference dinner, nor an extension of the conference, nor a fundraising event. All invitations sent by CRF indicated that the purpose of the dinner is merely to thank these individuals for their support of the conference and to have Dr. MacCracken brief them on preliminary results of the conference. We have also invited members of the Scientific Organizing Committee to attend, as they might be interested in meeting some of the people whose funding made the conference possible. It is normal for organizations to thank and brief their financial and substantive supporters in this way.
Regarding CRF Fiscal Administration:
The Climate Response Fund has been publicly criticized by certain parties because Mr. William Kohrs, who handled CRF’s fiscal administration on a part-time basis for the conference, is also VP Finance and Administration of Climos, Inc., a private for-profit company that hopes to develop climate mitigation techniques. Mr. Kohrs is not an employee of CRF, but rather a temporary accounting consultant who has only assisted CRF in preparations for the conference. He was not chosen because of his connection to Climos, but rather because he performs similar financial services for small entities. The CRF Board reviewed his appointment at the time and now has reviewed his subsequent service. We determined that there is absolutely no conflict of interest. However, since neither the CRF Board, nor Mr. Kohrs, wish to allow even the perception of a conflict of interest, Mr. Kohrs offered, and the Board accepted, his resignation from his contract, which would otherwise have ended in June 2010.
The Board of CRF takes this opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to the highest standards of transparency and ethics, even beyond technicalities of law. We have responded to all questions raised to us. We believe this is critical to public acceptance of our work, and we call on others in the field of climate mitigation to do likewise.
The Climate Response Fund Board of Directors
Amb. Richard Elliot Benedick, Senior Advisor to the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory-University of Maryland Joint Global Change Research Institute
Kim Cranston, CEO and co-founder, TransparentDemocracy.org
Dr. Margaret Leinen, CEO and founder, Climate Response Fund
Seth Perlman, Senior Partner, Perlman and Perlman, LLP.
Dr. Jerry Schubel, President and CEO, Aquarium of the Pacific