Incumbency and the Future in Climate Action Collaborations

30 October 2021

What roles do large organisations play in climate action collaborations? What futures become possible? What does it mean for realising Sweden’s climate goals?

Fossilfree Sweden had their Fossil Free Competitive conference earlier this week where they celebrated the follow up on their 22 roadmaps. The conclusion was made that industries had ramped up their efforts for emissions reduction, but that these still did not meet the required pace for transitioning in line with Sweden’s goal to be Net Zero by 2045 (read more here).

You can watch the conference in full here:


Incumbency Leadership: A challenge for transforming the future?

The roadmaps have been discussed in terms of futures orientations before and it was concluded in a recent study that the “Techno-Optimist” and “Ecological Mordernisation” perceptions of the future were far more popular for political parties and industry leaders alike (read more here). More radical imaginaries, such as “Systems Change” and “Technological Disruption” were far less common. Their findings further indicate how more ambitious goals for climate action are stilted by a difficulty envisioning a future beyond fossil-dependence, let alone radically transformed futures beyond capitalism.

The idea of incumbent agenda-setting climate action, particularly under such a term as “Fossil Free Competitiveness”, demands looking at what futures are being produced through these mechanisms. Is this simply a competition between industries to become climate change leaders and realise Sweden’s Net Zero Future by 2045? Or is there something more to be inferred by roadmaps towards realising desirable incumbent futures?

Fossil Free Roadmaps: calculating wider impacts, benefits and costs?

Beyond the futures narratives and the socio-political implications of these roadmaps, these roadmaps should also be discussed in terms of wider societal costs and impacts. What will jobs look like in the future? Is there a Swedish workforce with the skills and competences needed for these transitioned industries? What infrastructure development is required and at what pace? How might the Swedish public respond to these changes – is this viable?

Watch this space!

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