Reviewing Loss & Damage at COP26
COP26 Analysis / 19 November 2021

What is it, what happened and why does it matter? This article was written by Angelica Johansson as a guest blog for Climate Change Leadership at Uppsala University. Previously a student in the Climate Change Leadership course, Angelica is now a PhD Candidate working on the ERC funded project: the Politics of Climate Change Loss and Damage with the University College of London’s Political Science Department. *** If there was one thing clear at COP26, it was that without significant and immediate mitigation measures, atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations will be continue to rise to dangerous levels. Moreover average temperature rise to the present day has already led to irreversible impacts, beyond what we can adapt to. People living in the global South, indigenous peoples and vulnerable communities are less able to adapt to (in essence – to bounce back from) the negative climate impacts. These impacts are often manifested as droughts, floods, storms and cyclones. In the UNFCCC terminology, such catastrophic climate changes impact that push the limit of what can be adapted to are referred to as ‘loss and damage.’ Loss and Damage is understood by some as a third pillar of climate action, together with mitigation and adaptation…

COP26 Live: Nearing Gavel Time
COP26 Live / 13 November 2021

As we near the close of COP26 let’s take stock of the core changes this afternoon: G77 and China have conceded on the Glasgow Loss and Damage facility. Speakers from these blocs and the LDCs, Ailac, AOSIS and Africa Group spoke regretfully in their interventions but highlighted that going forward with a text was more important. Doubled adaptation finance was highlighted as one of the key successes, as well as the inclusion of ratcheting ambition every year. The draft continues to refer to fossil fuels in text and coal is mentioned in particular with regards to phase outs. Ongoing discussions over the language surrounding “phase out” and coal, driven by India on the grounds of subsidies supporting access to fuel for low income populations. Alok Sharma asserts that the conclusion is imminent and COP26 will be closed this afternoon. Ongoing discussions on the floor, colloquially known as “huddles”, continue however, so delays may continue. Follow us live on twitter for direct updates throughout the afternoon.

COP26 Live: Civil Society anxious in final hours
COP26 Live / 13 November 2021

Chair of COP26 Alok Sharma continues to press that later this afternoon a draft will be agreed upon and COP26 closed. Civil society giants such as Climate Action Network International, however, sees ongoing deliberation around several of their core concerns. The Cover Decision LOSS AND DAMAGE Loss and Damage is headlining as a clear division, with activists and many policy advisers and environmental lawyers calling for unity in face of strong pressure. British environmental lawyer and climate policy expert at the UNFCCC, Farhana Yamin calls for leadership from LDC countries on this issue to “save COP26” . With so much evidently on the line where Loss and Damage is concerned, and given the appeals from the likes of Tuvalu and Kenya in the Stocktaking plenary yesterday, it is hard to see that consensus will be reached any time soon. Mohamed Adow, climate policy expert and director of Nairobi-based climate change thinktank “Power Shift Africa”, took a harder line towards these negotiations, accusing wealthier countries of avoiding responsibility. COAL PHASE OUT AND FOSSIL FUEL SUBSIDIES India has raised concern over the language surrounding coal phase outs, with support from other parties. Ongoing discussions on this issue continue. Article 6 The biggest…

COP26 Live: Two key changes in Saturday morning draft
COP26 Live / 13 November 2021

It’s Saturday morning in Glasgow and the third edition of the COP26 cover decision is out. The latest amendments can be tracked here. Loss and Damage A previously proposed “Glasgow Loss and Damage Facility” is absent from the latest draft. Facility appears to have been replaced with “dialogue”. Responses on social media from civil society shows a “deep concern“. First Zennström Professor in Climate Change Leadership, Doreen Stabinsky, considers these talks to have now essentially collapsed, with pushback reportedly coming from both EU and USA: Changed Language on Fossil Fuels Language on fossil fuels remains in this draft, but language surrounding them appears to be less ambitious (bold emphasis our own): Calls upon Parties to accelerate the development, deployment and dissemination oftechnologies, and the adoption of policies, to transition towards low emission energy systems,including by rapidly scaling up the deployment of clean power generation and energyefficiency measures, including accelerating efforts towards the phase-out of unabated coalpower and inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, recognizing the need for support towards a justtransition; On top of the changes in the second draft that qualified coal phase out with ‘unabated,’ and fossil fuel subsidies with ‘inefficient’ subsidies, the third draft has changed ‘accelerating the phaseout’…

Loss and Damage – The Litmus Test for COP26?
Climate Justice , COP26 Live / 12 November 2021

Background Over the past decade alone, extreme weather and climate-related disasters have resulted in the deaths of more than 410 000 people. The UNFCCC defines as the harms that stem from a combination of these sudden-onset events and slow-onset processes (like sea level rise) as ‘Loss and Damage’ (L & D). Sudden onset process include the lkes of flooding and wildfires, whilst slow-onset include the likes of sea level rise. Consequences of the both can include loss of land, life and large scale migration. However, it’s crucial to recognise that a fundamental part of Loss & Damage is also the loss of identity and culture. There were a number of expectations for the Glasgow summit to unlock the political stagnation that has mired Loss and Damage talks in previous years, to meet the needs of the climate vulnerable, in the form of specific finance and compensation, technical support capacity building; and averting or at least minimising, further loss and damage. Loss and Damage has been a sticking point when framed in the context of climate debt, climate justice and moral responsibility – vulnerable countries argue that much like the context of war reparations, financial compensation is due them, due to…

Climate, Covid and the Global Care Crisis
Just Transition , Stefania Barca / 7 September 2021

To mark the start of the Autumn 2021 semester, fourth Zennström Professor in Climate Change Leadership Stefania Barca delivered the CEMUS start up lecture to a collection of students both in person and online. You can watch a recording of the talk, ‘Climate, Covid and the Global Care Crisis – New Pathways to a Just Transition,’ below. Former MSc in Sustainable Development student Juliane Höhle made a graphic recording of the session, found below.

Undoing the Anthropocene
Stefania Barca / 5 July 2021

In her book “Forces of Reproduction. Notes for a Counter-Hegemonic Anthropocene” (2020), Stefania Barca, drawing on a materialist eco-feminist analysis of the world, proposes a counter-narrative to the hegemonic one around the Anthropocene. She questions the exclusionary and normative character of the dominant narrative and, thus, she challenges the very foundations of capitalist/industrial modernity. In doing so, by bringing forward a narrative justice, she makes visible and accounted for those who have been removed, silenced, denied existence. These other-than-master subjects and beings are what she calls “the forces of reproduction” – those who do the work of sustaining life in its material and immaterial needs. These life-enhancing forces are, for Stefania, “a queer political subject” and a “political subject in the making”. In her keynote talk, listen below, she focuses on the above and shows how we need to dismantle the master’s house, by undoing the [hegemonic] Anthropocene.

Forces of Reproduction

In her book Forces of Reproduction: Notes for a Counter-Hegemonic Anthropocene (2020), Stefania Barca, drawing on a materialist ecofeminist analysis of the world, proposes a counter-narrative to the hegemonic one around the Anthropocene. She questions the exclusionary and normative character of the dominant narrative and, thus, she challenges the very foundations of capitalist/industrial modernity. In doing so, by bringing forward a narrative justice, she makes visible and accounted for those who have been removed, silenced, denied existence. These other-than-master subjects and beings are what she calls “the forces of reproduction” – those who do the work of sustaining life in its material and immaterial needs. These life-enhancing forces are, for Stefania, “a queer political subject” and a “political subject in the making”. Throughout this year Stefania has been involved in a number of events discussing the themes of her book. You can watch the different recordings below. Thank you to all involved for the opportunity to be part of these events! In April Stefania was invited into a dialogue with Nancy Fraser, Hedda Andersson visiting Professor at LUCSUS, Lund University. The dialogue featured a book presentation by Stefania, followed by a discussion by Nancy Fraser. The event was moderated by…

CO2 Budget Conference 2021
Carbon budgets , Kevin Anderson / 11 June 2021

This year Climate Change Leadership was glad to co-host the conference with KlimatSekretariat and KlimatRikstag as organising partners together with Fackförbundet Vision. The conference this year was a 3-day digital format, bringing together researchers, students, the public sector, civil society and others to explore the science and politics of climate change mitigation. This marked the second carbon budgets conference to be held in Sweden, and built on the work established by past Zennström Professor in Climate Change Leadership, Kevin Anderson, in designing carbon budgets for Swedish municipalities during his time in Uppsala. Day 1 of the conference was held in English, and had a particular focus on research and questions at the interface of science and policy. It began with a keynote by Professor of Energy and Climate Kevin Anderson  presenting on moving from net-zero to real-zero, and how we can use carbon budgets to frame Paris-compliant mitigation policies. The day continued with a series of speed talks on the science and politics of rapid mitigation. The talks ran as follows: Christopher Jones (Tyndall Centre) on ‘International outlooks and Translating the Paris Agreement into local climate change goals’ Sanna Gunnarsson (KTH) and Derek Garfield (Uppsala University) about municipal and regional carbon…

Remembering Maria and Zé Cláudio : Earth Defenders from Amazonia, 10 Years On

(Photo credit: Felipe Milanez, 2010) On May 24, 2011, Maria do Espirito Santo and Zé Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva, nut collectors and members of the agroforestry project (Projeto Agro-Extractivista, PAE) of Praialta Piranheira in the Brazilian Amazon, were brutally murdered as a consequence of their engagement in protecting the forest from illegal logging and timber trafficking. Making their lives out of a non-exploitative and regenerative relationship with the forest, and passionate about the defence of the rights of both Amazonia and its people, Maria’s and Zé Cláudio’s deaths belong to the number of earth defenders whose lives are being taken, year after year, for opposing the infinite expansion of global economic growth and social metabolism (Global Witness 2019). In 2012, the pair were posthumously recognised as Forest Heroes by the United Nations Forum on Forests Secretariat for their work fighting illegal forestry. This May we honoured their memory and talked about their legacy for environmental justice struggles in Brazil and beyond. Zennström Professor in Climate Change Leadership, Stefania Barca, and Bartira Fortes, representative of Latinamerikagrupperna, held a moderated discussion with:  Claudelice de Silva Santos, Zé Cláudio’s sister and frontline defender, who continues to oppose the human rights and land violations happening in the wake…