Vårt Klimat: Med Mikael Karlsson

Världens forskare har levererat tusentals rapporter om klimatet samtidigt som tyckare sprider sina åsikter på nätet efter att ha läst en blogg. Här förklarar klimatforskaren Mikael Karlsson hur vi ska tänka när vi inhämtar vår kunskap om klimatet. Inspelat på Humanistiska teatern i Uppsala den 10 mars 2022. Arrangör: Institutionen för geovetenskaper vid Uppsala universitet. Titta på Ur Samtiden: https://urplay.se/program/227401-ur-samtiden-planeten-jorden-vart-klimat

Sustainability Frontiers: Final Session
Universities / 22 February 2022

This is the final in a short blog series written by Laila Mendy about the Sustainability Frontiers conference. Matthew Fielding moderated the final session between William Clark, Åsa Persson, Emily Boyd and Somya Joshi. The aim of the conversation was to discuss the five themes of the conference in relation to a recent publication by Clark and co-author Harley, which reviewed the first generation of sustainability science research. You can read this paper here. Clark began with a short presentation of his work, which suggested that a core red-thread in sustainability science was nature-society interactions, which he described as existing within intertwined co-evolving systems. It is a solutions driven science, he said, where the goals of the research is not only to understand the interactions but to explore how this science and those understandings may be used to advance the diverse, contested and socially-determined goals of sustainability. Another common thread, he found, was the issue of resources, emerging as the ultimate determinants of sustainable development. Sustainable development is measured by whether the base of resources are increasing or dwindling. Connecting resources and goals of sustainability science indicates processes of consumption and production, primarily towards the good life. However these processes…

Sustainability Frontiers: Inner Transformation and Imaginaries

This is the fourth in a series of blog posts about the Sustainability Frontiers conference, written by Laila Mendy. The first can be read here, the second post can be read here, and click here for the third. Diego Galafassi curated the next session and explained how this session appeared to be cross-cutting, noting how the idea of the imagination and imaginaries had been brought up throughout conversations in the conference. Galafassi introduced the topic, shortly explaining that imagination and creativity is a real component and important skill for transformation. He was joined by panellists Myanna Lahsen, Henrik Karlsson and Lara Houston. Myanna Lahsen began, following the same structure as the earlier sessions, with a five minute intervention into the theme from her own field. She probed the idea of the individual when it comes to inner transformations, suggesting that this is an important component but also a significant hurdle in societal change. As a cultural anthropologist by training, Lahsen explained that looking at who counts and where impact happens in democracies gives an indication that it is the economic elites, business-oriented organisations and interest groups who matter. So when it comes to the idea of inner transformation, scaling that…

Sustainability Frontiers Conference: Degrowth
Futures / 22 February 2022

This blog is part of a short series written by Laila Mendy, PhD student at NRHU, as she attended the Sustainability Frontiers conference. The third session of the day, and the topic of the second blog post, relates to postgrowth economics and the alternatives to GDP-focused growth mentalities. Below is a short summary of the panel discussion and reflections. Mine Islar moderated a discussion between Eric Kemp-Benedict, Jennifer Hinton, and Giorgos Kallis. The session began with an introduction to the idea that degrowth, postgrowth and other “agnostic” ideas may have the potential to close the gap between economic interests and biodiversity. The panelists each presented their understandings of how to approach this potential and the implications of leaving the current economic system in place. Eric Kemp-Benedict began by explaining how helpful he finds Kate Raworth’s idea of doughnut economics and how it frames human-nature relations in terms of human needs but more than that needed to survive, but enough to flourish. There are, he says, two questions raised by the doughnut framing. The first is “What political and economic systems are consistent with this?” and the second considers “How do we get there?” GDP has been a useful but incomplete…

Sustainability Frontiers: Decolonising Sustainability

This blog is part of a short series written by Laila Mendy, PhD student at NRHU, as she attended the Sustainability Frontiers conference. Opening and Decolonial Perspective on Sustainability Science: The day began with a demonstration of what much of decolonial scholars have been arguing for: by centring the perspectives and insights from decolonial scholars and indigenous researchers in the sustainability sciences conversation. Vasna Rasamar curated an panel discussion with Professor Lyla Mehta, Professor Bagele Chilisa, and Senior Lecturer Anna-Lill Drugge, all concerned with addressing what they see as a sustaining weakness of the sustainability sciences: the reproduction of colonial dynamics, practises and norms. Rasamar began by asking each of the speakers to present what they consider to be an ongoing frontier in sustainability. These are summarised shortly below: From Lyla Mehta: The term “Sustainability” came from German forestry management in the 1800s, which wanted to explore ways to continue resource extraction into the long term. From there it was consolidated and instrumentalised with – and alongside- other colonial practises of territory grabbing, othering and racialised categorisation, and removal of- and restriction of access to- indigenous peoples. Such practices adhere in much mainstream sustainable development today where, in the name…

Sustainability Frontiers: Digitalisation and Sustainability Transitions
Futures , Just Transition / 14 February 2022

The fourth session at Sustainability Frontiers discussed Digitalisation and Sustainability Transitions, and will be the third in the series of blog posts about this conference written by Laila Mendy, PhD student at NRHU, Uppsala University. The first can be read here and the second post can be read here. Somya Joshi moderated a conversation between Stefan Daume, Maja Essebo and Andrea Owe. Joshi introduced the hope and parallel concern about the relationships between technological development and innovation and the environment. She then invited each speaker to present their approach to this issue. Stefan Daume began on the idea of digitalisation from the perspective of disruptive technologies and AI for Sustainability science. He pointed out the meta-quality of the conversation and how the online conference structure can facilitate fantastic connections around the globe more quickly and without attributed transport emissions. Daume’s research spans the mature forms of technologies to the niche and cutting edge. He suggested that the internet acts as a mature tool for sustainability and pointed towards Greta Thunberg’s social movement enabled through the availability of social media. He considered open access research as another form. To the more cutting edge innovations, he introduces the idea of AI, block…

COP26: Some progress, but not nearly enough
COP26 Analysis / 24 November 2021

After the dramatic final hours of negotiations, the most important issues at COP26 in Glasgow have now been decided. The decisions have led to key steps forward in international climate policy, but they are not enough to achieve the climate goals. (This is a translation of the original Swedish-language post that can be found here) When it comes to emissions reductions there are clear statements about the importance of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees, which in practice means a stronger interpretation of the goal from the Paris Agreement. Parties will now sharpen their NDCs more often and in coordination with the pact. Global emissions reductions of 45% from 2010 to 2030 has been quantified, agreed upon and included in the text. The use of coal and fossil fuel subsidies will also be reduced, a first for international climate agreements. The agreements reached at Glasgow also included the implementation of emissions trading schemes in line with the Paris Agreement. In addition to the Glasgow agreement itself, known as the Glasgow Climate Pact, groups of countries have also agreed on measures relating to, among other things, methane emissions, deforestation and coal power. Several countries have also advanced their positions, the most significant…

Transforming the Future and Societal Metamorphosis
Futures , Just Transition / 11 November 2021

Ahead of the Climate Change Leadership Friday event in the COP26 Nordic Pavilion, titled “Fair Climate Transformation Governance”, Laila Mendy at CCL reflects on the concept of metamorphosis. Climate change and the need for just societal transitions to low carbon economies are not a new topic for us here at Climate Change Leadership. We hear all the time about the importance of societal transition to mitigate severe climate change, but transition has not grasped the more transformative nature of rapid reductions in emissions and lifestyle changes needed to reach this goal. How, though, might we transform into something which has already been decided? We look to nature for inspiration: Metamorphosis. Perhaps this transformation could be considered in terms of societal metamorphosis. We know the quantified end goals and limitations that we need to follow in our transformations, whether they are mainly guided by the science of planetary boundaries, of carbon budgets or science-based climate laws. Here in Sweden the present end goal of our societal transformation means reaching Net Zero 2045. But the act of transformation into this fossil free future has yet to be decided and described. Contributing pathways have been proposed by industry in Fossil Free Sweden, and…

COP26: Kan vi världen enas om ett pris på koldioxid i Glasgow?
COP26 Analysis / 5 November 2021

Läs mer på 2050.org English summary: While the costs of climate change is considerable, countries continue to disagree about a standard rate on carbon emissions, write Daniel Lindvall and Mikael Karlsson. Current laws in Finland and Sweden demonstrate that a high tax can be effective in reducing emissions, but the average global rate in 2019 is recorded at only 2 dollars per tonne (compared to Sweden’s over 110 dollars). Some criticisms concern the unfair costs on developing countries or poorer populations. Full translation to come.

The climate science every climate negotiator needs to know
COP26 Live / 4 November 2021

New report breaks down ten key insights from Earth Systems Science that every climate change negotiator at COP26 needs to know. Read the noted bulletin, watch Johan Rockström’s presentation below, or read the full report: 1.5 temperature change limit remains possible, but overshoot is likely. At a minimum we need a global reduction of 2 gigatons of CO2 per year ( or 5%) starting now. For a 66% chance of limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees we need 4 gigatons reduction starting this year. Current annual rates are 42 gigatons per year. Methane and Nitrous Oxide are worsening globally. Climate models suggest we need a rate of reduction of these gasses at the same rate as CO2. Paradoxically, air pollutants are currently cooling the planet or “camoflaging” some global warming. We have entered the age of “Mega Fires”, a global warming amplifier. Risk levels of tipping points have been lowered to between 1.5 and 2 degrees of warming. Tipping points are thresholds of climate changes that lead towards cascading effects of climate change or irreversible changes in earth systems. Climate justice is key: “The richest 1% must reduce emissions by a factor of 30, the poorest 50% can increase emissions…

Can Glasgow reach an agreement on an emissions trading scheme?
COP26 Analysis / 3 November 2021

This is a translation of the article posted on 2050. Läs på svenska här. On Sunday, the annual COP26 climate summit began in Glasgow. For two weeks, countries from all over the world will negotiate solutions to reduce emissions in line with the goals set in Paris 2015. Daniel Lindvall, researcher at Uppsala Unversity, and Mikael Karlsson, senior lecturer at Uppsala University, and both scientific advisers to the 2050 rganisation, are present during the negotiations and comment on the discussions on Article 6 in The Paris Agreement. One of the most important issues in the negotiations regards the application of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, which is about emission reductions through trade and cooperation between countries. Essentially, it is about how one country may be enabled to take action in another country that lacks the resources to implement action itself. For example, emissions could be reduced through investments in renewable energy replacing fossil energy in resource-poor countries. It also concerns the creation of carbon sinks through afforestation or compensation for protecting forests from unsustainable use. The idea is that these measures are cost-effective, at least in the short term, and should be included in the calculations of the emissions reductions of the funding country. The issue of…

Klimatambitioner och COP26
COP26 Analysis / 3 November 2021

Det som har i särklass störst betydelse för den globala uppvärmningen är hur mycket växthusgaser som släpps ut. Allt annat lika så ger ökade utsläpp ökad uppvärmning, och därmed ökad klimatförändring och ökad skada på samhälle och natur. Även om det är fullt möjlighet att skapa sänkor för koldioxid så behöver utsläppen minskas snabbt och rejält. Snart sagt varje scenario för samhällsutvecklingen som leder till att ambitiösa klimatmål med hög sannolikhet kan nås innehåller en nära nog fullständig minskning av utsläppen, även om stora sänkor skapas. Mot denna bakgrund är det avgörande att alla länder i världen minskar sina utsläpp ytterligare. De mål och planer som finns dagsläget innebär en uppvärmning på omkring 2,7 grader, vilket är långt över Parisavtalets mål. Därför finns en stor förväntan på klimatmötet i Glasgow om att länderna ökar sina ambitioner. Länder och regioner med stora utsläpp – både totalt sett och per person – som USA, Kina och även EU har visserligen skärpt sina åtaganden inför Glasgowmötet men ambitionerna är fortfarande alldeles för låga. Det största nyheter i Glasgow när det gäller klimatambitioner kom den 1 november, när Indien annonserade sitt nationellt beslutade bidrag (kallat NDC, nationally determined contribution). Siktet ställs in på nettonollutsläpp…

Klimatfinansiering och COP26
COP26 Analysis / 3 November 2021

På det tidigare klimatmötet i Köpenhamn (COP 15) år 2009 fanns stora förhoppningar på en stark global överenskommelse om klimatet. Tanken var att komma överens om minskade utsläpp och En ram för minskade utsläpp var utlovad och Obama skulle som relativt nyvald president ge ny energi till en överenskommelse. Men mötet blev ett misslyckande. Utfallet från Köpenhamnsmötet blev en text som kallas Copenhagen Accord. Den antogs aldrig och fick inte unisont stöd på konferensen, vilket annars är det önskvärda och vanliga. Överenskommelsen är inte legalt bindande. När det gäller klimatförändringen omnämns endast ett vagt formulerat mål om att hejda uppvärmningen vid 2 grader. Däremot innehåller texten ett politiskt förpliktande löfte om ekonomiskt stöd till klimatarbetet i utvecklingsländer, först i form av 30 miljarder USD inom tre år, en siffra som ska ökas till 100 miljarder USD vid år 2020. Det är denna finansiering som spelar en central roll på klimatmötet i Glasgow. Om löftet infrias kan det bli ett viktigt smörjmedel i förhandlingarna under kommande veckor. Om det inte infrias riskerar det motsatta ske. Läs mer om COP26

Vad handlar klimatmötet i Glasgow om?
COP26 Analysis / 2 November 2021

Toppmötet i Glasgow i Skottland handlar i grunden om hur länderna i världen ska samarbeta för att hantera klimatkrisen. Det som räknas ur klimatsynpunkt är storleken av de samlade utsläppen. Ju mer utsläpp, desto större global uppvärmning och klimatförändring. Varje kilo utsläpp som kan undvikas är en lönsam affär. Därför behöver världens alla länder utarbeta och genomföra planer för snabbt minskade utsläpp. Störst ansvar faller på de som har störst utsläpp idag och genom historien. Men för att utsläppen ska kunna minska snabbt måste det ske rättvist och de rikare länderna i världen har sedan tidigare lovat att finansiera en del av de åtgärder som behöver ske i fattigare länder. Det är ganska självklart eftersom de rikare länderna står för merparten av utsläppen. På tidigare klimatmöten har de flesta länder förbundit sig att minska utsläppen och de rikare länderna har, som en miniminivå, utlovat 100 miljarder dollar varje år i global klimatfinansiering (klicka för mer om klimatfinansiering). Målsättningen är att i bästa fall begränsa den globala uppvärmningen till 1,5 grader, något som världen enades om på klimatmötet i Paris 2015. Exakt hur ländernas genomförande av avtalet ska ske och redovisas är inte bestämt. På Glasgowmötet ska länderna därför förhandla fram…