Nov 24: Accelerating towards Paris – how informed hope & action can overcome despair

Public seminar and discussion forum followed by reception

When: Thursday 24th November, 16:15-18:00

Where: Stockholm Environment Institute, 87D Linnegatan, Stockholm

Organizers: Stockholm Environment Institute and CEMUS

The coming together of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest report with the commitments enshrined in the Paris Agreement has reshaped the climate change agenda. Whilst the former establishes carbon budgets as the appropriate scientific foundation for mitigation policy, the latter obligates the international community “to hold the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C” and to “pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C”.

This ambitious and scientifically informed agenda demands rates of mitigation far beyond anything evident in history and seldom countenanced by policy makers. Even a conservative reading of the Paris commitments requires the wholesale transformation of the global energy system from high carbon fossil fuels to zero carbon alternatives before 2050. The 1.5°C limit would see this timeframe tightened significantly, to around 2030. Similarly ambitious mitigation is also necessary from the land-use and agriculture sectors, though here residual emissions of methane and nitrous oxide will remain unabated.

Set against this profound challenge, the two speakers will outline their interpretation of the opportunities and barriers for urgently accelerating the transition to a decarbonised future. These short presentations will paint a landscape of rapid mitigation as a prelude to a moderated discussion and remarks from invited guests punctuated with contributions from the audience.

Lars Ronnås, Swedish Ambassador for Climate Change
Lars has many decades of experience working with questions of development and human rights. He is the former head of the Africa Unit at the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and has been Swedish Ambassador to Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Kevin Anderson, Zennström Professor in Climate Change Leadership at Uppsala University, Professor of Energy and Climate Change at University of Manchester
Kevin is one of the leading climate scientists in the U.K, engaging frequently with policy-makers, the private sector, civil society as well as the media. He has pioneered research on carbon budgets and pathways to acceptable mitigation levels. His work addresses the technical, social and economic interactions involved in the transformation of energy systems and the mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

Andrew Simms, Research associate with the Centre for Global Political Economy at the University of Sussex and co-director of the New Weather Institute

andrewAndrew is a research associate with the Centre for Global Political Economy at the University of Sussex and Fellow at the New Economics Foundation, where he served as Policy Director for 10 years. Andrew also came up with the Earth Overshoot concept, this is a day each year which represents the overuse of resources by humans.