Uppsala University at COP 23 in Bonn

Uppsala University’s delegation reported live from the climate change negotiations in Bonn

This year’s COP was of particular interest as it comes at a time when the science on climate change has communicated some dire warnings on the lack of progress made to reduce our global emissions. Just before the negotiations began a report  published by the UN’s  World Meteorological organization reported an increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to levels not seen in three millions years. This comes at a moment when the emissions gap between pledged national contribution in Paris and the necessary reductions for a 2 degrees Celsius world is still rather wide.

Together, these framed some of the discussions that took place in Bonn. An important focus this year was on the implementation guidelines of the Paris Agreement. Negotiators needed to identify key decision points and the options for resolving them, along with an effective process for crafting clear rules and procedures on a wide range of issues. These include the transparency framework, as well as the ambition mechanism to assess progress and ramp-up action every five years.

The students and researchers reported back everyday from COP23. You are able to read their reflections and watch some of their video blogs here below.

Daily Reports from Bonn

Including video-logs, interviews with conference participants, analysis of the negotiations and more

Monday November 20

Zennström Professor Kevin Anderson wrote a personal reflection on COP23 on his way back on the train from Bonn-Fiji. Read it here.

Friday November 17

In this Climate Matters show live from COP-23 in Bonn, Kevin Anderson Hugh Hunt, go at it in a lively discussion of all the loose talk happening about climate change and the lack of meaningful action. A lively and light conversation for a very serious and weighty subject.

Today we also hear from Cajsa Bartusch, researcher and member from UU delegation on the increasing role taken by cities in addressing climate change, and the focus it received at this year’s COP.

‘In light of Kevin Andersons’s statement that behavioral change is an absolute prerequisite to reaching climate goals, there is surprisingly little focus on the human factor of things at the COP23. Besides a limited number of side events on individual’s contribution to reducing climate change there are, however, also quite a few on regional initiatives, and cities are a really hot topic. On Sunday 12th November, mayors from 25 of the world’s greatest cities pledged to set up an ambition climate action plan for 2020 with the aim to cut their carbon emissions to net zero by 2050. This process will be supported by C40, a global network of cities pursuing sustainability and climate action. During a presentation on the topic at the Turkish pavilion, Stockholm was pointed out as a success story in that it has managed to increase economic growth while still reducing emissions significantly. A few days later, on Thursday 16th November, at the Nordic Council of Minister Pavilion, Stockholm was, along with Oslo, also given credit for introducing congestion charges. Other Nordic city initiatives that were praised during this event include Copenhagen building bicycle highways to facilitate commuting by bike, Trondheim permitting buses only in all but one highway lane to further public transportation, Oslo striving to make the city center completely car free to reduce exhaust emissions, and Helsinki establishing a circular economy bike rental system.

This listing could go on forever and there are in other words numerous role model initiatives out there. A potential barrier to look out for in realizing local climate ambitions is possible conflicts between private business and the public sector. The civil society plays a very important role in this context as citizens’ demand affect supply.’

Thursday November 16

Under the title ‘COP 23: Negotiating a rulebook for a deregulated international climate change regime’, UU delegate Petter Bjerser gives us an overview of how the negotiations have changed over the past two decades of international talk.
When the Climate Change Convention was adopted in 1992 the world was introduced to a whole new world of abbreviations, negotiation bodies and guiding principles. This piece hopes to decipher this “COP-language” in an understandable way, in order to get to the good stuff; exploring the succession of international climate change regimes, the process the climate agreements in Kyoto and Paris, and what it means for the negotiations taking place in Bonn…
Read more at http://www.uttryckmagazine.com/cop23/

Wednesday November 15

Researcher and UU delegate Carmen Medina share with us her reflections on the potential offered by renewable forms of energy and gives us a brief overview of recent developments in the field:

Fifty Shades of Energy

Combustion of fossil fuels accounts for most of human emissions. Moving into renewable energy sources is not just necessary to help combat climate change; in the long-run, it is the only smart move for an energy-hungry human race, and a damn good business at that! Only in the USA there are, today, 1.4 million jobs in the renewables against only 80,000 jobs in the oil industry.
The International Energy Agency (IEA), the Star of Bethlehem in energy matters for many governments, recently presented their energy trends and future energy scenarios. The message is clear: If governments don’t take the right decisions now it might be too late, for them and for the rest of the world.
The main energy trends come in all color shades, from light green to dark black. The good news is that China is rapidly leaving its carbon economy and transitioning to more renewables in its energy mix. Solar PV is rapidly becoming the cheapest source of electricity in many countries. The world is electrifying its energy system: By 2040, India will be increasing its electricity generation by an amount comparable to the whole European Union and China by an amount comparable the whole of the US. But dark clouds remain: Sub-Saharan Africa is the only region in the world that is lagging behind in electrification while it will also see the largest population growth in the next century. Fossil fuels are not making an exit any time soon. The US is turning into the undisputed global leader of oil and gas, now as a net exporter of these commodities, with major implications for markets, investment and energy security.

Today, we also hear from Zennström Professor Kevin Anderson interviewed by Amy Goodman on Democracy now:
Part I: Scientists Issue Dire Warning on Climate Change & Key Researcher Urges “Changes in How We Live”

Part II: Scientist Kevin Anderson: Our Socioeconomic Paradigm is Incompatible with Climate Change Objectives

Tuesday November 14

An official COP23 side-event organized by CEMUS, Uppsala University and Stockholm Resilience Centre in collaboration with Mission 2020 & the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, with Kevin Anderson, Johan Rockström, Cristiana Figueres, John Schellnhuber and moderated by Mary Robinson.

Summary of week one

Delegate Rhianna Rees put together a short video summarizing her experiences at the COP in Bonn. Watch it here.

Friday 10th November

Today we hear about delegate Florian Roth who shares some reflections on the role of civil society in the COP and the conflict of interest that arises in the negotiation spaces.

“Civil Society and COP23 – a struggle between public and corporate interest”

COP23 – the 23rd conference of the parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). 25 years of international negotiations involving more than 190 countries on earth – that adds up to 23 COPs or 46 official meetings when counting in the intersessional meetings that take place each year in Bonn. 25 years of the belief that the international community will solve the problem of human-made climate change. Kyoto Protocol – the first attempt to regulate CO2 emissions with an international legally binding treaty failed: The U.S.A has never ratified it and the second round of the protocol for 2013-2020 has never entered into force…..

read more on the following link: https://medium.com/@florian.roth/civil-society-and-cop23-a-struggle-between-public-and-corporate-interest-5ae909a61fee

Thursday 9th November

Today is Young Feminist Day at COP23. Our delegate Laura Merz is featured on Climate Tracker advocating gender equality, a challenge which needs to be spoken about louder also under the umbrella of climate change!
The video can be accessed at the following address: https://www.facebook.com/ClimateTracker/videos/1673211739376661/

Wednesday 8th November

As the complexity becomes appearant, Rhianna Rees reflects on her third day at COP23 with an overview of different actors present in Bonn.
Watch it here.

Tuesday 7th November

As COP23 is kicking off, here we have some first reflections from UU delegate Rhianna Rees on some of themes that are being discussed in Bonn. Check it out!
Watch it here.

The delegation

Uppsala University’s delegation to COP23 is comprised of researchers, students as well the Zennström visiting professor in climate change leadership Kevin Anderson. Read more here.


Events in Uppsala and Bonn

November 8, 16.45-18.15: Fossil Gas: pathway to a clean energy future or route to dangerous climate change? Kevin Anderson among the speakers. Main organizer: Friends of the Earth Europe.

November 14, 11.00-12.30: Side-event with Kevin Anderson, Johan Rockström, Christina Figueres and Mary Robinson. Organized by CEMUS, UU and SRC.

November 27, 17.15-19.00 : Seminar on the outcome of COP23 at Uppsala City Library. With UUs delegation to the climate change negotiations and Zennström Professors Doreen Stabinsky and Kevin Anderson

Latest Updates

Check out the latest updates on Facebook and Twitter below.