Three ways to navigate the risks along low-carbon transition pathways

(EurActiv, 10 Dec 2018) Risks lurk along the whole pathway of low-carbon transitions, writes Stefan Bößner. Things might get worse before they get better. But, given the climate urgency, there is no time to wait, he argues.

Stefan Bößner is a research consultant specialising in climate change and sustainability, and a former research fellow with the Stockholm Environment Institute. He currently works on an EU-funded research project called TRANSrisk (Transition Pathways and Risk Analysis for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies).

What do Sweden’s road freight electrification plans, Bali’s bioenergy use, and Kenya’s geothermal power plants and charcoal cookstoves have in common?

This sounds like the premise of a bad joke. If only it were. Instead, this list of the subjects of recent energy research projects suggests the wide scope of issues that must be addressed to meet international climate and sustainable development objectives.

As negotiators and observers gather in Poland for another round of negotiations on how to translate the national pledges of the Paris Agreement into concrete action, the urgency of their task cannot be exaggerated. Current efforts are not even enough to limit global warming to 2 degrees, let alone to 1.5 degrees.

Worse still, if we don’t decarbonise every sector of our economy in the coming decades, temperatures will likely rise above 2 degrees, and with devastating consequences. Tweaks won’t be enough. We have to initiate fundamental changes (such as getting rid of almost all fossil fuels by 2050) in how we produce, consume and distribute goods and services. That is, we have to change how we live.

External link

EurActiv, 10 Dec 2018: Three ways to navigate the risks along low-carbon transition pathways