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Meet the Researchers – Reflections on COP21

Read interviews by the Sustainability Forum journalist Jack Fraser, also a master student at iiiee, The Environmental Institute at Lund University. He has met researchers from Lund University with different expert views on COP21 issues in Paris 2015. There are more interviews being added each week until and during COP21.


Kimberly NicholasUrban food forestry, making smart food choices, and reducing travel in a post-COP21 world

Lund University Professor and Researcher Kim Nicholas shows how we can re-connect with land through urban food forestry, making smart food choices, and reducing travel in a post-COP21 world.

While the road to the Paris negotiation has been important, Kim emphasizes a road through Paris perspective and the importance of increasing top-down and bottom-up efforts. “The environment provides us with everything that we enjoy about our lives, so it is crucial that we do what is necessary after COP21 to keep it healthy,” states Kim.

Kim says, “It will be important to get to a zero carbon society as fast as possible and to see that as a top priority that warrants the necessary investments.”
Read the whole interview here




Lars J Nilsson Foto: Kennet Ruona

Low-carbon society

Looking ahead to the outcomes of COP21, the role of the industrial sector, and the benefits of sustainable development with Lars J. Nilsson

Though it is unclear what outcomes the climate change negotiations in Paris will produce, it is apparent that swift international action is needed. Increasing efforts to make sustainable development, clean energy transition, and decarbonisation cheaper, easier, and faster will be an important task in the coming years.

“Sustainable development does not have to be costly or painful, it can even be enjoyable,” says author, researcher, and Professor Lars J. Nilsson. Lars is presently a Professor in the Environmental and Energy Systems Studies programme in the Department of Technology and Society at Lund University. Read the whole interview here


Lina EklundMeet the researchers: climate change and migration

How does weather and climate variability affect the Middle East in regards to migration, de-carbonisation, and food security? Post-Doctoral Researcher and teacher at Lund University Lina Eklund sheds light on complexities of the region and how projects are making a difference.

“Climate variability, drought for example, is nothing new or unexpected for the Middle East. The long-standing relationships between people and the land in this region are very complex,” begins Lina. While climate changes have pushed some people to migrate from rural agricultural areas to urban areas, it is not the single cause of migration. Read the whole interview here



Markku Rummukainen. Photo: Lund UniversityEarly action and cooperation needed to reach 2 degree goal

About the possibilities to reach the 2 degree goal, attending COP21 as science expert and climate change research with Markku Rummukainen

While limiting the global mean warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius would lead to avoiding increasingly large climate change impacts, some impacts will still occur. The efforts to manage climate change need to focus on both reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to lessen negative impacts.

“Global emissions are still increasing, but research supports the notion that the world has a possibility to stay below 2 degrees temperature increase while at the same time reducing poverty and increasing equity and an overall positive development all around the world. What is required is decarbonisation of energy systems, as well as other sectors, so that greenhouse gas emissions are reduced to zero before the end of the century,” says Markku Rummukainen. Markku is a researcher, Professor and Deputy Director at the Centre for Environmental and Climate Research at Lund University. Read the whole interview here


Luis MundacaGreening the economy, COP21 and the road ahead

Very high ambitions, financing and effective policies key for success in Paris and beyond, says Luis Mundaca.

As an Associate Professor at Lund University (iiiee), Luis Mundaca focuses on environmental economics, policy analysis, and low-carbon development. In addition to being a teacher and researcher, Luis has also worked on major international scientific initiatives, such as the Fifth IPCC Assessment Report on Climate Change Mitigation (Working Group III), and the Global Energy Assessment.

Some topics that Luis hopes gain recognition in Paris include finance, behavior-oriented policies, and CO2 budgeting. “New financial resources and aligning current resources with climate-related issues, such as divesting from fossil fuels and related subsidies, will be important if we are serious about climate and development,” states Luis. “Behavior-oriented policies have also been largely unexplored, and have to complement technology-oriented policies as well.” Read the whole interview here


The complex effect of climate changes on agriculture, human livelihoods, and poverty

Lennart Olsson, photo: Lund UniversityAn interview with LUCSUS Professor Lennart Olsson, specialising on land management, agriculture, and poverty: “There is now a strong sense of urgency surrounding efforts to combat climate change, such as emission reductions, adequate funding, and loss and damage compensation.” The upcoming COP21 negotiation in Paris is the platform where proposed efforts are highly expected to be formed into an agreement.

Some important topics that will be negotiated in Paris include emission reductions, mitigation and adaption funding, and loss and damage compensation. Lennart comments that, “There is a bigger chance for a concrete outcome in Paris, but the proposed INDCs are not enough to meet the 2 degrees Celsius target.” Read the whole interview here


Eric BrandstedtThe role of ethics in climate negotiations

Lund University post-doctoral researcher and London School of Economics and Political Science fellow researcher Eric Brandstedt speaks on ethics and its role in climate negotiations.

“It is much better to work closely to the relevant practices and relevant agents, such as the UNFCCC and COP, and with their principles and values, such as the idea of common but differentiated responsibility. Climate ethicists could clarify and interpret such normative ideals of the policy process together with other relevant interests of the parties and scientific facts” he says. Read the whole interview here

Meet the researchers - Reflections on COP 21

King George Island, Antarctica. UN Photo/Eskinder

Read interviews by the Sustainability Forum journalist Jack Fraser, also a master student at iiiee, The Environmental Institute at Lund University.

He has met researchers from Lund University with different expert views on COP21 issues in Paris 2015.

Read all the interviews

About the author

Jack Fraser is a current MSc student studying Environmental Management and Policy at Lund University IIIEE:

A love of traveling and passion for climate change issues brought me to Sweden after graduating from Oregon State University and working in Portland, Oregon. A few of my past areas of study include natural resource use, environmental ethics, sociology, energy efficiency and solar energy. Growing areas of interest for me are sustainable urban design, transportation, and public policy. 

The constant research occurring at Lund University is exciting, and this is a particularly eventful period of time due to the highly anticipated climate negotiations in Paris. Through my work with the LU Sustainability Forum and Centre for Environment and Climate Research I hope to highlight Lund University's diverse research and people’s views on COP 21.

Lund University Sustainablity Forum
Sölvegatan 37
223 62 Lund

contact [at] sustainability [dot] lu [dot] se