For transitions to more sustainable societies, new ways of thinking about the organization and planning of society are required. One approach is to work with so-called citizens’ assemblies, or councils, tasked with developing proposals for transition. In this webinar representatives from different European countries and Sweden participates.
Citizens’ assemblies have been tested in various parts of Europe, and in Sweden they are being explored by institutions such as the Swedish Food Agency and the City of Gothenburg. Several ongoing research projects, such as Mistra Sustainable Consumption, are following this development.
What can we learn from citizens’ assemblies in countries such as France and Finland? How can these be implemented in practice? How can and should they be anchored, especially in relation to citizens? In this webinar with invited European guests, we will explore how citizens’ assemblies can serve as a tool for transition.
THE PARTICIPANTS AND THEIR PRESENTATIONS
- Steph Toro is a project leader and outreach strategist at Digidem Lab in Gothenburg, Sweden, and works with testing and implementing methods for participatory democracy in public institutions. See Steph’s presentation here.
- Kristina Eberth, The Administration for democracy and citizen services, and Mats Alfredsson, The Environmental Administration, City of Gothenburg.
- Heli Saarikoski is a leading researcher at the Finnish Environment Institute. Her research focuses on deliberative environmental governance and knowledge co-production in science-intensive environmental disputes. See Heli’s presentation here.
- Mathilde Bouyé co-leads democracy and climate initiatives, including a project on democratic innovation and just transition and a report on citizens’ assemblies and the climate emergency for the World Resources Institute. She previously served as a French diplomat in the SDG and climate negotiations. See Mathilde´s presentation here.
- Tim Daw is Associate Professor in Sustainability Science at Stockholm Resilience Center. He researches the potential of deliberative minipublics for sustainable transformations and is an organiser of the Swedish climate assembly in 2024. See Tim’s presentation here.
Recorded: Dec 12th, 2023
Jessika Richter postdoc at Lund University, talks about the obstacles and possibilities of creating a bigger impact for reparing our stuff.
Recorded September 2023 at KTH, Stockholm.
Watch Andrew Simms from the British think tank New Weather Institute in a seminar on banning advertisement for fossil fuel products and services.
New technology, changed lifestyles, and energy efficiency measures all have the potential to reduce emissions from our consumption. However, when we save money or time, what do we do with the resources that are freed up? If you don’t have a car, do you then fly more? The phenomenon where efficiencies or reduced consumption in one area risk increasing consumption in another is often described as rebound effects or so-called moral licensing. However, new research by David Andersson and Jonas Nässén shows that environmentally conscious individuals also have lower emissions in other areas.
Economically induced rebound effects, for example, can reduce the expected environmental gain from a more fuel-efficient car, as a cheaper cost per kilometer leads consumers to drive longer. The environmental gain is thus offset by increased usage. At the same time, indirect rebound effects can be caused by the savings made on reduced consumption of specific goods and services, leading to increased consumption of goods and services in another area with significant, equally large, or in some cases even greater greenhouse gas emissions.
In psychological research, such indirect effects are explained by the idea that environmental behavior can “spill over” onto other behaviors. Someone who sorts their waste may be more likely to choose to cycle to work, which is a positive “spill over,” but the opposite effect can also occur, where someone who cycles to work feels they have “done their part” and have room in their personal emissions budget for a flight.
In the study, David Andersson and Jonas Nässén show that a sustainable lifestyle in one area seems to be interconnected with reductions in other areas for a group of environmentally conscious individuals.
The research was made possible through collaboration with the climate calculator Svalna, which allows users to link their bank to the service to estimate the carbon footprint of each purchase. Users who wish to can also share data for research purposes (citizen science). By receiving aggregated data on both spent money and emissions in different areas, researchers could evaluate the effects of four low-carbon lifestyle options: not owning a car, not flying, not living in a detached house, and having a vegan diet. In addition to these lifestyle options leading to significant reductions in carbon footprint, they were not linked to substantial increases in expenditures on other goods and services with high emissions.
Among the study participants, a group of strongly environmentally engaged individuals, the results show that negative rebound effects can be avoided. The researchers now plan to investigate whether the results also hold true for a more representative sample of the Swedish population.
David Andersson, Postdoc, Department of Space, Earth and Environment, Physical Resource Theory.
+46 739 543 851
Sweden may become the first country in the world to have a consumption-based climate target. This would include emissions both in Sweden and abroad that are caused by Swedish consumption.
But what kind of consumption is compatible with climate commitments? What will we eat? How will we travel?
In the webinar below there are presentations from several studies that focused on consumption patterns in different countries that are compatible with climate targets. Differences and similarities between the studies and their results are presented. Possible policy implications are discussed in a panel. The unanimous suggestions from the Swedish all-parties committee on environmental quality objectives are also presented.
How does the Swedish based consumption-based climate goal work?
Emma Nohrén, chair in the Parliamentary committee (Swedish Green Party, MP) (30 min)
Examples of studies of consumption in line with climate targets: (45 min)
1.5-degree lifestyles – converging towards a fair consumption space
Policy Lead Hot or cool institute
Neither technology, nor behavioral changes, will save the climate!
Jörgen Larsson, associate professor Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg
Luxembourg in Transition – Net zero by 2050
Claudia Hitaj, Research Associate, Luxembourg Institute of Science & Technology
Four low-carbon futures for Sweden in 2050
Göran Finnveden, Professor, Program Director Mistra Sustainable Consumption, KTH
PANEL DISCUSSION (45 min)
What can these major consumption changes lead to?
Åsa Persson, Stockholm Environment Institute
Doris Fuchs, University of Münster
Emma Nohrén, chair in the Parliamentary committee (Swedish Green Party, MP)
Oksana Mont, Professor in sustainable consumption governance, Lund University
Jorge Laguna Celis, Head of the 10YFP Secretariat, UN Environment
Moderator: Robert Höglund, Independent climate advisor.
“Libraries of Things – and other Models for Sustainable Home Furnishing”
Sweden’s largest research program on sustainable consumption presented its results during a three-day train tour around the country. From April 25-27, 2022, Mistra Sustainable Consumption traveled from Stockholm to Lund (April 25), Lund to Falkenberg, Falkenberg to Gothenburg (April 26), Gothenburg to Karlstad, and Karlstad back home (April 27). Along the way, we presented and discussed four years of research on sustainable consumption, conducted site visits, ate sustainable food, and organized panel discussions and various activities.
This is one of the recorded sessions recorded at Lund Library.
Approaches to sustainable business often assume that companies can profit from protecting the environment and supporting the wider community. However, there is a discussion today that businesses’ pursuit of profit frequently has negative impacts on society and the environment, such as contributing to inequality and climate change.
This webinar aims to uncover the tensions between profit and sustainability, and discuss how to address these tensions for a more sustainable future. The panel consists of researchers and business representatives that have a wide range of knowledge and experience with the challenges and synergies between profit and sustainability.
In the panel:
Anselm Schneider is a senior lecture at Stockholm Business School, interested in the role of business in sustainable development.
Eva Svensson, a senior adviser at ReTuna, with a background and interest in how businesses can foster reuse and recycle.
Johan Rindevall, operations manager at Stockholms Stadmission. Previously acting manager for all of its social enterprises.
Moderator: Dr. Jennifer Hinton, a systems researcher and activist in the field of sustainable economy. Her work focuses on how societies relate to profit and how this relationship affects global sustainability challenges.
The webinar was recorded June 11th 2021. It is arranged by Ola Persson, PHD canidate at KTH and Jennifer Hinton.