Centre for Climate and Energy Transformation (CET)

CET with two nominees for IPCC

Two CET researchers are nominated as candidates for the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - and might be selected for the prestigious work on the IPCC's sixth assessment report.

Endre Tvinnereim og Siddharth Sareen er nominert til IPCCs klimapanel og arbeidet med den sjette IPCC-rapporten.
Endre Tvinnereim and Siddharth Sareen are two of the nominees for the IPCC climate panel and the writing of the sixth IPCC report.
Marikken W. Wathne

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- It would be an honour and a privilege, as well as a lot of work, to be part of such an impressive collaborative endeavour, says Siddharth Sareen.

Sareen is one of two researchers at CET who has been picked out as candidates for writing the sixth IPCC report (AR6). Like his colleague Endre Tvinnereim, Sareen has been nominated for the writing of the third part of the report. This section deals with measures that can help reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

– A nice surprise

The list of nominees was published by the Environment Agency mid-january, and Sareen was made aware by CET colleagues.

– Håvard Haarstad (CET director) popped into my office waving a Norwegian Environment Agency webpage on his smartphone, and later the same day Jakob Grandin sent me an email with the same link, Sareen says.

Tvinnereim was also informed by colleagues who had noticed his name on the nomination list.

– I showed interest for this a while ago and had forgotten when the decision would be made. So it came as a nice surprise, he says.

However, the two researchers are well aware that a nomination is just a nomination.

– My initial response was the same as now - let's see if I make it onto the final list, Sareen adds.

84 nominees

The Norwegian Environment Agency is the national hub of the UN in Norway, and is in charge of nominating researchers and experts who can contribute to the IPCC reports. The Agency suggests candidates to the UN, which then elects who will participate in the writing of the report.

19 Norwegian researchers participated in the work of the fifth IPCC report, which was published between 2013 and 2014. This time, 84 researchers and experts from Norwegian institutions were found qualified and submitted as nominees for the prestigious work.

– The nomination shows that Norwegian academic communities have many highly qualified candidates, says Audun Rosland, director of the climate department at the Environment Agency, on their website.

Now it is up to the IPCC bureau to decide who is going to make the last cut. In early February, researchers expect to hear whether they have been elected to the climate panel. Both Sareen and Tvinnereim are careful not to make assumptions.

- I don't dwell on it at the moment, but think it would be a tremendous opportunity, both to contribute what I can as well as to learn from more experienced colleagues around the world through how they steer the process, Sareen says, and adds:

– I have enjoyed building international collaborations in my initial postdoctoral years, and see this as a natural next step, where I can put my competencies to meaningful use and further hone research skills that are instrumental in addressing some of the most urgent challenges the world currently faces.

90% sweat, 10% motivation

The third part of the report is to assess scientific literature on the socioeconomic and technological aspects of climate change mitigation, mitigation options across sectors and governance levels, and what various mitigation policies imply for society.

– That's a pretty tall order, so the first priority is to cover the whole ground well! Sareen says.

Sareen's background is largely from interdisciplinary research on the governance of natural resources and energy in South Asia and Western Europe. He has worked for applied research institutions in six countries.

– This positions me well to provide specific types of inputs: on the political economy of energy transitions, on institutional structures and accountability relations across sectors, and on different frames that can help make the report truly interdisciplinary, comprehensive, and a compelling read, he believes.

The CET postdoc believes his work on solar energy governance can be influential for the report.

– It prompts me to put forward a claim that I think can be well substantiated: that the robust specification of accountability relations is essential to secure desirable outcomes under sustainability transitions, both in the energy sector and across sectors. I hope to put this to the test and ideally bring it into the framing of the report.

Tvinnereim has a long history of working with perceptions on climate change and energy related issues. He hopes his background can be useful, should he be elected for the IPCC AR6 working group.

– I hope to contribute what I have researched in two areas: how quota schemes work in practice to reduce emissions, and people's understanding of climate change and preferences in terms of emission reduction measures. Especially the latter I have worked a lot with lately, he says.

The researcher looks forward to an exciting – but challenging task if he is elected for the report writing.

– Of course, it's a good opportunity to work with scientists from around the world to put together knowledge about how people can best reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And if I'm chosen, it will probably be a lot of work, I think 90% sweat and 10% motivation.