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Centre for Climate and Energy Transformation (CET)
SDG Bergen

CET at Day Zero 2019

Day Zero is a new initiative held the day before the SDG Bergen conference and is a packed day of workshops relating to the Sustainable Development Goals. CET was well represented with three workshops on topics of accountability, student involvement & perception.

Students in auditorium with presenter in background
Photo:
Judith Dalsgård/CET

The inaugral Day Zero was held last week and it can absolutely been called a huge success. In total there were 21 workshops spread across Nygårsdhøyden with most SDG's represented. Three of which were hosted by CET:

Workshop 1: Accountable Climate Action for Energy Transition 

How can sustainability scientists working on energy transitions participate in climate action? We must engage and inform the public, represent and promote public interest, and hold ourselves accountable. In a world where sustainability is a buzzword and academic conferences still rely on air travel, these are hard tasks! But at the Centre for Climate and Energy Transformation, or CET, we are determined to find better ways and lead by example. 

Four CET employees (PhD Agnete Hessevik, research coordinator Kårstein Måseide, postdocs Gregory Ferguson-Cradler and Siddharth Sareen) shared examples of current efforts.

- We raised the question how researchers and students can reduce emissions from travelling. The participants of the workshop played a game that challenged them to cut air travels over one year by 50% as a group. The game resulted in fruitful discussions about the value of travelling versus the value of cutting emissions, and also about the fairness of collective schemes for reducing air travels, explains PhD fellow Agnete Hessevik. 

- It is now high time to discuss how we as a university can maintain good quality research and education and important connections to international research and education communities, while at the same time reducing greenhouse gas emissions from that same activity, says Hessevik. 

The workshop also presented the launch of the 'idea box' and participants were invited to add their solutions for energy transitions for residents. 

Workshop 2: Rethinking student involvement in higher education 

The Collaboratory hosted a workshop that examined the role of participation in higher education in the context of sustainable development. 

PhD fellow at CET Jakob Grandin presented the complexity and uncertainty inherent in contemporary sustainability challenges leads to the coexistence of multiple values and problem framings.

This calls for new ways of organising higher education, where students play an active role in their learning process. This invites universities and educators to re:think their approaches to research and education, and requires changes in culture, teaching methods, and curricula within higher education.

UiB Collaboratory employees and students Johan Elfving & Synnøve Beitnes provided case examples with their work with CET201: Sustainable Innovation course & BISC (Bergen International Student Conference). 

Workshop 3: Public perceptions of climate change 

Climate change is arguably one of the most serious challenges the world is facing today. Preventing dangerous levels of climate change has become a major policy objective, both nationally and internationally. The social transformations necessary for achieving this objective require widespread and sustained public support, with public perceptions of climate change playing a critical role in understanding people’s willingness to both change their own behaviours and support policies to tackle climate change.

- We got a lot of good questions about what thinking lies behind people's responses to surveys about climate change perceptions, and what types of information form the basis for their thoughts (e.g., media consumption, political leadership). Some of this we could answer, or at least point to data; other questions require more research, says Endre Tvinnereim, senior researcher at CET. 

 

We look forward to a new Day Zero next year!