Centre for Climate and Energy Transformation (CET)

CET Lunch: Climate mitigation caught between a rock and a hard place: developing Paris-compliant climate pathways considering fairness and feasibility.

Welcome to our hybrid CET Lunch seminar with Jesse Schrage, PhD Candidate at CET and the Department of Geography, UiB.

Portrait of Jesse Schrage, PhD candidate at CET with CET Lunch title Climate mitigation stuck between a rock and a hard place
Our CET Lunches are hybrid.
Judith Dalsgård/CET

Main content

Our speaker will attend in person. Participants can sign up and tune in via stream, or turn up at CET where lunch will be served on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Paris agreement established a global commitment to equitably share the burden of climate action across both industrialising and industrialised countries. Recognising that emissions must be urgently and significantly reduced, it stresses that wealthy, industrialized countries must act first. However, as the remaining carbon budgets for reaching 1,5 and 2 °C of warming are rapidly shrinking, downscaling it to nations inevitably involves some major compromises between fairness and feasibility. 

In this CET lunch I will present a research paper where I, with colleagues, develop a novel method to share the remaining carbon budget between nations. Most studies which have assessed national contributions have done so blending concepts of justice, often disregarding that not all countries can be equally ambitious, and that basic needs for poorer nations should be guaranteed. The approach that we develop instead accounts for the current inertia of national energy systems which is combined with the capacity of individual nations to pay for their low-carbon transformations. In doing so, we argue for a redistribution of the remaining emission space that is the least “unjust” in view of the rapidly reducing carbon budgets.

In this talk, I will illustrate the results of this analysis by considering the G20 group of countries, comparing national Paris-compliant pathways with their current climate targets. The preliminary analysis shows that while none of the G20 countries pathways to net-zero are in line with global pathways that limit warming to 1.5 °C, there is a wide variation among countries in how much national climate targets overshoot their allocated fair share. I will finish by discussing the implications this holds for increased domestic climate ambition, along with the need to assess individual contributions for international climate efforts. This research is part of ongoing work from the RFF funded Klimabudjett 2.0 project.

About the speaker:

Jesse Schrage is a PhD candidate at CET and the Department of Geography at UiB. 

I am a social scientist focusing on questions of energy demand, environmental politics and climate governance. In my PhD I explore the overlap between city-level policy-making and everyday consumption. By focusing on climate action and processes of planning in a number of Nordic cities, I aim understand the political feasibility of climate transformations as they unfold locally.