KTH Royal Institute of Technology: New centre uses a broad approach to tackle climate crisis

Why isn’t the climate crisis met with stricter reforms? In the newly-launched Climate Action Centre at KTH, researchers aim to speed up the climate reform process by engaging the whole society.

“The goal is to act beyond research — working together to put knowledge into practice,” says Francesco Fuso-Nerini, director of the KTH Climate Action Centre.

The new centre will focus on collaboration. This pertains to KTH researchers and students as well as national and international partners, the private and the public sectors and society in general. The centre’s goal is to present reforms that could gain broad political and social acceptance and support.

Deputy Director Karin Larsdotter, responsible for the centre’s collaborations, says that open seminars, discussions and networking are fundamental parts of the Climate Action Centre’s operation.

“A social movement gains momentum when evidence-based knowledge and technology are implemented in accordance to society’s needs and values,” Larsdotter says.

The centre’s name stems from one of UN’s sustainable development goals—climate action— addressing the need for urgent action to counteract the climate change and its consequences.

Successful climate policies and sustainability projects need to be viewed holistically, Fuso-Nerini says. Climate reforms such as plans to minimize emissions need to be meticulously designed, integrated with other sustainable development goals and anchored locally.

“Simultaneously as climate reforms are implemented, it’s important to reach other societal and environmental goals,” Fuso-Nerini says. “Societies that are dependent on fossil fuel and heavily impacted by climate reforms need good alternatives for work opportunities and energy resources.”

The centre, which began its operation in August, has already initiated several student projects. One connects students from four different continents to discuss perceptions and solutions to climate change.

More research initiatives are on the way. Fuso-Nerini recently gained attention for authoring an article that argues for adoption of personal carbon trading.

“It would open up for an emission trade between individuals and contribute to more people taking greater climate responsibility,” he says.

With a broad participation of climate-specialised researchers from KTH, the centre hopes to deal with climate reforms in all parts of the society. Focus is on research themes such as climate reforms on a system level, net zero emission through a mixture of innovative technology and policies, climate adjustment through greater resilience and civil, private and societal engagement in climate reforms.

Where will the KTH Climate Action Centre be in five years?

“By then we’ll offer a wide range of research and engagement activities about climate reforms. And we’ll have a constellation of partners working together in the transition towards a society with net zero emission,” says Fuso-Nerini.

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