Tag archives for Stockholm Environment Institute

Is city life really that green?

Easy cycling is good, but not the whole story. Photo: Maqroll (CC: by-nc-sa)

Stockholm and other Swedish cities are often being pointed out as green and low emission. According to official figures, the average person in Stockholm emits only 3,75 tons of carbon dioxide per person and year, which is quite a lot less than the average Swede at 5,6 tons.

But earlier this year a joint report from Stockholm Environment Institute and a green think tank called Cogito pointed out a problem with these figures. As so often with statistics, they only describe one part of reality.

These statistics do measure the emissions from all activities taking place within the area of Stockholm. But they don’t count the CO2 emissions that are made to manufacture and transport all the things that the Stockholmers’ total consumption is made up of.

What the report has done is to calculate the total emissions of four Swedish cities: Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö and Linköping.

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Tipping point: Threat or opportunity?

Photo: Romain Laurent.

For anyone who happens to be in Stockholm before the third of June, I would highly recommend a visit to Kulturhuset, Stockholm’s own house of culture. But not only because it’s one of my favourite places – somewhere you are always welcome, offering culture in all its forms and shapes (and often for free).

For a long time Kulturhuset  has shown a great interest for sustainability, environment and how to live greener. Recently they took a wider perspective on this and opened an exhibition created together with scientists and experts (for example from Stockholm Environment Institute and Stockholm Resilience Centre).

This time it’s not about the small perspective, as how to recycle or our waste, but the big picture: That humanity is a part of nature, what we are doing to the planet and what we can do to change the situation.

In Tucson, USA, several entirely intact hot dogs were find during excavations done 1974–2005. Raises one or two questions about what we put in our food, doesn’t it? Photo: Sara Jeswani.

Tipping Point, which is the name of the exhibition, is a term that describes how a sudden change can have large consequences for both society and eco systems. Like the melting Arctic ice, which isn’t melting gradually, but at a certain point starts to melt uncontrollably because of feed-back mechanisms.
The change in itself can seem small, but might force us to much bigger changes.

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Swedish report: CO2 is threatening our oceans (and it’s expensive!)

The Great Barrier Reef. Photo: Noaml  (CC: By, Nc)

When no arguments seem to work to stop environmental degradation, economy sometimes does. For example it was a report by the economist Nicholas Stern that first opened the eyes of many decision makers towards the threats of climate change.

This time Stockholm Environment Institute has calculated the costs of letting climate change and other human-caused factors ruin the world’s oceans.

Today the oceans are providing humanity with enormous values through for example fishery and tourism. When those functions are reduced, a lot of people will be left without incomes. Costs can also go up because of climate change, which causes sea-level rise, storms and reduces the ability of the ocean to absorb carbon.

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What do people over 55 think about climate change?

spring-walk

An active ageing population means people who both have the time and will to continue consuming and seeing the world. How does this affect the way over 55s look at the world? asks researchers. Photo: Helena Wahlman/imagebank.sweden.se.

They are know both as heavy polluters and those who could be the most vulnerable to a warmer climate. On the other hand, people who have lived on this earth more than 55 years, are seldom asked about their views or worries when it comes to these issues. It’s rather the coming generations we talk about.

Now a project run by Stockholm Environment Institute wants to change this by finding out what over 55s really think through an international survey.
– Some very old people say they don’t care, since they will anyway soon be gone: Others worry about what kind of world their grandchildren will grow up in, Gary Haq, who is leading the research team says in an interview with the newspaper Sydsvenskan.

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Researching in all directions for a sustainable society

landscape
Humans and nature, how can we co-exist? Photo: Guillaume Baviere (CC: BY)

Johan-Rockström

Johan Rockström will lead the research project. Photo: SEI.

Sweden will the be the hub for a very interesting research project that will hopefully give us more answers about how environmental issues are linked to basic human development and how to solve the problems we face.

The project, which is named the Earth System Sustainability Initiative, will try to provide global coordination for science to respond to the most pressing societal and environmental challenges, joining researchers from the social, economic, natural, health, and engineering sciences.

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