What is the challenge?
By 2045 at the latest, Sweden’s net greenhouse gas emissions are to be reduced to zero. That is one of the goals set by the Swedish Government and Parliament and referred to in the Climate Act of 2017. Achieving this ambitious objective will require far-reaching, systemic change across the whole of society. The Mistra Carbon Exit research programme is designed to generate new knowledge and develop strategies that will enable Swedish society and Swedish companies to become front runners in offering low- or zero-carbon products and services. The programme aims to make Sweden an important international model in the fight against climate change.
Researchers at a total of seven universities and research institutes are involved: Chalmers University of Technology, the University of Gothenburg, Linköping University, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, Resources for the Future (USA), the German Institute for Economic Research (Germany) and the Centre for European Policy Studies (Belgium). Some twenty companies and other non-academic organisations are also taking part.
How can the programme contribute to a solution?
Mistra Carbon Exit will analyse both the technical and the commercial conditions for achieving net zero emissions, as well as studying policy instruments and behavioural issues. The focus will be on buildings, transport and transport infrastructure – three supply chains which together account for at least 75 per cent of Sweden’s total carbon dioxide emissions. What are the principal opportunities and barriers when it comes to securing the necessary transition in these supply chains? And how can the sectors concerned help Sweden meet its emissions goal while remaining competitive? For each of the supply chains, the programme will develop a number of alternative strategies for achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions.
The core of the programme consists of five case studies, focusing on buildings, transport, transport infrastructure, energy carriers and local arenas. In addition, there are five academic work packages that will analyse issues relevant to the case studies. These work packages are concerned with transformative pathways, technology assessment along supply chains, business models and consumption patterns, policies and governance, and integration and sustainability.
Who will benefit from the results?
The results generated by Mistra Carbon Exit will support political decision-makers, but also provide a basis for long-term technology choices and business model development in industry and business. The programme has an ambition to be an active participant in public debate, and the results are intended to contribute to international action on climate change through organisations such as the EU and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Target groups also include the wider research community, stakeholder organisations and the general public.
“Mistra Carbon Exit will teach us a great deal about the standards we need to set to promote the major changes that are required in the long term, and to enable us to move towards the vision of a climate-neutral infrastructure by 2045 set out by the Swedish Transport Administration.”
Håkan Johansson, National Climate Coordinator at the Swedish Transport Administration, one of the Mistra Carbon Exit partners.