Five climate researchers from Linköping University will be in Glasgow for the UN Climate Change Conference, Cop26, which opens on 31 October.
“This will set the level of ambition for global work with climate change. And the final parts of the puzzle will be laid for the regulations that govern how countries work against climate change. I will be there to follow the work”, says Mathias Fridahl, who works with climate research in the Department of Thematic Studies – Environmental Change at LiU.
“The regulations specify what the countries agreed about in Paris in 2015, and will determine how the Paris Agreement is to be understood and interpreted. Work with these regulations has been under way since the negotiations in Paris.”
Climate researchers from LiU will be involved at global, national, regional and local contexts. This means they will have insight into, and participate in, everything from the UN climate negotiations and the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, to meetings of business leaders and municipal planners.
“We conduct extensive climate research at LiU, and we have carried out several research projects since 2007 that deal with negotiation in particular. It’s important to be there during climate negotiations: it’s not enough to follow meetings at a distance. You have to be in the small negotiating rooms and analyse the results if you want to understand what is happening, and what potential there is to solve the problems.”
If time is available, Mathias Fridahl plans to contribute to several blogs about climate while in Glasgow, and answer questions from the media and the public.
“I thinks it’s important to be a voice that can report back, so I want to be available both before, during and after the climate conference.”
Frida Buhre works in research at the Department of Thematic Studies – Child Studies, and will also participate in the Glasgow conference. Her research deals with how young people participate and are represented in international climate policy.
"Children and young people who are active in the climate debate have staked a claim to co-determination and democratic representation. They are challenging the balance of power between children and adults, and question the monopoly held by adults in political decisions, in particular in climate policy, since the topic affects their lives more than those of the adults”, says Frida Buhre.
She will observe young climate campaigners from all over the world in Glasgow, how they work at the conference and how they collaborate with each other.
“I also plan to interview them, hear what they think and how they experience being part of Cop26.” Photo credit Helena Lehmus
Frida Buhre’s colleagues have held such interviews at previous conferences.
“Some young people believe that the conferences are valuable, while others are disillusioned and feel that everything is just hypocrisy, where they don’t have any true influence.
We’ll see whether the findings are the same this time, or whether they experience this conference differently. The school strikes, for example, may have led to higher self-confidence, and the young people feel that they have more power since they make their voices heard in the media.”
LiU student Tilde Krusberg from the Environmental Science programme will also participate at the conference. She will work closely with one of the researchers and help to collect data.
Other LiU researchers in Glasgow are Björn-Ola Linnér, professor in the Department of Thematic Studies – Environmental Change, and Marie Francisco, PhD student, and Stephen Woroniecki, postdoc, in the same department.
Translated by George Farrants