Background and Purpose

The concept of carbon budgets is young and came into the limelight as UN's climate panel (IPCC) published its fifth evaluation report, AR5, in 2014.

Here in Sweden, the municipalities and regions have reacted quickly and we are today at the international forefront when it comes to establishing local carbon budgets rooted in the climate panel's calculations and the Paris accord. The applied research work performed at the Climate Leadership node at Uppsala University has been instrumental.

Thanks to their work, and lately the contributions by Klimatsekretariatet, it's now easy for a Swedish municipality or region to take three steps:

  • Establish a carbon budget in accordance with current leading standards and methods

  • Keep the carbon budget up to date

  • Publish the carbon budget

These three steps are important – not least the publishing – but what happens next? What does it mean for a municipality to establish a carbon budget? How do we make corporations stay within a carbon budget? What role do we give the environmental organizations and civil society? 

Many of these questions remain to be answered. The concept is young enough that much is lacking in tools, methods, frameworks, information, courses and educational material. The very meaning of the word carbon budget is still nebulous in many ways.

From this follows that municipalities and regions stand relatively alone with their carbon budgets today. For civil society, citizens and media, it is difficult to understand how to work with or understand the concept. It bears a promise of scientific and responsible climate goal policies – a promise that there is a quickly growing will to realize among environmental organizations, municipalities, regions, education providers and institutes.

Therefore we need to quickly build the tools, methods, frameworks, information, courses, education resources – and the conference. We need to create knowledge and understand our respective roles. We also need to realize that we are facing a historic educational challenge.

By arranging the CO2-BUDGET conference, we aim to collect, share and create knowledge. Thereby we, together with you, contribute to maturing the concept, enable clearer communication and make it easier for all parties to work with the concept.

CO2-budget aims to connect all Swedish actors who leverages the concept of local carbon budgets, and thereby:

  • Strengthen the concept's legitimacy in the public opinion, public discourse and political policy.

  • Create an arena for knowledge sharing and dissemination.

  • Spread knowledge of where we are and the value of the tree steps – to establish, update and publish – and to contribute to a sharper implementation of carbon budgets in municipalities, regions and nationally.

  • Popularize and spread the carbon budget concept.