He is also a communications consultant for the new ten-year research programme Future Earth.
Owen trained as an astronautic and aeronautic engineer and he is a qualified journalist, filmmaker and writer. For a decade he has worked in Earth system science communication. His work focuses on understanding, communicating and visualizing humanity's impact on the planet through concepts such as the Anthropocene and planetary boundaries, and transformation processes.
His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the BBC and the world’s leading academic journals Science and Nature. His work on visualisations with Felix Pharand Deschenes have been shown at the UN Rio+20 Summit and the World Economic Forum, Davos.
Nature (2014) Owen Gaffney. Quiet revolution starts to make some noise
Nature (2013) Griggs et al. Sustainable Development Goals for People and Planet
Science (2003) IEEE under fire for withdrawing Iranian members’ benefits
Walking the Anthropocene (2015)
Research news | 2017-03-23
New carbon roadmap offers pathway to halve emissions every decade, say researchers
Research news | 2017-02-10
New paper formalises mathematically the current rate of change of Earth’s life support system
General news | 2017-01-26
Stockholm Resilience Centre proudly launches new in-depth online publication on resilience thinking and global development
2017 - Journal / article
On 25 September, 2015, world leaders met at the United Nations in New York, where they adopted the Sustainable Development Goals. These 17 goals and 169 targets set out an agenda for sustainable development for all nations that embraces economic growth, social inclusion, and environmental protection. Now, the agenda moves from agreeing the goals to implementing and ultimately achieving them. Across the goals, 42 targets focus ...
2017 - Journal / article
Although the Paris Agreement's goals (1) are aligned with science (2) and can, in principle, be technically and economically achieved (3), alarming inconsistencies remain between science-based targets and national commitments. Despite progress during the 2016 Marrakech climate negotiations, long-term goals can be trumped by political short-termism. Following the Agreement, which became international law earlier than expected, ...
2016 - Journal / article
The scale of the decarbonisation challenge to meet the Paris Agreement is underplayed in the public arena. It will require precipitous emissions reductions within 40 years and a new carbon sink on the scale of the ocean sink. Even then, the world is extremely likely to overshoot. A catastrophic failure of policy, for example, waiting another decade for transformative policy and full commitments to fossil-free economies, will h...