Brown dystopia or green hope?

See videos from seminar on the world's looming energy - and climate security challenges.

With dwindling fossil fuel resources and climate changes looming, researchers argue that the world as we know is about to change. The fossil fuels that have predicated the matchless expansion of the 20th century show difficulties in keeping up with increasing demand. At the same time, continued use of remaining fossil fuel deposits risks pushing the world towards catastrophic climate changes.

On 9 june 2010 centre executive director Johan Rockström and SEI researcher Karl Hallding teamed up with Professor Kjell Aleklett from Global Energy Systems Group, Uppsala University to discuss future energy and climate security challenges.

- IPCC predictions are exaggerated
One of Europe's leading experts on fossil fuel, Haleklett argues that the gloomy IPCC predictions of climate change are exaggerated simply because the world´s oil resources will reach its peak within the next 20 years or so.

- However, this doesn´t mean we can continue with business as usual. We are faced with challenges far beyond the climate ones once our fossil fuel deposits have run out, he says.

See presentation with Aleklett here:

Download Aleklett's presentation here (pdf, external link)

Four scenarios — four outcomes
Karl Hallding, Head of SEI´s China Cluster and an expert on scenarios, presented four possible global scenarios for climate change and peaking fossil reserves with a time horizon ranging from a decade to a century.

He presented the scenarios through a matrix of four possible directions and showed what the security outcomes will be for each route taken. Three of these futures will prove exceedingly challenging, he argues.

- Clearly, a combination of mounting climate change and increasing competition for peaking fossil deposits is creating new global, regional and local security challenges. These challenges are adding to traditional security issues in a changing landscape of economic and political power, he says.

See Hallding´s presentation here:

Beyond the challenges of climate change
Johan Rockström presented in-depth findings on the consequences and uncertainties of climate change.

He provided a clearer picture of global temperature trends, tipping elements in the Earth system and the interconnected challenges humans face, highlighting the nine planetary boundaries which include biodiversity loss, ocean acidification, freshwater use, climate change, ozone depletion, land system change, chemical pollution, atmospheric aerosol loading and biochemical loading.

See Rockström´s presentation here:

Download Rockström's presentation here Powerpoint (powerpoint, 271 bytes)(powerpoint, 13,25 mb)

See the entire seminar here:


Video archive


Stockholm Resilience Centre is a collaboration between Stockholm University and the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

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