Innovating international law for the benefits of climate
The Swedish Climate Ambassador, the winners of Stockholm Treaty Lab, and representatives of the sustainable business gathered at the SCC to explore the question: how can we innovate international law to the benefits of climate?
The seminar, titled “A low carbon society through international law”, took place on 16 May 2019 and was jointly organized by the SCC and the Haga Initiative.
The Swedish Climate Ambassador Lars Ronnås made an opening remark in which he emphasized that the right types of investments are key to transformation to carbon neutral societies. Speaking on the Swedish experience, he mentioned that Swedish businesses have responded to the call for action to achieve net zero emissions by the latest 2045, among others by producing their own roadmaps towards fossil free competitiveness. “Moving towards climate-friendly solutions is to remain competitive as structural changes to the economy will be inevitable,” he underlined. He further addressed the development of international policy, where some newer investment agreements have also included a reference on sustainable development. “The challenge remains on how to operationalize this objective, to give the ‘sustainability dimension’ some teeth,” he said.
The first session, moderated by Nina Ekelund from the Haga Initiative, explored whether the Paris Agreement was enough to incentivize the abovementioned transformation. The panelists, consisted of Thomas Hörnfeldt of SSAB, Karolina Skog of the Swedish Parliament and Sven-Olof Junker of the Stockholm School of Economics, concluded that the Paris Agreement was a good start because it gave a clear signal of the policy direction, however, more climate policies were needed.
The second session celebrated the Stockholm Treaty Lab, a global innovation contest that aimed to innovate international law to boost green investments. The contest concluded in the summer of 2017 and a representative of both winning teams took part of this session to present their winning solutions. Amelia Keene from Team Innovate explained their model that built on the existing framework of investment law, adding a layer of additional protection and incentives for green investments. Martin Dietrich Brauch from The Creative Disrupters spoke on their model that encouraged green investments, disincentivized unsustainable investments and addressed a just transition to a low-carbon economy.
Photographs: Björn Leijon