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Bridge the gap between the latest science, the climate negotiations, and the solutions – Positive Tipping Points Video on demand

Saturday December 2, 2023 10:00 - 11:15 +04 Swedish Pavilion

Tipping points occur not only in undesirable processes, but also in desirable contexts. Whilst human activities are pushing the planet towards negative tipping points, jeopardising the very foundations of human well-being on earth, there exists viable solutions that could keep the world on track – provided there's robust support in policy, finance, and leadership for swift global implementation. 

Together with business leaders, policymakers and scientists we'll explore the positive tipping points on the horizon or already achieved, delving into the success factors driving these transformative moments. 

The science is clear. Human activities are pushing the planet towards tipping points that jeopardise the very foundations of human well-being on earth. Tipping points are critical thresholds that, when crossed, can lead to profound and irreversible changes in the earth system, such as when deforestation and erosion ruin all possibilities for new vegetation, or when the last individual of a species dies, and the species goes extinct. Even with the existing levels of global warming, the world is already at risk of surpassing dangerous climate tipping points such as collapse of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets and die-off of low-latitude coral reefs, and risks escalate with each tenth of a degree of further warming. To preserve livable conditions on Earth and enable stable societies, we must prevent the breach of these dangerous tipping points. 

Is there room for optimism?  

To keep global warming below two degrees Celsius, global emissions of greenhouse gases must be cut by half in the coming years and then reach net zero in 2050, starting immediately. This will require rapid, far-reaching, and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society. The hope lies in the existence of positive tipping points in the development and diffusion of carbon free, green technologies and climate mitigation solutions.  

Tipping points can occur not only in undesirable processes, but also in desirable contexts. Viable solutions exist that could keep the world on track to meet this goal, if supported by effective policy, finance, and leadership to enable rapid implementation on a global scale.  Positive tipping points could trigger a cascade of decarbonisation across the global economy when positive feedback loops grow sufficiently potent to outweigh negative, countering forces, initiating a self-generating and accelerating process of systemic transformation. For instance, tipping points in the transition from fossil fuel-based to renewable energy are crossed when  the cost of energy for new wind or solar power dips below that of new coal and gas power, and subsequently below the cost of existing fossil fuel power.  

An important part of the challenge of climate policy is to enable positive tipping points to be reached fast enough, and in a fair and equitable way. At the same time, when tipping points for the rapid growth of new green solutions are crossed, it also opens up huge new opportunities for businesses that are in the forefront and ready for the transition. 

Global climate mitigation strategies must align with and support socioeconomic development in parts of the world where it is needed to combat poverty and to achieve the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This has important implications for the design of effective and equitable policies and governance solutions. Not least, there is a need for redesigning International Financial Institutions to help de-risk green investments in countries in the global south, channelling the necessary investments in renewables, infrastructure, and the circular economy. 

The aim of the seminar is to bridge the gap between the latest science, the climate negotiations and the solutions that are show-cased by businesses and other non-state actors during COP. Solutions that might ask for reformed governance both globally and in nation states. We will start by an overview on the latest status for the planet Earth and the risk of crossing disastrous tipping points by world leading scientists, followed by the latest research on positive tipping points that hold the potential to limit global warming in line with the Paris Agreement in a just way for people and planet. 

Moderator: Linda Burenius, Head of Development, Global Challenges Foundation and Arunabha Ghosh, Council of Energy, Environment and Water  


  • Dr. Arunabha Ghosh, Founder and CEO, Council of Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) 
  • Lena Hök, Executive VP Sustainability and Innovation, Skanska 
  • Dr. David Obura, Commissioner of the Earth Commission, Director Cordio East Africa and Chair Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)
  • Jonas Otterheim, Head of Climate Action, Volvo Cars 
  • Bella Tonkonogy, Director, Climate Policy Initiative 
  • Mattias Frumerie, Swedish Head of Delegation UNFCCC