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The new science on climate extremes that can help refuel the climate movement. A COP25 side event

students at climate strike in Lund
Students at the climate strike in Lund, 2019

On the 2nd of December, on the grand opening of the COP25, LUCSUS will organise an event on whether attribution science and new legal frameworks can refuel the climate movement in the context of climate emergency.

The event is part of the Nordic Climate Weeks in Stockholm 2nd to 13th of December, organised by the Nordic Council of Ministers  to higihlight the UN climate negotiations – the COP25. 

Advances in the emerging field ‘attribution science’ show that specific extreme climate events such as heatwaves and floods can now be linked to emissions. This new knowledge is contentious and opens issues of social justice in relation to climate emergency. Attribution science can also give new scope to social movements to drive court cases and make stricter and more encompassing demands for change.

 – Attribution science enables us to establish connections between climate change and extreme events. It gives us a better understanding of what is driving certain weather events and their consequences. Underlying vulnerabilities and poor infrastructure make it harder to handle floods, hurricanes and heatwaves. It points to the need to investigate what it is that makes the impacts of extreme weather so severe. Attribution science has a role in disentangling these drivers, says Emily Boyd, Director of Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies.

How society choses to engage with the new science is ultimately a question of ethics says Emily Boyd.

 – We as a society need to decide whether we want climate justice and the issue of responsibility to be fundamental to our climate poltiics or not. If we do, and attribution science can contribute to establish connections between countries’ emissions and specific weather events, then it will be much harder to underplay responsibility. Then we can allso lift and reignite  the discussions on how we compensate those most affected by climate change. 

During the event, researchers within attribution, law and sustainability, together with youth and social movements representatives will discuss questions such as:

  • What opportunities and constraints can attribution science have on future legal frameworks for climate related disasters, and what impact can it have on those responsible (fossil fuel industry or individual consumers) and for those affected by climate related disasters?
  • Do climate extremes spark action in communities and groups in new ways? 
  • What influence does attribution have on public understanding and collective action? 
  • What can attribution science do for the most vulnerable in society? Whom, where, when, and what scale are people affected by climate extremes?
  • What questions and issues drive the climate movement? How can research aid and interact with social movements?

The Nordic Climate Action Weeks have a focus on youth and climate action. 

 – What does youth think of the issue of climate justice in the context of our need to reduce emissions? How do they want to collaborate with researchers, and where can we contribute? We are eager to hear from and engage with youth: what are their reflections and their most burning issues, concludes Emily Boyd.


Richard Jones, Met Office 
Emmanuel Raju, Copenhagen University
Emily Boyd, Director of Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies
Sophia Axelsson, Friday’s for Future representative
Guy Finkill, Push Sverige
Jonas Færgeman, ReGeneration2030

Moderator: Paul Bowman Institutet för Framtidsstudier

Time and date: Monday, 2nd December, Stockholm, 8-9pm, Town Hall, Norrsken House, Birger Jarlsgatan 57 C, Stockholm

The event is open to everyone, no registration needed.

Full programme for the 2nd of December 

Find the full programme for the Nordic Climate Action Week 

The event on Facebook


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