Quotes

After ten years our ongoing study on peatland management is finally providing some of the answers on how heather burning compares to mowing or uncut approaches. Concerns around burning, for example, are often focused around the large emissions from fire, but we found that whilst carbon loss from the burnt areas is higher in the short-term than from mowing, it then falls as vegetation regrows and takes up a lot more carbon.
Associate Professor Andreas Heinemeyer, Stockholm Environment Institute at the University of York
This comes hot on the heels of the climate COP27, where nature's role in achieving climate goals gained prominence. Biodiversity’s COP15 is a once in a decade opportunity to set out a framework for addressing the biodiversity crisis. It is vital that we address the multiple global crises in a coherent way. We are pleased that the GEIC indicator can help governments and stakeholders to understand how consumption drives impact across biodiversity and climate, driving aligned action.
Jonathan Green, SEI York Senior Researcher
There's no question poor, climate-vulnerable countries need more international financial support for climate adaptation. But adaptation finance is a question of ‘how’ in addition to being a question of ‘how much’. Funders that want to get adaptation finance right need to understand power dynamics on the lower levels of government as well as informal power structures. Otherwise, finance is likely to benefit those households whose political connections and powerful positions already make them better positioned to adapt to the impacts of climate change and fail to improve the situation of those already at a disadvantage.
Katherine Browne, researcher at Stockholm Environment Institute.
Trase is marking a major milestone in releasing these new supply chain, deforestation and emissions data for Brazilian soy. This release, and the vital transparency it brings, is the result of over two years of intensive research on one of the most important commodities and sectors linked to deforestation and conversion of native ecosystems across the tropics.
Toby Gardner, Director of Trase and SEI Senior Research Fellow
By identifying consumer groups at risk of losing from the fossil-free transition, this study emphasises the need for a targeted and well-planned emissions reduction policy and a transitional assistance policy to support a fair and just low-carbon transition for all. Focus must be on how to support those who will have a harder time to cope with the necessary transition.
Claudia Strambo, research fellow at SEI
Climate change risks and impacts expose vulnerabilities for most businesses today. A just transition for climate adaptation can help businesses integrate environmental and social work into their core business strategy and ensure long-term resilience for companies, their workers as well as local communities.
Richard Klein, IPCC Lead Author and Team Leader, International Climate Risk and Adaptation at the Stockholm Environment Institute, and co-author of the guidance
While the cover decisions from last year’s climate change conference COP26 embarked on a new and ambitious path, by mentioning the need to phase down fossil fuels, the COP27 outcome only represents a standstill on that path. Sadly, the overall outcome lacks the sense of urgency that emanated from the science presented in the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Richard J.T. Klein, Senior Research Fellow
This assessment comes at a timely moment, as COP27 is focused on implementation. Through this report, African governments, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, and local communities now have the scientific evidence on different options for action that can enable the continent to meet its development objectives while mitigating pollution and GHG emissions.
Måns Nilsson, Executive Director, Stockholm Environment Institute
The Agenda 2030 Compass provides a practical, structured way for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to inform decisions that companies or government face in strategic planning. "The versatility of the 2030 Compass is one of its unique features. The tool has been used to test the sustainability of product design, housing development and municipal planning strategies. The method could be applied in almost any sector or country.
Timothy Suljada, Head of the Resources, Rights and Development Division at SE
Climate change, the biodiversity crisis, human health and animal welfare – there are many urgent reasons to act. In some countries, such as the Netherlands, we’re already seeing efforts to scale down meat production, but many are still avoiding the issue. It is time to engage proactively with stakeholders to start moving towards more socially just, sustainable and humane food systems.
Cleo Verkuijl, lead author of the report and a scientist in SEI’s U.S. Center
It is clear from the reports published today that there’s an urgent need for national governments to act decisively to deliver a long-term strategy for phasing out oil and gas extraction in the region. By engaging with a broad group of stakeholders, it is evident that all groups need clarity and bold visions for the North Sea oil and gas transition. National governments must act to deliver these strategies, or risk short-term decision making, related to the energy crisis, locking in increased oil and gas production for decades.
Felipe Sanchez, Research Associate at Stockholm Environment Institute
This is the first clear evidence of a link between ZDCs and lower deforestation risk in palm oil supply chains.
Dr Robert Heilmayr of the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB)
Deforestation for palm oil in Indonesia has declined significantly in recent years, and our data show that the greatest declines have occurred in supply chains governed by zero-deforestation commitments. However, these achievements are fragile, and rising palm oil prices and the growing role of traders who have lower levels of public transparency threaten to undermine progress.
Dr Toby Gardner, Director of Trase and Senior Research Fellow at SEI
Sector specific initiatives to combat deforestation can be invaluable, and new measures to prohibit imports of commodities linked to deforestation in consumer markets, such as those under negotiation in the EU, UK and USA represent a major step forward from largely voluntary efforts to combat deforestation to date.
Dr. Toby Gardner of the Stockholm Environment Institute and Director of the supply chain transparency initiative, Trase.
In many ways, the world is at a boiling point – with extreme temperatures in South Asia, escalating fuel and food prices, and war and conflict. In our report, we seek to connect the big picture of intertwined planetary and inequality crises with the promising momentum for change that we see in public awareness and key technologies reaching mass market, to shift from urgency to agency.
Åsa Persson, Research Director and Deputy CEO of SEI
The combination of detailed cargo data and vessel operations data brings a very powerful product, and shines a light on what has long been a blind spot.
Javier Godar, a Senior Researcher at SEI.
There are different ways to get to net zero by 2050, but the pace at which we reach net zero also matters. We already have the keys in our hands: electrification, biofuels and energy efficiency improvement. Decarbonization policies should not only address new vehicles, but also the existing vehicle stock for achieving maximum impacts.
Maria Xylia, author and Research Fellow at SEI
It might appear that the easiest route for investors is to divest from emission-intensive sectors and companies, however, there is an enormous opportunity to influence the level of emissions and make an impact on the real economy by placing coordinated pressure on companies and other actors in high emitting sectors to plan and implement serious transitions of their businesses.
Aaron Maltais, Program Director for Stockholm Sustainable Finance, Senior Scientist and Lead author at Stockholm Environment institute (
Practical, pragmatic solutions exist for loss and damage finance that don’t politicise the issue and instead focus on the needs of vulnerable countries and communities.
Zoha Shawoo, associate scientist in SEI
It is urgent that all remaining public financiers as well as private  finance, including commercial banks and asset managers, switch their funding from coal to  renewables to promote full decarbonization of the power sector and access to renewable energy for  all.
António Guterres, UN Secretary General
The research is clear: global coal, oil, and gas production must start declining immediately and steeply to  be consistent with limiting long-term warming to 1.5°C.
Ploy Achakulwisut, a lead author on the  report and SEI scientist.
The kind of mapping we have undertaken is crucial to understanding finance for adaptation in this particularly climate vulnerable part of the world, and then being able to take it further and examine its effectiveness.
Georgia Savvidou
As an international community, we are only as resilient as the most vulnerable among us. There is an urgent need, and a clear opportunity, for multilateral cooperation around climate change and trade, including working together to invest in systemic resilience.
Kevin M Adams, lead author
The study’s evidence confirms earlier case studies suggesting that organizations like the International Organization for Migration and World Health Organization have increasingly integrated adaptation in their governance portfolios.
Lisa Dellmuth, lead author at Stockholm University, and co-lead of the Mistra Geopolitics PhD Research School.
Climate change will have far-reaching and potentially catastrophic effects on health, with the largest burden falling on the poor, who have contributed the least to emissions.
Professor Sir Andy Haines, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
The role of wetlands in climate change is underappreciated, but there are a few areas where ecosystem stewardship – restoration, conservation and wise use under changing conditions – can address so many critical issues at once, including climate mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity protection and water-based ecosystem services.
Marcus Carson, SEI Senior Research Fellow
It is important to specifically focus on methane mitigation as part of climate action in this decade, leading to further reductions up to 2050.  It is a positive sign that more countries are now acknowledging this.
Johan C. I. Kuylenstierna co-author of the report and Research Leader at SEI.
Methane mitigation can save lives, prevent respiratory disease, help prevent further warming and overall contribute to healthier ecosystems. The measures that need to be taken to achieve this are readily available, and cost-effective. There is no reason not to act now.
Eleni Michalopoulou co-author and Research Associate at SEI.
With more extreme global warming, conflict risks are estimated to increase. Conflict depresses economic growth and elevates future conflict risks and vulnerability to climate change.
Nina von Uexkull, Senior Lecturer at Stockholm University and researcher of Mistra Geopolitics
Participants of the UN climate meetings with great consensus see climate change as a significant risk to both international peace and security, and to global, human security.
Björn-Ola Linnér, Programme Director of Mistra Geopolitics and Professor at Linköping University
A tipping point is in sight for electric trucks. Battery technology is very close to a threshold that makes electric trucks feasible and economically competitive.
Björn Nykvist lead author and senior researcher at SEI
We need to reevaluate our view on wastewater and human excreta. Today’s approach to disposal means lost opportunities in the form of nutrients and organic matter which are being flushed away.
Kim Andersson, Senior Expert at Stockholm Environment Institute.
We can now track pulp exports back to the specific plantations that contributed most of the pulpwood. This gives us the unique ability to link deforestation and peat fires to specific exports of pulp, and its final destination.
Toby Gardner, Senior Research Fellow at SEI and Director of Trase
Secrets of African Edible Insect Cookery and Les Delices de Mikese try to do just this, by bringing modern, culinary recipes containing edible insects to the everyday household.
Associate Professor of Entomology in the Department of Crop Science and Post-Harvest Technology, Chinhoyi University of Technology
Most studies suggest that methane emissions from the oil and gas industry are underestimated, hence President Biden’s decision is vital, especially coming from the country that is now the world’s largest oil and gas producer.
SEI research leader at the University of York and expert on air pollution and climate change Dr. Johan C.I Kuylenstierna 
Knowing whether the severity of a climatic hazard is important for explaining multilateral aid has implications for what we can do to better alleviate humanitarian crises in the aftermath of climate-related disasters.
Lisa Dellmuth, lead author and Associate Professor of International Relations at Stockholm University and member of Mistra Geopolitics.
Understanding the determinants of multilateral climate aid is important not only for increasing the ability of the international community to provide humanitarian assistance, but also for improving resilience in the face of increasing risk of climate-related natural disasters.
Nina von Uexkull, co-author and senior lecturer in International Relations at Stockholm University and researcher in Mistra Geopolitics.
This shows that we need to take a much wider view of what is today considered ‘climate finance’, and start advancing the Paris Agreement’s broader goal of making all financial flows consistent with a low-emission, climate-resilient future.
Richard Klein, Senior Research Fellow at Stockholm Environment Institute.
Trase Finance is an innovative and important step forward in enabling financial institutions to better identify and manage deforestation related risks in their portfolios.
Oliver Kumaran, Group Sustainability, Group Strategy and Design at CIMB Group
Data is the foundation for robust risk management. We are extremely pleased to have launched Trase Finance which allows financial institutions to now take more concrete steps towards tackling the risk in their portfolios, while also continuing to push companies and investors to improve disclosure to close remaining data gaps.
Toby Gardner, Director of Trase and Senior Research Fellow at SEI
In the week of the UN Summit on Biodiversity it is no longer possible to ignore the urgency of the biodiversity crisis now facing humanity. As heads of state from across the world call for urgent action on biodiversity for sustainable development and set out a new framework for global biodiversity post 2020, we cannot afford to overlook the particularly perilous state of freshwater ecosystems. Our research shows that by taking a more holistic approach and planning jointly for terrestrial and freshwater conservation targets we can significantly improve the outcomes we so urgently need.
Dr Toby Gardner, Senior Research Fellow at SEI, and a co-founder of the Sustainable Amazon Network
There was little knowledge of what happens to used textiles in the Baltics. Developing such knowledge was an essential first step in meeting the 2025 requirement. We also wanted to go some steps further and engage stakeholders in developing circular textile systems.
Dr. Kerli Kant Hvass, project initiator and expert
Landfilling and incineration is a result of a lack of recycling capacity in the Baltics. Therefore, it is crucial that we start developing and investing in new recycling solutions, and that we do this in cooperation with the other Baltic states and make use of the knowledge and experience of the Nordic countries.
Kristiina Martin, Expert, Stockholm Environment Institute Tallinn Centre, Estonia
If chosen carefully, measures to address air pollution can also reduce greenhouse gases, which addresses climate change. If this opportunity is to be realized, then countries and cities need to know which air pollution policies can provide both health and climate change reduction benefits. The SEI tool helps with this.
Dr Johan C.I. Kuylenstierna, Air Pollution Research Leader, Stockholm Environment Institute
Whether the disruptions in society from the pandemic will spill over into major disruptions in the ongoing climate transition is still an open question. It is crucial to shed more light on how the climate transition – in the new context of a pandemic and economic recovery packages – can properly address equity, or whether inequalities between communities and between countries will continue to grow.
Åsa Persson, Deputy Director, Stockholm Environment Institute
The disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic must not divert attention from reaching the goals of the Paris Agreement and delivering low-carbon emissions from heavy industry, The green recovery can and must be a motor for the industry and energy transitions and for resilient economic growth.
Isabella Lövin, Minister for Environment and Climate, and Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden.
In this statement, we reaffirm our commitment to accelerating the transition of all industry sectors to low carbon pathways in line with the goals of Paris Agreement, while pursuing efforts to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and to working in partnership with industry to make this happen.
Babul Supriyo, Honourable Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India.
The UK is a proud member of the LeadIT initiative. In the run-up to COP26, we look forward to working closely with all member countries to build back better, pursue a green recovery and accelerate the decarbonisation of industry,
Kwasi Kwarteng, Minister for Business, Energy and Clean Growth, United Kingdom.
Our data pinpoints deforestation hotspots linked to top exports and markets and show time and time again that most of the problem is concentrated in a handful of suppliers, and a handful of places. These insights are incredibly powerful as they provide entry points for action—by companies, governments and investors—that can catalyze and direct enforcement, investment and engagement to where it is needed the most.
Toby Gardner, Director of Trase and Senior Research Fellow at SEI
In many countries the rate of agricultural deforestation has come down from the peak years of a decade ago. But the lack of progress in implementing zero-deforestation commitments and recent upticks in deforestation in some areas, including the Brazilian Amazon, underlines how fragile these gains are. Companies and governments need to target implementation. Trase data provide a major step forward in our ability to assess the effectiveness of implementation efforts.
Helen Bellfield, lead editor of the Yearbook and Trase lead at Global Canopy