Mistra Carbon Exit


Solutions Initiative: Mistra Carbon Exit – A program identifying pathways and policies for Sweden to reach the target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.


The SDSN Northern Europe member IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute manages this Solutions Initiative.

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Contact person: Lars Zetterberg, Program Manager IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.


Pathways to Net Zero Emissions.

Exiting the carbon society requires a transition with respect to virtually all industrial processes and their associated products and services. Mistra Carbon Exit takes on this challenge by focusing on opportunities for and barriers of mitigating carbon emissions along the industry supply chains – from the input of raw materials, over primary and secondary activities, to the final products and services demanded by the end user.

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Mistra Carbon Exit is a research programme that identifies and analyzes the technical, economic and political opportunities and challenges for Sweden to reach the target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. The partners will identify pathways and policies for how Sweden and Swedish companies can become frontrunners in transforming society and industries, providing low carbon products and services while at the same time addressing market risks. This will make Sweden an important international example for other countries to follow.

SDSN Northern Europe has chosen to highlight this programme as a Solutions Initiative to accelerate progress towards sustainable development.

Work packages

The list of work packages (WP) in the current second phase of the research programme are:

WP1) Technology Assessment, Buildings, Transport infrastructure & Energy

This WP will assess how the integration of new, low-CO2 technologies and practices along the supply chains of buildings, transport infrastructure and energy may best be managed, and how the coupling between sectors can be set up so as to maximize synergies, minimize systems costs, and ensure sustainable use of scarce materials and renewable energy resources. The objective is also to produce actionable recommendations that can have an impact already today, and to provide a methodological framework for how to assess how the supply-chain climate transitions in relation to the sustainable development goals (SDG).

WP2. Technology assessment, transportation

The focus of this WP is complexities in the supply chain and material turnover for the transport system and its relationships to energy markets and the climate impacts of different technologies and policy options. The WP also includes analysis of the travel volume and supply chain consequences of different policy options designed for enabling a transition to zero GHG emissions; different behavioral trends regarding shared mobility; and technology pathways that focus on electrification and CAVs. It will also provide a synthesis of the insights using an integrated modeling approach.

WP3. Governance and policy processes

This work package will advance the studies on the transformative pathways towards net-zero emissions in Sweden, focusing on the links between policymaking, institutions and market actors along the supply chains, and including production, business models, and consumption. The WP will bring this research closer to the policymaking scene.

WP4. Policy design options

The overall aim of this work package is to investigate how best to design policy instruments and instrument packages to induce transformative changes towards a society with net-zero GHG emissions. Compared to the wider policy context in WP3, the focus of this work package is on the specific policy measures that are needed to enable the realization of transformative pathways, specifically along the supply chains.

WP5. Benefits to end-users – implementation, local arenas and integration

The aim of this WP is to increase and accelerate the implementation of research results among our end-users and enhance collaboration and integration between the different work packages. The primary end-users are:
• High-end decision makers in Swedish industry
• The Swedish Government and its agencies
• International climate policymakers, particularly in the EU

Supply chain-specific sustainability indicators for stakeholder engagement and transparency

Within WP1, Anders Ahlbäck from the SDSN Northern Europe secretariat is project manager for Task 1.7: Supply chain-specific sustainability indicators for stakeholder engagement and transparency.

The experience gained from the SDG impact assessments carried out in Phase 1 indicates that using an open-ended qualitative approach to synthesizing expert opinion is a credible starting point towards identifying impacts on the SDGs from the MCE pathways. The results indicate that relevant SDG impacts are spread across the supply chain as both direct consequences of the net-zero GHG emission target and indirect spillovers internationally. Thus, achieving sustainable mitigation of GHGs will require communication and cooperation across supply chains, based on transparent, objective and comprehensible information.

Introducing supply chain-specific indicators through stakeholder involvement would serve three main purposes: 1) providing transparent and systemic representations of SDG impacts; 2) creating quantitative elements as complements to the qualitative analysis developed in Phase 1; and 3) pinpointing potential target conflicts and synergies with corresponding actor dependencies. The tool and methodology developed in Phase 1 will be further refined to take into account the supply chain perspectives of the MCE pathways, with greater possibilities for stakeholder input and relevance.

The indicators as such will be based on the following criteria:
• Relevant and specific, i.e., able to track relevant sustainability aspects of supply chains.
• Quantifiable and comparable, i.e., based on existing data and an expressed magnitude of impact.
• Useable, i.e., comprehensible and operative in real-world usage.

The derivation of sustainability performance indicators (SPIs) will be based on the following activities:
i. Literature overview – indicators of sustainable performance have been used elsewhere, although very few have been based on the Agenda 2030 framework. What experience can we learn and take inspiration from?
ii. Dataset inventory – mapping of available data to suggested SPIs, such as the UN official SDG indicators, SDG Index (SDSN), SCB and relevant industry.
iii. Stakeholder involvement – suggested SPIs will be tested together with the stakeholders from industry and society represented in the MCE programme. The aim is to examine the relevance and usability of the SPIs.

Expected deliverables
SPIs specific for each of the MCE pathway-associated key elements (solar PV, wind power, EV batteries, and climate-neutral concrete) and refined SDG Impact Assessments based on developed SPIs.

Benefit to end-users
Streamlining the SDG analysis with SPIs will provide a tangible approach to improving and quantifying the SDG analyses for solar PV, wind power, EV batteries, and carbon-neutral concrete, ensuring a high level of usability for industrial and societal actors.

Contact Anders Ahlbäck about this task >>

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