This blog post was published under the 2015 to 2024 Conservative government

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Mikael Allan Mikaelsson

PhD, Science and Innovation Policy Advisor, Europe Lead on Net-Zero Innovation & Climate Change

Part of Global Science and Innovation Network

5th December 2018 Stockholm, Sweden

The Path to 1.5 degrees: The Role of Climate Mitigation Technology and International Partnership

This year’s annual gathering of the global climate community in Katowice, Poland, the 24th “Conference of the Parties” (COP24), falls against the backdrop of October’s landmark report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the impacts of global warming beyond 1.5°C and actions required to curb average global temperature rise within this limit.

The IPCC report – co-authored by more than 90 leading scientists and experts from 40 countries and drawing on over 6000 scientific references – raised stark warnings that global average temperature rises of 2°C above pre-industrial levels pose a greater threat to humanity than considered previously. Among the themes highlighted within the recommendations are the need for urgent action, international collaboration, and the role of disruptive technologies and innovations.



In this context, one of the many events taking place at the UK Pavilion at COP24 (which began on Monday), stands out as a timely opportunity to take stock and consider future pathways and actions.  The panel discussion – “Mission Innovation and the Role of Clean Energy Innovation in Pursuing Efforts Towards 1.5°C” – will be hosted by the UK Department of Business Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO). The event will focus on the challenges and opportunities to harness international collaboration on climate mitigation technologies and solutions to pave the way to a 1.5°C world.

The session will be chaired by Dr Julia Knights, Strategic Adviser to the Secretariat of Mission Innovation (MI) and Deputy Director, Head of Energy & Climate Science for the UK Government, with an opening keynote from Prof. John Loughhead BEIS’ Chief Scientific Advisor and Vice Chair of the MI Steering Committee. Other panellists will include:

  • Patrick Child – Deputy Director General of DG RTD European Commission
  • Kirsten Dunlop – CEO at Climate KIC
  • Jan M Petzel – Board Member for Carbon Clean Solutions
  • Rebecca Heaton – Head of Sustainability & Policy at Drax Group
  • Lawrence Orsini III – CEO and Co-founder of LO3 Energy, and
  • Tamaryn Ann Napp – Research Fellow at the Grantham Institute

Mission Innovation is the world’s leading platform for international collaboration on clean energy – a global initiative of 23 countries and the EU Commission launched at COP21 in Paris in 2015 with the objective to make clean energy widely affordable and reliable.

Only a month ago, MI launched a new investment framework to help accelerate innovation and disruptive low- and zero carbon solutions. The framework, spearheaded by Climate KIC (one of the event participants) and also involving Carbon Trust, WWF, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden and the Swedish Energy Agency, presents a three-step methodological approach to assess the avoided GHG emission potential of individual technologies and systems solutions – to inform financers about how their decisions can have the greatest impact.

In addition, a recent work by Imperial College London’s Grantham Institute (whose lead author will also join us for the panel) outlined 18 priority next-generation climate mitigation technologies considered pivotal to meet climate targets well below 2°C, spanning a wide range of sectors from built environment and aviation to the industrial and energy sectors. Two of these 18 technologies, focusing on the use of hydrogen to decarbonise respectively aviation (UK-based Varialift Airships) and steel-production (Sweden-based HYBRIT demonstration project), were highlighted at this spring’s Mission Innovation Solution Summit in Malmö.



We all recognise that there is no single technological “silver bullet” that will enable us the level of decarbonisation that is required. Success will need to involve many strands working in concert, including i) Governments across the world setting ambitious climate targets on par with a 1.5°C scenario, ii) understanding the pathways and actions needed to deliver against these targets, iii) the effective development and deployment of a range of technical solutions, deployment of non-technological solutions such as afforestation, grazing management and conservation agriculture, iv) the role of digitalisation in all this, and of course v) a good understanding of the costs and benefits of all of these strands individually and collectively.

In relation to costs, we also all know that this isn’t going to be cheap. In fact it will inevitably involve huge expenditure over many years. However, a recent work carried out by the Carbon Trust highlighted how international collaboration can reduce the costs of decarbonisation by hundreds of billions of US dollars. Where better than in the margins of the COP24 event to come together with experts from around the word to consider how such global collaboration can be realised in practice?

The session will be open to everyone attending COP24 (no registration needed) and will take place on Wednesday December 12th at 4-5:30pm at the UK Pavilion, followed by a drinks reception. Please join us for this important and timely discussion.

3 comments on “The Path to 1.5 degrees: The Role of Climate Mitigation Technology and International Partnership

  1. Biomass carbon capture as used by Drax powerplant needs to capture 850mt to be in line with IPCG temp rise of less than 2°c.
    “Intelligent management” is required to give storage,transport or purity factors. The concrete industry could be a user. However to agree with the Paris Agreement CARBON CAPTURE AND UTILIZATION process needed.

  2. Anchored tornadoes could provide carbon free energy and stabilize weather. Could be turned off at will – not dangerous. The vortex is produced by admitting warm air tangentially into a large circular structure. Centrifugal force in the vortex act like a physical chimney. There are many development options. Needs a Manhattan size development project. Atmospheric upward heat convection could provide 3000 time world electrical production. Government organization do not take time to understand well thought out technically demanding fixes for energy and climate.
    For more information see links below:

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About Mikael Allan Mikaelsson

Europe Lead of Net-Zero Innovation and Climate Change for the UK Government's international science and innovation division, under the auspice the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and Dept.…

Europe Lead of Net-Zero Innovation and Climate Change for the UK Government's international science and innovation division, under the auspice the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and Dept. for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

As part of my work, I have regional oversight and coordination of the work carried out by FCDO/BEIS’ science and innovation division on international collaboration on research, technology and innovation for climate mitigation and adaptation/resilience in Europe.

Our work informs the UK Government’s international strategy on evidence-based climate policy, net-zero-transition across the energy, transport and industry sectors, and climate adaption and resilience, through strategic and targeted policy exchange, innovation-needs assessments, technology-transfer and strengthened international research and innovation partnerships.