Change is possible when people mobilize

The regimes in the former Eastern Europe fell thirty years ago when sufficient numbers of people went out onto the streets to demand change. The right to vote was introduced one hundred years ago when public demand became so strong that those in power feared revolution. Big changes happen when people mobilize.

Several reports arrived last week that urge change:

  • The EU Parliament adopted by a large majority a resolution to see tougher emission goals for the EU and that at least 35 percent of research should address climate issues.
  • The Agenda 2030 Delegation presented a range of proposals as to how Sweden should be able to work towards the realignment necessary if we are to achieve global sustainability goals.
  • The Swedish Environment Protection Agency submitted a report on the changes that are necessary if Sweden is to achieve these climate goals.

The demonstrations on Friday in Sweden, Europe and other parts of the world indicate ever growing support for a more active climate policy. One illustration of this is that there were ten times more people demonstrating for the climate in France than at the Yellow Vests demonstration.

Now, it’s a case of continuing to work for change. A climate neutral society is possible. We have the technology for this. It is a matter of people, companies, authorities and organisations choosing this.

At KTH, we are continuing to work towards integrating sustainable development into study programmes and research. Last week, I had the opportunity to provide a few examples of climate research to Matilda Ernkrans, Sweden’s Minister for Higher Education and Research, when she visited KTH. The research examples I presented included:

  • Climate modelling
  • Sustainable consumption
  • Smart mobility and accessibility
  • Smart materials
  • A circular economy
  • Sustainable urban development
  • Sustainable production technology
  • Renewable materials
  • Renewable energy
  • Digitalisation and sustainable development

The best thing was that I could have continued for a good while longer and present even more examples.

Tip of the week You can profile your study programme towards sustainable development at KTH . All degree programmes pay special attention to several of the global sustainability goals.