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Leading research group on international climate policy

News - News from CICERO

Published 26.06.2018

CICERO’s research group on international climate policy is among Norway’s leaders in social science research, according to an evaluation published by the Research Council of Norway.

In 2017, the Research Council appointed six independent committees to evaluate social science research in Norway. CICERO’S research group on international climate policy was among the few groups evaluated that received a mark of “excellent” from the Research Council’s evaluation committee.

“The political scientists at CICERO who received the highest score possible in the evaluation of our research group on international climate policy are very proud and happy. For almost 25 years, ever since CICERO was established, we have been working in close cooperation with the political science department at UiO to develop a robust, political science research group on climate issues, and we are pleased to be recognized as a world leader in this field,” says Guri Bang, Research Director at CICERO.

Research on international climate policy is among CICERO’s core areas of competence. (Read more about the researchers and their work here.) The group evaluated as “excellent” includes researchers at CICERO, as well as some researchers working at cooperating institutions who are affiliated with this group.

“It is important for us at CICERO to contribute research and knowledge that can solve the climate problem, and it is fantastic that researchers at a very high international level cooperate at CICERO on doing precisely that. It is extremely valuable that these researchers work at the cutting edge of their field and at the same time conduct cross-disciplinary climate research,” says Kristin Halvorsen, Director of CICERO.

Making a difference

According to the evaluation, CICERO’s research is “highly relevant” for the transition to a low-emission society and for the push to develop national and international climate policy. The research group was also praised for giving high priority to “making a difference in the real world” and for playing an active role in disseminating research findings to climate negotiators and other actors who benefit from the research. The scientific impact is reflected in publications, which in some cases have been called “world leading” by the evaluation committee.

“Climate policy is a growing field within political science, and our research contributes both to development of this field and to increasing knowledge about sound political solutions to the climate problem, which is a major societal challenge. Researchers from CICERO are instrumental in this effort, not only by publishing high-quality scientific articles, but also by participating in public debates and working with the IPCC on how greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced,” says Bang.

Impacted the Paris climate agreement

The evaluation committee gives an example of how this research group had a direct impact on the formulation of the Paris climate agreement by presenting solutions to solve the muddle around “fair distribution” among the countries: Leaving it up to the countries to decide what they regard as a fair contribution rather than trying to reach a consensus on a common principle of distribution.

The proposal began as a report to the Nordic Council of Ministers’ working group for global climate negotiations and ended up as a concrete proposal from the group at the climate summit in Lima in 2014. The idea from the report was brought to the subsequent meeting in Paris, where it became a key component of the agreement.