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2014-04-29 | News

Extensive media coverage of IPCC author

Thomas Sterner is interviewed by Camilla Widebeck, Science Radio, and Annika Digreus, The Echo.

EfD fellow Thomas Sterner is one of the coordinating lead authors of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report entitled ‘Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change’ which was accepted by member governments on April 13, 2014. Sterner’s comments on the report received wide-spread media coverage in several countries.

“Despite the imminent threat of climate change, most polluters still pay little or nothing when they release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.  Pricing of CO2 emissions is critical to avoid dangerous climate change – but it all hinges on this price being sufficiently high,” said Thomas Sterner, professor of environmental economics at the University of Gothenburg, in a press release.

Another news release reported on an article in the journal Nature, where Thomas Sterner and six other scientists said that climate models underestimate costs to future generations.

The press releases were picked up by multiple news outlets in Sweden and other countries. See this list from a news archive, Swedish news sources and news sources outside Sweden. See some examples below:

Dagens Nyheter, Sweden’s biggest morning paper, interviewed Sterner several times. One of the Dagens Nyheter interviews was published a week before the report was released. Dagens Nyheter also published Sterner’s opinion piece the same day as the report was presented to the IPCC member governments, April 13, 2014.

Radio Sweden, which is part of the national, independent public service radio broadcaster Sveriges Radio, broadcasted an interview in English.

Ekot Sveriges Radio (The Echo, Radio Sweden), the principal news service of Sweden, did several different interviews with Sterner and so did Vetenskapsradion (Science Radio). Sterner also responded to listeners’ questions in a live online chat

The American news agency Associated Press interviewed Thomas Sterner in Berlin, where authors of the report and representatives from IPCC member governments gathered. Fox News was among the news outlets that run the AP story, and also took their headline from Thomas Sterner’s quote: Every comma is scrutinized as UN climate report balances science and politics.

AP also mentioned Sterner’s university blog post from Berlin where he said scientists addressing the meeting were told to "Keep our statements short and concise, avoid jargon, do not lecture the delegates, do not become emotional."

Swedish public service television company, Sveriges Television (SVT), interviewed Sterner in Rapport, Sweden's primary news program.

Sweden's largest commercial tv news program TV4 Nyheterna also interviewed Sterner (Time: after commercials + 2:25 min)

TT News Agency, the national wire service in Sweden, interviewed Sterner and delivered the text to Sweden’s media outlets, companies and public authorities. Among the news outlets that ran the TT story was the leading morning papers Svenska Dagbladet and Göteborgs-Posten.

Thomas Sterner is the only Swedish researcher that served as coordinating lead author in the IPCC Working Group III (WG III). The report ‘Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change’ is the WG III contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC. It assesses the options for mitigating climate change and their underlying technological, economic and institutional requirements. The report was developed by an international team of scientists who were selected in May 2010. It went through a multi-stage review process involving expert reviewers and governments. The essence of this work, the Summary for Policymakers, has been approved line by line by member governments at the 12th Session of IPCC WG III in Berlin, Germany (April 7-11, 2014).

Read more about the IPCC, here.

By Karin Backteman