The UN’s first climate conference was arranged in Stockholm in June 1972. Fifty years later, on June 2-3, 2022, the UN arranged the high-level meeting Stockholm+50 and Sweden was once again the host. Stockholm+50’s ambition was to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of the first climate conference and contribute to quickening the pace of the world’s transition to a more sustainable and green society.
In connection to the conference, the City of Stockholm arranged the Cities Stockholm +50 High Level Forum where international mayors, experts, and business leaders were invited to discuss cities’ rising environmental impact. The meeting focused on emissions in the construction and food sectors, sustainable urban planning, as well as citizen engagement and technological solutions.
The High Level Forum’s agenda also included a visit to us at Stockholm Exergi. An audience of over 40 people had the opportunity to listen to our CEO Anders Egelrud present the history of Stockholm’s district heating system, how urban planning can be customized and adapted to district heating systems, and how we at Stockholm Exergi throughout the years have produced electricity and heating to the citizens of Stockholm in an increasingly energy efficient and climate-friendly way. He also talked about Stockholm Exergi’s next steps and how we, through our plans to build a full-scale BECCS facility at Värtaverket, can succeed in going from reducing carbon dioxide emissions to creating negative emissions.
Amongst the visitors were mayors from Helsingfors, Rio de Janeiro and Hamburg as well as representatives from the UN and World Wildlife Fund. We were also joined by the British artist Ellie Goulding, a goodwill-ambassador for the UN’s Environmental Program (UNEP).
The visitors were then invited to tour our modern bioenergy plant KVV8 and the research facility for carbon dioxide capture with BECCS that is connected to it. Both the EU and the UN climate panel IPCC have identified BECCS as an important technology to reach negative emissions.
We are seeing a rising interest in negative emissions and that more people want to visit us to obtain more knowledge about BECCS and the new facility that we are planning to establish. More people are understanding that carbon dioxide capture is an important complementary effort to pre-existing measures that lower emissions, such as energy efficiency and reducing the use of fossil fuels. The BECCS facility in Värtan alone will be able to capture 800,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year – more than what is released by Stockholm’s traffic per year. It is gratifying that so many people are noticing a technique that in a few years will already be able to capture large amounts of carbon dioxide – and make a real difference.