ICARUS Seminar: The Road from Paris: Low Carbon World or Dangerous Climate Change?

ICARUS
Thursday, March 10, 2016 - 11:00 to 12:00
Hamilton Institure Seminar Room (Room 317)

In this presentation, Kevin Anderson will revisit the scale of the climate challenge, arguing that whilst the science of climate change has progressed, there has been no corresponding acknowledgement of the rate at which our emissions from energy need to be reduced.  He will suggest that the Paris Agreement exemplifies this duality.  Similarly, he will argue that the focus on green growth continues to eclipse scientific analysis which demonstrates the need fro radical social as well as technical change.  Prof. Anderson will develop a quantitative framing of mitigation, based on IPCC carbon budgets, before finishing with more qualitative examples of what a genuine low-carbon future may contain. 

Kevin Anderson is Professor of Energy and Climate Change in the School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering at the University of Manchester.  He is Deputy Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and is research active with recent publications in Royal Society journals and Nature.  He engages widely across all tiers of government; from reporting on aviation-related emissions to the EU Parliament, advising the Prime Minister's office on Carbon Trading and having contributed to the development of the UK's Climate Change Act.

Professor Anderson's work on carbon budgets has been pivotal in revealing the widening gulf between political rhetoric on climate change and the reality of rapidly escalating emissions.  His work makes clear that there is now little chance of maintaining the rise in global temperatures at below 2C, despite repeated high-level statements to the contrary.  Moreover, Kevin's research demonstrates how avoiding even a 4C rise demands a radical reframing of both the climate change agenda and the economic characterisation of contemporary society. 

Professor Anderson has a decade of industrial experience, principally in the petrochemical industry.  He sits as a commissioner on the Welsh Government's Climate Change Commission and is a Director of Greenstone Carbon Management.