Date: Thursday 9 March 2017
Time: 19:30 – 21:00 GMT
Speaker: Prof. Kevin Anderson, Professor of energy and climate change
Title: Paris, climate and surrealism: how numbers reveal an alternate reality
The inclusion of carbon budgets within the IPCC’s latest report reveals just how few years remain within which to meet even the “well below 2°C” objective.
Making optimistic assumptions on the rapid cessation of deforestation and uptake of carbon capture technologies on cement/steel production, sees a urgent need to accelerate the transformation of the energy system away from fossil fuels by the mid 2030s in the wealthier nations and 2050 globally. To put this in context, the national mitigation pledges submitted to Paris see an ongoing rise in emissions till 2030 and are not scheduled to undergo major review until 2023 – eight years, or 300 billion tonnes of CO2, after the Paris Agreement.
Despite the enormity and urgency of 1.5°C and “well below 2°C” mitigation challenge, the academic community has barely considered delivering deep and early reductions in emissions through the rapid penetration of existing end-use technologies and profound social change. At best it dismisses such options as too expensive compared to the discounted future costs of a technology that does not yet exist. At worst, it has simply been unprepared to countenance approaches that risk destabilising the political hegemony.
Ignoring such sensibilities, the presentation concludes with a draft vision of what an alternative mitigation agenda may comprise.
Tickets for the lecture theatre are free, but prior registration is essential