Big Climate Change Debate on 'The Burning Question:How do we quit fossil fuels?

  • November 4, 2013 · 5:30 PM
  • Rupert Beckett Lecture Theatre

*** Please note that you MUST sign up using the Eventbrite link as well as on here. As I'm coordinating this event, I can't host but it would be lovely if someone was happy to coordinate the thinquers meeting up beforehand ***

The Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy’s Big Climate Change Debate: 'The Burning Question: We can’t burn half the world’s oil, coal and gas. So how do we quit?’

Main Speaker: Duncan Clark, journalist and author; consultant editor on the Guardian environment desk

Chair: Andy Gouldson,Professor of Sustainability Research; Director - ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics & Policy

Expert Panel:

- John Barrett,Professor of Sustainability Research, University of Leeds & a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change;

- Dr Louise Ellis, Head of Sustainability, University of Leeds;

-George Munson, Energy and Climate Change Manager, Leeds City Council;

- Paul Routledge,Professor in Social and Urban Change, School of Geography, University of Leeds

The Burning Question: We can’t burn half the world’s oil, coal and gas. So how do we quit?

As debate continues to rage about the role technologies such as ‘fracking’ should play in the UK’s future energy security, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, today publishes the first part of its 5th Assessment Report. One of its key findings is that the world has already burnt more than half the maximum amount of fossil fuel that can be consumed if catastrophic global warming is to be avoided.

With several CCCEP academics contributing as lead authors to the 5th report, this year, the Centre’s contribution to the ESRC Festival Of Social Science will consider ‘The Burning Question: We can't burn half the world's oil, coal and gas. So how do we quit?'

Based on his recent book of the same title, journalist and author Duncan Clark will outline the simple truth that tackling global warming will mean persuading the world to abandon fossil fuel reserves worth trillions of dollars. The burning question is whether and how this can be done. What mix of politics, psychology, economics and technology might be required? Are the energy companies massively overvalued and how will carbon cuts affect the global economy? Will we wake up to the threat in time? And who can do what to make it all happen?

His presentation will be followed by a series of impact statements from our expert panel which will address this last question, after which our panellists will take questions from the audience.

Useful links

Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy:

University of Leeds Sustainability Research Institute:

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC):

Commentary on and praise for 'The Burning Question’

‘Fascinating, important and highly recommended’ , Al Gore

‘Berners-Lee and Clark illustrate why climate change is such a complex issue. But also that it has a solution.’ Samuel Fankhauser, Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy; Member of the UK Committee on Climate Change

‘It asks the right question and seeks the most effective way of answering it’, George Monbiot, The Guardian

‘Fossil fuels are so last century’, Tim Smit, Founder of the Eden Project

Speakers (full biographies on Eventbrite listing)

Duncan Clark, Journalist and author :

Andy Gouldson, Professor of Sustainability Research; Director - ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics & Policy, University of Leeds:

John Barrett, Professor of Sustainability Research, University of Leeds; A lead author for the International Panel on Climate Change, Working Group III:

Louise Ellis: Head of Sustainability, University of Leeds

George Munson, Energy and Climate Change Manager, Leeds City Council:

Paul Routledge, Professor in Social and Urban Change, School of Geography, University of Leeds:

ESRC Festival of Social Science 2013

The Festival of Social Science is run by the Economic and Social Research Council and takes place from 2-9 November 2013. With events from some of the country's leading social scientists, the Festival celebrates the very best of British social science research and how it influences our social, economic and political lives - both now and in the future. This year’s Festival of Social Science has over 170 creative and exciting events across the UK to encourage businesses, charities, government agencies, schools and college students to discuss, discover and debate topical social science issues. Press releases detailing some of the varied events and a full list of the programme are available at the Festival website can now follow updates from the Festival on twitter using #esrcfestival

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  • Margo H.

    Rob, been crazy busy so only just got round to replying. Back to the beginning? Not with 7 plus billion people. And somewhere between now and the remaining people inheriting the earth, it's going to get very asymettrical. So no, I'm not OK with it. Hope to catch up soon for further discussion!

    November 15, 2013

    • Rob W

      its just me liking the idea of people starting again. I would love to have been in the groups of early peoples moving around an empty landscape (full of wild things obviously!). Bit of a romantic view and likely was pretty tough. yes catch up with you soon

      November 17, 2013

  • Rob W

    excellent idea. great venue and speaker. pity his time was a bit short. the really key question - what are we going to do about this dependence on fossil fuels was well answered really - nothing! we might slow down our usage, but as long as we purchase consumer goods from china and the east, we are contributing to their race for growth, whilst strangling ourselves in ever increasing energy costs. we would have to break this cycle to stand a chance. in fact its the remaining indigenous peoples who will inherit the earth. able to survive in the arctic, the desert or the jungle. back to the beginning. a sort of symmetry. I am ok with that really. how about you?

    November 9, 2013

  • Margo H.

    Hi Claire, don't worry. We've had a number of cancellations so if you turn up, we'll be able to squeeze you in! Just tell the ticket people I sent you this message and they'll let you slip in before we start.

    November 4, 2013

  • Margo H.

    All tickets have now been booked and we are holding a waiting list so if you haven't yet booked your ticket, you'll need to join the waiting list by following the Eventbrite link. Hope you'll all be able to make it!

    October 29, 2013

  • Julian

    Happy to meet up somewhere just before but will have to be pretty close to the start time (working day an' all that...)

    October 15, 2013

  • Margo H.

    Hi folks, just to repeat, please sign up on Eventbrite as we expect that it will be a full house. Signing up on Meet Up doesn't secure you a seat. Hope to see you there though I'm afraid as the event organiser, I won't be able to meet you beforehand.

    September 27, 2013

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