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The Winning of The Carbon War, with Jeremy Leggett

Humanity is in a race, a kind of civil war. Believers in a safe future fuelled by endless sunlight and related forms of clean energy combat defenders of finite carbon fuels careless of the impact they have on the world by clinging to coal, oil, and gas.

Jeremy Leggett has fought for the light side for a quarter of a century as it lost battle after battle to the dark side. Then, in 2013, the tide began to turn. It is now clear the light side can win the war. In "The winning of the carbon war", Leggett's dispatches from the front lines tell the story of the turnaround years, and what they mean for the world.

About Jeremy Leggett:

Jeremy Leggett is a social entrepreneur and author of a number of key books on the subject of climate change:

• "The Energy of Nations: Risk Blindness and the Road to Renaissance"

• "The Solar Century: The Past, Present and World-changing Future of Solar Energy"

• "Half Gone: Oil, Gas, Hot Air and the Global Energy Crisis"

• "The Carbon War: Global Warming and the End of the Oil Era" 

Leggett is founding director of Solarcentury, the UK's fastest growing renewable energy company since 2000, and founder and Chairman of SolarAid, an African solar lighting charity set up with five percent of Solarcentury’s annual profit’s, itself parent to a social venture, SunnyMoney, that is the top-selling retailer of solar lights in Africa.

An Entrepreneur of the Year at the New Energy Awards, he has been described by the Observer as 'Britain’s most respected green energy boss'.

He was the first Hillary Laureate for International Leadership in Climate Change, and a CNN Principal Voice. He chairs the financial-sector think tank CarbonTracker, and is a risk consultant to large corporations. He writes and blogs on occasion for the Guardian and the Financial Times, lectures on short courses in business and society at the universities of Cambridge and St Gallen, and is an Associate Fellow at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute.

Meeting logistics:

2pm-4pm, Saturday 7th March 2015.

Venue: Room 541, Birkbeck College, Torrington Square WC1E 7HX, London.

Room 541 is on the 5th floor in the main Birkbeck College building, in Torrington Square (which is a pedestrian-only square). Torrington Square is about 10 minutes walk from either Russell Square or Goodge St tube stations.

Coffee and other light refreshments can be purchased from the Costa Coffee shop in the reception area of the building, either ahead of or after the meeting.

The event will be followed by a chance to continue the discussion in a nearby pub - The Marlborough Arms, 36 Torrington Place, London WC1E 7HJ.

Event hashtag:

#LonFut

Covering meeting costs: 

A small fee (£5) is payable to attend this meetup. This fee covers room costs. Please pay in advance, online.

This will be refunded if the meeting is cancelled or rearranged, or if the attendee cancels at least 3 days before the meetup.

Alternatively, if there are still seats available, payment can be made in cash at the door on the day. (Requesting payment in advance assists with accurate planning of the event.)

Journalists are welcome to attend the meeting free-of-charge - please contact the organiser, notifying us in advance of your plans to attend.


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  • Tomi M.

    My understanding of investors is they want things separated especially in polarising choices like between oil and renewables. If true, it must be hard for large oil companies to change themselves. Investor wanting to invest in renewables wouldn't probably want to invest in Shell etc. where the share of renewables is not under your control and minuscule anyway. View all statements from those CEOs as marketing strategy, quite separate from even their understanding of reality.

    March 9, 2015

  • David W.

    A video recording of this talk, along with a copy of the slides presented, are now available at http://londonfuturists.com/2015/03/08/the-winning-of-the-carbon-war/.
    Thanks to Kiran Manam for the camera work.

    1 · March 8, 2015

  • Claire

    Great talk. Would anyone be able to provide me with the PowerPoint file?

    1 · March 8, 2015

    • David W.

      Hi Claire, The slides and the video will both be posted online later today.

      March 8, 2015

    • Claire

      Thanks David!

      March 8, 2015

  • Kathryn B.

    really great.

    1 · March 8, 2015

  • terence f.

    Excellent and enthusiastic description of real life options. Thanks!

    2 · March 7, 2015

  • Anton D.

    Bummer, can't make it today.

    March 7, 2015

  • yates b.

    I won't be there.. but have had some questions maybe someone can ask one of these to the speaker if relevant.
    Thanks!

    February 28, 2015

    • yates b.

      3) The Co2 emission problem is of global scale interconnecting: humanity, climate and technology. This global aspect of the problem appears to require a centralised governance nexus, but we also know that this kind of structure is the least robust to change and most prone to failure. Is there any decentralised alternative to managing the global thermostat?

      February 28, 2015

    • yates b.

      4) What can we do in the accuracy of measurement to embody the full costs on a case by case basis. Satellite monitoring, smart sensors spread around the planet could be a kind of neutral confirmation of the full cost. Can a more detailed data get us half the way there?

      February 28, 2015

  • Andrew D.

    Will there be any audio/video recording of this one for those who can't attend?

    February 23, 2015

    • Dan C.

      Great speaker! Also can't make this due to a prior commitment, would really appreciate if a video could be made available.

      February 28, 2015

    • yates b.

      Also can't make it and was looking forward to this..

      February 28, 2015

  • Graham A.

    Would love to attend but my time, if I had any, would be far better spent campaigning against the views of Jeremy Leggett. Say no to government subsidised value destruction.

    February 23, 2015

    • David W.

      Graham - Are you happy with industry-driven value destruction? (That is, with the failure to properly account for the negative externalities of the fossil fuel industry.)

      February 23, 2015

    • David W.

      If you do find the time to come to the event, I'll be sure to give you a chance to express your views there

      1 · February 23, 2015

  • David W.

    On 11th Feb I had the chance to raise a question about climate change to a panel of experts assembled by the RSA - a panel that included Jeremy Leggett - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZICsq-G4SQ&feature=youtu.be&t=41m26s

    The whole event is well worth watching, for the variety of insight brought by each panellist.

    1 · February 13, 2015

  • Lucy W.

    Would love to attend but will be at the Climate March most of the day..

    1 · February 11, 2015

    • David W.

      Hi Lucy, I'm sorry about the clash in dates. Picking dates for events is always hard - there are numerous important things happening in London every single day :-o

      February 13, 2015

    • David W.

      I expect people to attend the Climate March if they already have firm views that they wish to express, to show the strength of public feeling. This London Futurists event will probably be more suited to people who haven't yet made up their minds about the exact lie of the land - which future scenarios are most credible, which lines of activity are most likely to have a positive impact, etc

      February 13, 2015

  • Juha R.

    Hi, I signed up but the pay online link doesn't seem to work.

    January 27, 2015

    • David W.

      Hi Juha - After you RSVP yes, the bit slightly further down the page which says "Entrance fee" will say "You owe GBP5.00 - Pay online now". Clicking that button will take you into a PayPal subsystem. You can use that subsystem, regardless of whether you have a PayPal account. Let me know if you have any further problems.

      January 28, 2015

    • Juha R.

      Yes, thank you. Now it works. The link was dead when I tried before. Managed to pay now.

      1 · February 4, 2015

  • Ben

    It sounds like a ludicrously partisan talk - 'light side', 'dark side'. (I note he has a financial interest!)

    January 24, 2015

    • David W.

      Hi Ben - There will be plenty of chance for people in the audience to express alternative points of view. But if you look at Jeremy's long campaigning background, as covered in his previous books, you'll see there's far more to his motivation than just to increase the share price of a company he formed relatively recently.

      1 · January 24, 2015

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