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17:30 - 19:30 02 July 2013

Location: Roberts G06 Sir Ambrose Fleming Lecture Theatre, Malet Place

Burning Question Seminar

Duncan Clark and Mike Berners-Lee take a fascinating and alarming big-picture look at climate change based on their new book, The Burning Question. Described by Al Gore as "fascinating, important and highly recommended", the book shows that global carbon emissions are not just increasing but accelerating upwards, following an exponential curve that goes back centuries. Efficiency gains and national cuts aren’t working, Clark and Berners-Lee argue, because at the global level saving energy is like squeezing a balloon: reductions in one place lead to increases elsewhere. Even clean energy technologies don’t in themselves slow the rate of fossil fuel extraction.

The real challenge, this talk will argue, is persuading the world to write off oil, coal and gas reserves worth many trillions of dollars – at least until we have the means to put carbon back in the ground. 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?

About the speakers:

Duncan Clark is a writer and consultant editor on the Guardian environment desk, co-founder of digital journalism company Kiln and a honorary research associate at the UCL Energy Institute. He helped establish environment charities Cool Earth and 10:10 and has written or edited many books on climate change and related topics.

Mike Berners-Lee is a leading expert on carbon emissions, founder of Small World Consulting and author of How Bad Are Bananas? The Carbon Footprint of Everything. He is involved in sustainability research across many departments at Lancaster University and has worked on energy and emissions with a wide range of corporate and public sector organisations.

About the UCL Energy Institute:

Founded in June 2009, the UCL Energy Institute (UCL-Energy) was established as UCL’s response to the global challenges of mitigating climate change and providing energy security in the 21st century. UCL-Energy, which sits within the Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment at UCL, brings together different perspectives, understandings and procedures in energy research, transcending the boundaries between academic disciplines. It coordinates multidisciplinary teams from across the University, with the aim of accelerating the transition to a globally sustainable energy system through world-class energy research, education and policy support. Follow on Twitter @ucl_energy

About the UCL Institute for Sutainable Resources:

Created in 2012, the vision of the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources (UCL ISR) is a world of globally sustainable resource use. In pursuit of its Vision, the Mission of UCL ISR is to generate knowledge by supporting cross-disciplinary research approaches to promote the globally sustainable use of natural resources. http://www.ucl.ac.uk/sustainable-resources  Follow on Twitter @UCL_ISR


We expect this event to be extremely popular, and places will be on a first come first served basis. If you are no longer able to attend please email energy-events@ucl.ac.uk

The presentation will promptly start at 5.30pm and will be followed by drinks and nibbles from 6.30pm - 7.30pm and the opportunity to network.

Please note this event will be filmed and posted on www.youtube.com/uclenergyinstitute following the event