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UCL ISR Public Lecture: New Environmentalism and the Circular Economy - Dr Janez Potočnik, Commissioner for Environment, European Commission

18:00 - 20:00 16 June 2014

Location: Roberts G06 Sir Ambrose Fleming LT Roberts Building, Malet Place London WC1E 7JG


We are delighted to announce that Dr Janez Potočnik, Commissioner for Environment from the European Commission will be speaking at our summer public lecture. We are also pleased to announce that Dr Potočnik will be introduced by Dan Rogerson MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for water, forestry, rural affairs and resource management and welcomed by UCL President & Provost Professor Michael Arthur.

Abstract: Human population growth and per-capita consumption rate underlie all of the other present drivers for global change. Our planet's population will rise to more than 9 billion by the middle of the century. This will put immense strain on resources like fresh water, oceans, land and soil, raw materials, energy, biodiversity and ecosystems. A resource-intensive growth model can't be extended to the global population. Industrialised nations must change their production and consumption habits.

In Europe we are struggling to find the way out of economic crisis, to find ways of creating new jobs and injecting new growth into the economy. But that exit won't come unless we link it to the environment. Only by respecting the environment will we create the conditions for the European industrial sector to remain globally competitive.

We need to get away from a linear model where we extract, produce, use and throw away, to a circular economy model.  Business as usual, old ideas and old technologies won't do it. We need a whole system change, and we all need to take part.

Janez Potocnik

Biography:  Dr Janez Potočnik graduated from the Faculty of Economics at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia (Ph.D. degree 1993). After a successful career starting in 1989 in Slovenia as a researcher at the Institute of Economic Research, Director of the Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development (1994), he was appointed Head of Negotiating Team for Accession of Slovenia to the EU (1998). He was also Director of Government Office for European Affairs (2000), Minister Councillor at the Office of the Prime Minister (2001) and Minister responsible for European Affairs (2002). In 2004 he joined the European Commission, first as Shadow Commissioner for Enlargement and then as Commissioner responsible for Science and Research. In 2010 Dr Potočnik became Commissioner for Environment. In May 2008 he was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Science by Imperial College London. In March 2009 he received the honorary degree from Ghent University (Belgium). In September 2013 Commissioner Potočnik received the United Nations' 2013 Champions of the Earth Award. 

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

The presentation will promptly start at 6pm and will be followed by a short drinks reception. Join the conversation on Twitter #CircEconUCL.

Admission is by ticket only, please remember to bring your Eventbrite ticket with you.

For those who are unable to attend, we will be filming the event and uploading it to our youtube channel