Exeter’s second Global Conversations event will be held in New York

How best to tackle dangerous climate change: Exeter’s ‘Global Conversation’ comes to New York

The pivotal issue of how best to address perilous global climate change will be discussed by world-leading experts, at a special event in New York.

Internationally-acclaimed scientists Professor Peter Cox and Professor Catherine Mitchell from the University of Exeter, England, and Professor Travis Bradford from Columbia University, will lead the high-profile event on Thursday, 12 November.

The prominent event is the latest in a series of worldwide lectures organised by the University of Exeter, called the Global Conversation, which showcase some of the latest developments in world-leading research.

The prestigious lecture, entitled “Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change: What is the best thing to do now?” will feature Professor Cox, a world-leading climate change expert, leading a discussion on the major threats and options which the United Framework Convention on Climate Change will consider when it takes place in Paris in December.

Professor Catherine Mitchell, a global expert in Energy Policy, will provide an insight into current European energy policy, and Professor Bradford, Associate Professor and Director of the Energy and Environment Concentration at Columbia University will explore the US perspective on energy policy including the New York state’s Reforming the Energy Vision.

Following the discussions, Dr Gavin Schmidt of NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, will be part of a panel of experts taking part in an in-depth Q&A session with the audience.
Questions for the panel to discuss during the event can be submitted by emailing J.E.Harding@exeter.ac.uk or via Twitter using the hashtag #uoeglobalconvo. The lecture can also be followed at the dedicated Twitter feed @UoEGlobalConvo.

Speaking ahead of the Global Conversation event, Prof Cox said: “The stated aim of international climate negotiations, which is to avoid 2˚C of global warming, and the assumed method to achieve this target by cutting carbon dioxide emissions – are rapidly becoming inconsistent with one another.

“The latest climate science suggests that in order to have a better than 50/50 chance of avoiding 2˚C we will now need to develop techniques to suck many billions of tonnes of CO2 out of the atmosphere. So humanity is left with a stark choice; give up on the hard-earned 2˚C target or commit to developing large-scale geoengineering techniques that may themselves have severe impacts on the environment?”

Thursday’s event is the second in a three-part Global Conversation lecture series across North America.

On Monday 16 November the Global Conversation moves to the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco for the lecture “Tackling the Challenge of Dementia”.

Two University of Exeter scientists will be presenting their world-leading research into Dementia. Professor Jonathan Mill from the University of Exeter Medical School will explore the biological and genetic issues related to Dementia. Professor Linda Clare who leads Exeter’s Centre for Research in Ageing and Cognitive Health, will provide an insight into prevention and adaption techniques from the perspective of Clinical Psychology.

The panel of experts answering questions at this event includes Professor Paul Coleman of Arizona State University and Stefanie Bonigut of the Alzheimer's Association.

Earlier this week, Internationally-acclaimed social scientists Professor Debra Myhill from the University of Exeter, England, and Professor Shelley Stagg Peterson from the University of Toronto, provided a unique insight into why government efforts to close the social gap in literacy attainment have been stubbornly resistant to change – even though illiteracy is increasingly rare in the Western World, at an event in Toronto.

Initiated in March 2015 with two events in Hong Kong, the Global Conversation series explores how the University of Exeter, working in collaboration with its partners across the world, is having an impact on many of the shared global challenges we face. Events in the series focus on common issues and problems, from Mental Health Care to Water Security, and encourage conversation between experts in their fields, guests and a wider public audience.

Launching Global Conversation, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Professor Sir Steve Smith said: “We want to share our thinking and our world-leading research, to open up discussion and debate around these issues. By stimulating conversation between our academics and other leading experts in their fields, we can make a positive contribution to our collective global understanding of issues which affect us all.”

For more information regarding these, and other lectures in the Global Conversation series, please visit the Global Conversation webpage.

Date: 10 November 2015