Climate Changes: What Next?







Speakers: Dr Julian Allwood

is a Senior Lecturer in the Institute for Manufacturing in the Cambridge Engineering Department. He is a member of the Production Processes Group of the Institute for Manufacturing, and co-ordinator of the Institute's Sustainable Manufacturing Group. His research interests include development of novel technologies that may facilitate a move to localised or distributed production; identifying sectors where localised production would have an environmental benefit and determining the economic conditions required to make the switch from global to local production feasible; and low energy processes for recycling materials.

What would make a big difference and who's going to take the lead?

This talk will begin with a broad outline of the global sources of carbon emissions. Much work to date has focused on development of decarbonised energy supply, but unless universal nuclear power generation or carbon sequestration are adopted, supply substitution is unlikely to have sufficient impact on carbon emissions. This talk therefore focuses on demand, and having demolished the idea (promoted by Gordon Brown in December 2007) that plastic bags are important, will look at what would make a big difference. The talk will focus on emissions arising from industry, and show that significant demand reduction is technically possible but unlikely to arise from existing initiatives which tend to focus on incremental change to existing systems. Some sectors are showing much more inclination to change than others, and at present it seems that companies with a high value brand are the most likely to lead change.