- About Us
- About the Institute
- Research Themes
- Research Reports
- Public Engagement
- UCL Sustainability
- Past Events
- UCLEI Public Lecture Series 2010-11
- UCLEI Public Lecture Series 2009-10
- UCLEI Public Lecture Series 2008-09
- Past Conferences
- UCL Environment Institute Workshops
- UCL Environment Institute: Poetry Reading
- Communicating climate risk and the implications for food security – looking to COP16 and beyond
- UCLEI Waste Report Launch in Italy
- Climate Change Film Night
- Sustainability in Sport
- A Planetary Order
- FCO Presentations
- Shaking All Over: Sadhana’s The Shiver to tour UK
- Healthy Cities Symposium
- Heritage and Climate Change: Protection at any cost?
- Darwins in Bloomsbury: A Reading & Debate
- Persistence (of Vision)
- Environmental Governance: Past News & Events
- General EI News & Events
- Biodiversity - Past News & Events
- Climate Predictions and Impacts: Past News & Events
- Cultures of Sustainability: Past News & Events
- Migration and Settlement: Past News & Events
- Past Climates & Ecologies: Past News & Events
- Sustainable Cities: Past News & Events
- Water Security: Past News & Events
- UCL' s Global Water Hackathon
- ANTELOPE CONSERVATION IN THE 21ST CENTURY: FROM DIAGNOSIS TO ACTION
- The Mara Crossing - Poems and Prose on Migration, by Ruth Padel
- Migration and Settlement News & Events
- The Complex Physics of Climate Change: Nonlinearity and Stochasticity
- Sustainability: Concepts and Materials
- Shaping Cities for Health: Complexity and the planning urban of environments in the 21st century Report of the UCL–Lancet Commission on Healthy Cities
- Environmental Governance: News & Events
- Climate Change & Cities Workshop
- Water Security Past News & Events
- Past Events 2007-2011
- Migration Photography Competition
- Forthcoming Events
- UCLEI Inaugural Annual Conference 2013
News & Events
Free Film Screening: "Thin Ice: The Inside Story of Climate Science"
22nd April, 2013, 6pm
23 November 2011
Lectures & Symposia
The Complex Physics of Climate Change: Nonlinearity and Stochasticity
Michael Ghil, 14 Mar 2012
Royal Society of Canada Panel on Oil Sands
Professor Hrudey, 12th Dec 2011
Healthy Cities Symposium
4th May 2011
Communicating climate risk and the implications for food security – COP16 & beyond
16th Nov 2010
Climate Change Film Night
15th Oct 2010
UCLEI Public Lecture Series 2009-10
UCL Environment Institute Public Lecture Series 2009-10
The UCL Environment Institute held a
very successful Public Lecture Series throughout the 2009-10 academic
year. Below are some brief summaries of each talk. You may also
download the presentation slides for each.
Heather Henriksen / Tony Juniper / Jill Duggan / Andy Atkins / Andrew Simms / Daniella Schmidt
Climate Curriculum: Sustainability, Culture Change and Collaboration at Harvard University
Click here for the presentation slides (pdf)
At the invitation of the UCL Environment Institute Heather Henriksen the Director of Office for Sustainability at Harvard University meet with senior members of UCL including the Provost and gave an inspirational evening lecture. Harvard under the guidence of Heather has committed to making a 30% carbon foot print reduction including growth by 2016 from a baseline of 2006. They have already made large changes both in building energy use and social norms which are already translating into significant carbon and dollar savings.
Heather attributed the great success of the
sustainability agenda at Harvard to two main factors. First Harvard
University President Drew Faust sees sustainability being central to the
mission of the University and in doing so has made the Office for
Sustainability directly accountable to her. Second Heather uses a fully
inclusive collaborative approach to sustainability issues which are
always underpinned by clear business cases. Heather's visit we hope
will be the beginning of a long and successful collaborations between
our two great institutions on one of the most important issues of this
Heather Henriksen is the Director of the Office for Sustainability at Harvard University. She holds a Master's in Public Administration with a focus on energy and environment from the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS). While a student at HKS, Heather was a member of the Harvard University Task Force on Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions, commissioned by President Drew Faust to recommend a GHG reduction goal for the University. Heather is also a partner of Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), a national community of business people lobbying for environmental policies which protect the environment while building economic prosperity.
Heather’s work with E2, since 2002, has brought her into closer partnership with the Natural Resources Defense Council. Before graduate school, Heather was Director of Corporate Marketing & Business Development at Time Warner. Prior to her nine year tenure at Time Warner she was an Assistant Director of Development at Stanford University Law School. She serves on the Board of Trustees of Phillips Brooks House Association, the undergraduate social service and social action organization at Harvard College. She holds a B.A. from Tulane University.
Tony Juniper, Environmental Campaigner, Sustainability Adviser and Green Party candidate for Cambridge
The public reaction to the environmental crisis: why we are not doing enough, and what the remedies could be?
Tony Juniper is an environmental campaigner and the Green Party's General Election candidate for Cambridge. He began his career as an ornithologist, working with Birdlife International. From 1990 he worked at Friends of the Earth. He was the organisation's executive director from 2003-2008 and also the Vice Chair of Friends of the Earth International from 2000-2008.
Tony Juniper now works as an independent sustainability and environment adviser, including as a senior associate with the Cambridge University Program for Industry, and special adviser with The Prince of Wales' Rainforest Project. He speaks and writes on many aspects of sustainability and sits on several advisory panels, including with the Science Museum.
He is the editor-in-chief of National Geographic Green Magazine and writes a green column for the Sunday Times Home section. He is the author of several books, including the award winning Guide to the Parrots of the World (1998), Spix's Macaw (2002) and How Many Light Bulbs Does It Take To Change A Planet? (2007)
Two Cheers for Carbon Markets
Summary of lecture:
In the 90s and early noughties we had expectations on how
carbon markets should be designed and what they could deliver. These
expectations were based on an assumption that players would behave
rationally and that it didn’t matter which gas was reduced or where it
was from. High prices would drive innovation of low carbon
technologies. Since then we have hard experience of designing and
implementing carbon markets and have learned some lessons in doing so.
Looking at the experience of the EU Emissions Trading System and the first year of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, some of our original expectations need to be adjusted. We have learned that the high prices that will drive innovation are at odds with the political acceptance needed to introduce new regulation. Free allocation and industry lobbying can lower the ambition for the market. And we have learned that not all greenhouse gases are equal and that some reductions are harder to verify (and therefore less valuable in a market). But we have also learned that you can create markets for some sectors where the carbon price drives emissions reductions. And markets can produce revenues that will buy both political acceptance and emissions reductions.
Given the amount of time we have to move to a low carbon economy, our experience indicates that we may get more ambition and action from concentrating markets on some sectors and using other measures for other sectors. So two cheers for carbon markets. To get the full notes of the lecture please click here..
Jill Duggan has extensive experience in emissions trading and climate change policy. She managed the UK’s pilot emissions trading scheme from 2003-2005 and was the UK’s cross Government lead for the 2008-2012 phase of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. As Head of International Emissions Trading she has been working with governments around the world on design and implementation of emissions trading schemes. She has been an advisor to the Western Climate Initiative and on the Steering Committee of the International Carbon Action Partnership (ICAP). The partnership is an initiative by 25 regions, nations, states and provinces to share best practice on design and implementation of emissions trading schemes.
Jill has also been involved in the design of a consumer offset standard, in the use of sectoral approaches and in developing country cooperation on climate change policy.
Jill Duggan has recently been posted to Washington DC following nearly three years heading the UK Government’s policy work on linking emissions trading systems, and passing on the UK’s experience in designing and implementing cap and trade programmes.
After Copenhagen: where next to address climate change
Andy Atkins is Executive Director of leading environmental charity Friends of the Earth. Andy was previously policy and campaigns director at relief and development agency Tearfund. He was part of the original group of charity campaigners who started the high profile Make Poverty History campaign in 2005.
Andy has a track record and commitment for finding solutions to environmental and social justice challenges and is an experienced leader, campaigner and communicator.
During his 11 years at Tearfund, eight of which as Policy and Campaigns Director, he has overseen many achievements including the establishment of policy and campaigns work as core business for the organisation, initiating its work on climate change and poverty and championing climate change as a poverty issue among UK development NGOs. He was a key organiser of the Make Poverty History campaign, and is a Board member of the Stop Climate Chaos coalition, where he works with Tony Juniper.
Andy has also gained considerable experience in his previous roles as Campaigns Coordinator, and General Secretary of the Chile Committee for Human Rights, Coordinator of CAFOD's Working in Partnership Programme, and Latin America Desk Officer at the Catholic Institute of International Relations (Progressio).
The Great Transition; how we get from here to there.
Andy Simms did not use a presentation but the documents on which he based his talk can be downloaded from the nef website - click here.
Andrew founded the climate change, energy and interdependence programmes at nef (the new economics foundation), and is author of Ecological Debt: Global Warming and the Wealth of Nations (2009). Described by New Scientist magazine as ‘a master at joined-up progressive thinking,’ he was co-author of the groundbreaking Green New Deal report and co-founded the Green New Deal group.
Andrew writes regularly for the national press and is on the boards of Greenpeace UK, the climate campaign 10:10 and The Energy and Resources Institute Europe. He worked for many years for international development organisations, writing extensively on issues of climate change and poverty reduction. He was one of the original organisers of the Jubilee 2000 Coalition developing country debt relief campaign, devised the idea of ‘Ecological Debt Day,' also known as 'Overshoot Day,’ and was behind the onehundredmonths.org initiative which is counting down the time left for action before the world enters a new more perilous phase of global warming.
In the UK, with a series of groundbreaking reports on ‘Ghost Town Britain’ and ‘Clone Town Britain’, Andrew also coined new terms and changed the debate on the impact of mass retailing on communities. He is also the author of: Tescopoly: How One Shop Came Out on Top and Why it Matters (2007); co-editor of Do Good Lives Have to Cost the Earth? (2008), and author, with David Boyle, of The New Economics: A Bigger Picture (2009). His new book with David Boyle published in 2010 is, Eminent Corporations: the Rise and Fall of the Great British Corporation and includes a history of the tragic oil company, BP.
Ocean Acidification: Climate Change's Evil Twin
Over the last 200 years the oceans have absorbed about
25% of the CO2 emitted into the atmosphere from human activities,
effectively reducing CO2 in the atmosphere and therefore buffering
climate change. This has resulted in the measurable alteration of
surface ocean pH and the concentrations of CO2, bicarbonate
and carbonate ions as well as the reduction of the saturation state and
movement of the saturation horizons of calcium carbonate minerals
towards the ocean surface (shoaling). This change in ocean carbonate
chemistry is termed “Ocean Acidification” and is increasing in response
to rising atmospheric CO2.
Changes in the ocean pH in response to rising atmospheric CO2 has lead to a decrease in global pH by an average of 0.1 (Caldeira and Wickett, 2003) and 0.7 change is predicted for the end of this millenium. However, the long-term ability of organisms to adapt to such changes and carbon feedback is poorly understood. Laboratory experiments are of limited duration and thus cover a restricted number of generations of the organism. Therefore it is imperative to study analogues in the geological past to investigate carbon feedbacks and how organisms adapt over time to lowered ocean pH.
The Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) has been suggested as a close palaeo-analogue for future climate change and ocean acidification as the carbon release is thought to be comparable to that possible over the coming centuries. However, a prerequisite for the use of evaluated ecological response during the PETM as a constraint on future impacts on ecosystems of acidification due to fossil fuel burning is knowing how the paleo-pH changed at this time. I will discuss past records of ocean acidification and novel approaches on how to characterize these geological events. I will show data on pH and biotic change in these past ocean acidification events and will try to use this to predict future changes.
Dr Daniela Schmidt
I am a Royal Society University Research Fellow at the University of Bristol. I have always been deeply in love with the ocean and hence studied Marine Geology at the University of Bremen and the Alfred Wegener Institute for Marine and Polar Research focusing on our understanding of palaeoclimate proxies. During my time at AWI, I went to the Southern Ocean and knew that I want to continue studying the Ocean, its environments and how climate change is affecting life. I did my PhD (or rather my Dr. sc. Nat.) at ETH Zurich on “Size in planktic foraminifers” studying the effect of biotic interaction and climate change on plankton evolution. I moved to Bristol, via Royal Holloway, in 2004 with a NERC fellowship studying the “Evolutionary history of calcification in planktic foraminifers and its relationship to atmospheric CO2. Currently, I am focusing on “Calcification and ocean acidification – past and future”. I have been invited speaker at NSF/ESF Workshop on Ocean acidification, Discussion leader at the ESF Euroclimate Workshop, I am participating in the European Project on OCean Acidification, and have been part of the UK Ocean acidification Theme Science and implementation plan writing team.