UCL Energy Institute


Can’t go green without blue - Professor Catalina Spataru's Inaugural Lecture

03 March 2022, 12:00 pm–1:00 pm

Aerial photo of coast showing trees and blue ocean

UCL Energy Institute will be hosting the inaugural lecture of Professor Catalina Spataru online in March 2022, looking at the intersections of the green and blue economy models.

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UCL Energy Institute

About this lecture

The number of challenges our societies have to address on land and ocean is often overwhelming: climate change; energy provision; fuel poverty; sea level rise and its impact on coastal areas are all global challenges; as well as transition to a ‘green’ economy that is low in carbon, socially inclusive and resource efficient, highly interconnected and at a global scale. Policies are increasingly cross-cutting, covering different sectors and stakeholders within different networks and levels. 

Tackling these global challenges requires tools capable of ensuring dialogue between stakeholders, to better understand trade-offs between sectors, resource use, the impact of coupling different types of systems with different behaviour dynamics. This will help design better policies and more efficient provision of public services. 

This talk highlights the need for green blue economy as yin and yang. Catalina will be discussing her approach to complex problems, including how the blue economy contributes to climate change mitigation by developing offshore renewable energy, developing floating energy systems to power islands and coastal areas when disasters strike and support their transition to a green economy. Catalina will show how islands and coastal areas remain at the forefront of climate change, as well as the importance of ‘green’ agenda and how the contribution of the ‘blue’ economy to its agenda provides opportunities for businesses and communities to bridge the governance gaps and capture growth opportunities in different sectors.

About Professor Catalina Spataru

Catalina Spataru is Professor in Global Energy and Resources and the first woman appointed as professor at UCL Energy Institute. She researches how to tackle global challenges from electricity interconnections and resilient future energy systems and communities to trade-offs between energy and other resources through nexus research. Catalina was leading interdisciplinary research through collaboration with academic and industrial partners across 4 continents and 27 countries. She is the Founder and Head of UCL Islands Laboratory since 2018 focusing on innovative sustainable solutions for island nations, coastal areas and surroundings, and how green and blue economy models could help improve human wellbeing and social equity, while reducing environmental risks. She has been appointed as Director of UCL Energy Institute since January 2022. Since joining UCL she has been principal or co-investigator of 24 research or industry funded projects, developed several models, published over 60 peer reviewed papers, over 100 technical reports and policy documents, wrote two books, edited three books, delivered several talks, and interviewed for media. Currently she leads the development of an integrated toolbox with research instruments, datasets, modelling, foresight and stakeholders’ engagement processes based on a nexus-informed approach part of Re-Energize DR3 project funded by Belmont.

28 Days of Sustainability - Time to make #ChangePossible! 21 February - 20 March 2022

This event is part of 28 Days of Sustainability, a four-week, community-led climate action programme to make change possible across UCL.