Unpacking the Paris Agreement: Is it enough to limit dangerous climate change?

Date: 3 Feb 2016 7:00 pm — 9:00 pm
Speaker(s): Piers Forster, Andy Gouldson, John Barrett, Harriet Thew
Venue: Conference Auditorium, University of Leeds

Yorkshire RMets/CCCEP/Priestley International Centre for Climate Public Debate


Piers Forster, Professor of Physical Climate Change
Andy Gouldson, Professor of Environmental Policy and Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor
John Barrett, Professor of Energy and Climate Policy
Harriet Thew, Postgraduate Researcher and Teaching Assistant

This event will feature a number of experts in the field of climate change science and policy in a panel debate to discuss what the historic Paris agreement means and how we now proceed in order to achieve the ambitious 1.5C target.

The panel members will include: Piers Forster, Andy Gouldson, John Barrett and Harriet Thew. This will be a joint meeting with the RMetS Yorkshire Centre, the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy (www.cccep.ac.uk) and the Priestley International Centre for Climate (http://www.priestley.leeds.ac.uk). As a starter, take a look at Piers’ carbon brief article for some information on COP21 http://www.carbonbrief.org/piers-forster-1-5c-is-a-brave-new-world.

Due to the expected interest in the talk we are asking everyone to register their attendance. This can be done via Eventbrite



Piers Forster is Professor of Physical Climate Change at the University of Leeds. A physicist by training, his research focuses on quantifying the different human causes of climate change and the way the Earth responds. He is best known for his work on radiative forcing, climate sensitivity, contrails and geoengineering. He has contributed heavily to the writing of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports, including acting as a Lead Author for both the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report and IPCC Fifth Assessment Report.

Andy Gouldson works on environmental and climate policy and in related areas such as energy and development policy. His work focuses on the performance of different forms of policy and regulation and the impacts of new forms of governance, especially on the environmental impacts of economic development. He has a particular interest in cities and climate change, and in recent years has worked extensively on low carbon development for cities in Europe, Asia, South America and Africa.

Andy specializes in inter-disciplinary, applied and impact-oriented research, and frequently works closely with governments, NGOs and community groups and industry bodies at the international, national and local levels. He has been a contributor to international initiatives such as the Global Commission on Economy and Climate and works closely with the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change and the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

John Barrett joined the Sustainability Research Institute (SRI) in February, 2011 as a Chair in Energy and Climate Policy. His research interests include sustainable consumption and production (SCP) modelling, carbon accounting and exploring the transition to a low carbon pathway. He has an extensive knowledge of the use of Multi-Regional Environmental Input-Output modelling to understand the effectiveness of strategies and policies to deliver a low carbon economy. The techniques that John developed as part of his research are now used by numerous government departments to understand the consumer emissions of the UK as well as the carbon emissions embedded in products.

John was one of the lead advisors to Defra in relation to the development of PAS2050 and was commissioned by Defra to lead on understanding the carbon footprint of trade. He was selected as a lead author for the IPCC 5th Assessment for Working Group III. John has appeared regularly on Radio 4 news and discussion programmes, written numerous policy reports on SCP issues for a wide range of audiences.

Harriet Thew is studying for a PhD in the Sustainability Research Institute. Her research focuses on youth participation in climate change decision making. Prior to joining the School of Earth and Environment she managed the global environment programme for the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, coordinating several large international climate change education, outreach and advocacy projects. Her early career also included project management and stakeholder engagement roles with a focus on climate change adaptation and flood risk for the UK Environment Agency and the Climate Change Schools Project.


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