How to win the argument on climate change

Date: 22 Apr 2015 4:00 pm — 5:15 pm
Speaker(s): Simon Maxwell, Executive Chair of the Climate and Development Knowledge Network
Venue: School of Earth and Environment Seminar Rooms (8.119).


A good question to start with is whether we think we are winning the argument or not. On the one hand, carbon emissions look like they are beginning to fall. On the other hand, they are not falling fast enough, and it looks like Paris will be a struggle. Is that surprising? No. Action on climate change requires transformational change, and a narrative which pretends that transformation is a win-win process looks too easy. So what can ‘we’ do – as leaders of rich and poor countries and international organisations, as citizens, and as researchers? The presentation will develop a five-point plan for delivering climate compatible development – and seek inputs on next steps.

About the Speaker

Simon Maxwell is Executive Chair of the Climate and Development Knowledge Network ( He has had long experience in the field of international development, as a researcher, field worker and policy analyst. He worked overseas for ten years with the UN and the UK Government, in Kenya, India, and Bolivia, was for fifteen years a Fellow of the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Susses, and from 1997-2009 was Director of the Overseas Development Institute, the UK’s leading independent think-tank on international development and humanitarian issues. Activities since 2009 have included inter alia CDKN, a programme of work on European Development Cooperation (through ODI) and being Specialist Adviser to the House of Commons International Development Select Committee. Simon is a Senior Research Associate of ODI, an Emeritus Fellow of IDS, and Chair of the European Think Tanks Group. He is a past President of the Development Studies Association of the UK and Ireland. He was made a CBE in 2007, for services to international development. Link for further details.

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