By Anders Lorenzen, HUB Eco Series
Why is it that despite year after year of positive stories about renewable energy and energy efficiency, we are barely any closer to dealing with rising carbon emissions and climate change?
In the last year alone, renewable energy records have been broken in Germany, Spain, Denmark, Italy, Japan and India to just mention a few, however despite this, renewables are failing to cut carbon emissions; CO2 levels have never risen faster than they are currently doing at 3% a year. We are investing more than ever in renewables, adding greater capacity than ever before, but CO2 levels in the atmosphere are also increasing more than ever before; why is that? Having been told for years that renewables were the answer, could there possibly be another approach we have not thought about?
These are the questions that authors Duncan Clark and Mike Berners-Lee attempt to answer in their new book ‘The Burning Question’, and we are delighted that Duncan Clark will be joining us for a discussion at our upcoming HUB Eco Series event at HUB Islington on the 25th of June: The Burning Question: Why are we failing to tackle climate change?
The issue is complex and the authors explore and evaluate everything from behaviour change to economic growth and fossil fuel investments, in which the world’s richest countries are gambling with the livelihoods of billions of people. Bill McKibben, activist and founder of 350.org, suggests in his Foreword to the book (also featured in a recent Rolling Stone Magazine article) that the climate problem can be narrowed down to three significant numbers: two degrees, the number agreed on by 191 of the world’s countries, that we must limit warming to, to have a chance of avoiding runaway climate change; 575 gigatons, the amount of carbon we can continue to pour into the atmosphere to stay below two degrees of warming; and finally the last and most terrifying number of all, 2795 gigatons, the amount of proven fossil fuel reserves which are now being traded on international markets and of which we can only burn a fifth, if we are to stay below two degrees.
Our HUB Eco Series conversation event will examine the debate in the book surrounding what it will actually take to tackle climate change; here in our teaser video Duncan Clark gives us a few clues what what the solutions could be.
We hope you will join us for this debate, discussing surely the most important question of the decade; book your tickets here