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“The Paris Agreement - What does it mean for Africa?” UCL-Energy holds second event in the French Embassy and UCL-Energy collaborative series

24 March 2016

On March 23rd UCL-Energy held the second in the series of events organised jointly by UCL-Energy and the French Embassy, under the auspices of the long-established relationship between the French Embassy’s Science and Technology Department and UCL’s Grand Challenges programme. The event was organised by UCL’s Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (STEaPP) and UCL-Energy, in collaboration with the French Embassy and with support from the Climate Development Knowledge Network (CDKN).

This event titled "The Paris Agreement - What does it mean for Africa?" consisted of an all-day research collaboration workshop and an evening high-level panel discussion about the implications of the Paris Agreement for Africa and its development. 

Climate Change and Global Citizenship: the post-Paris agenda

22 Feb 2016, 6pm, UCL

Speaker: Jonathan Poritt

Global citizenship is a much-loved rhetorical device for those who inhabit the world of international politics, with a long and honourable backstory. But it rarely translates into any substantive impacts on global policy-making or legal processes, and has literally zero resonance with the vast majority of global citizens!

However, it’s already clear that decisions taken over the last few years regarding measures deemed necessary to address the challenge of accelerating climate change are now starting to change all that – and these measures represent just the tiniest sliver of what will need to be put in place over the next couple of decades. Which must surely mark the period during which the concept of Global Citizenship, at long last, grows up.

A drinks reception will follow in the North Cloisters.

Lecture and panel discussion on international climate change negotiations and the outcome of the Paris Conference

18 December


Twenty-five years after global negotiations were first launched, the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UN Climate Convention has finally resulted in a new global climate deal. On the 12th of December nearly 200 nations signed on to a legal agreement aimed to avoid the most dangerous effects of climate change, including goals for nearly all countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions. How did we get here and what does the climate deal mean for the world? This session examined this question and the potential impact of the Paris agreement on the planet, politics, industry and other areas. 

This event, chaired by the BBC News Environment Analyst Roger Harrabin, combined a lecture by Michael Grubb, Professor of International Energy and Climate Change Policy, UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources followed by a panel discussion with Q&A on the significance, potential impact and future challenges for the Paris Agreement. 

Panel participants included Dan Osborn - Professor of Human Ecology, Dept of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences, UCL and Paul Ekins - Professor of Energy and Environment Policy, UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources.

China low carbon policy options

5 December


Chaired by Eleonora Arcese of Climate Strategies. Speakers included Liu Qiang, National Centre for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation (Introduction to China low carbon policy), Michael Grubb, UCL Energy Institute (Low Carbon Mitigation Options in China – Introducing the China Special Supplement of Climate Policy Journal), Can Wang, Tsinghua University (China’s Sectoral Strategies) and Duan Maosheng, Tsinghua University (Chinese ETS schemes: pathway towards a national scheme).

The Path for Low Carbon Shipping

5 December

Paris, COP21 Side Event

Read the Climate Change News write up

Shipping accounts for almost 3% of global emissions and, according to the Third IMO GHG Study, these emissions are expected to increase by between 50% and 250% by 2050. Such an increase would undermine efforts made in other sectors and challenge the 2 degree target. While some efforts have been made to put shipping on a sustainable path, many suggest that more effort is needed and can be done. This event considered what options are available, and how a successful COP Agreement could contribute to this objective. 

Speakers included Tristan Smith - Lecturer at the UCL Energy Institute and lead author of the Third IMO GHG Study.

Climate clubs as implementation tool of the Paris agreement

3 December 

UNFCCC COP21 Side Event

Multilateral negotiations can be complemented with coalitions on various climate-related issue areas where there is a need for a high degree of policy coordination. This event examined the idea of “clubs” of enhanced ambition based around the interrelationship of pricing, technology investment, trade. 

Speakers: Michael Grubb, UCL, also Stanley Foundation, University of South Pacific, Indian Institute of Technology, Georgetown University 

Shipping, trade and 2°C

2 December, Paris

Speakers/organisers include Tristan Smith, UCL.

The IPCC’s carbon budgets for 2°C offer a clear scientific framing against which the effectiveness of policies can be assessed. The focus in the run-up to Paris has been on nations’ voluntary carbon reductions (their “intended nationally determined contributions”; INDCs) and how these relate to the international community’s 2°C objective and the accompanying carbon budgets.

With specific emphasis on international trade, this session heard from six experts on how they envisaged the shipping industry developing within the mitigation challenges posed in Paris.

Climate Change and the Courts

1 December, London

UKELA, PEBA and ALBA put on this event to coincide with COP21/CMP11 to look at climate change and the courts, considering what is the future role of national courts, lawyers and the rule of law in dealing with climate change issues. Speakers looked at a range of issues including the Climate Change Act and the possible outcomes of COP21/CMP11.  

Speakers: Lord Carnwath, Supreme Court Justice; Professor Richard Macrory, UCL; Tom Burke, Chairman of E3G; Sarah Kohl, DECC. Chaired by James Maurici QC, Landmark Chambers.

The Secure & the Dispossessed: How the Military and Corporations are Shaping a Climate-Changed World

25 November, London

What if government and corporate elites have given up on stopping climate change and prefer to try to manage its consequences instead? In the weeks running up to the major UN Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP21), this event examined issues raised by a new book, The Secure and the Dispossesed: How the Military and Corporations are Shaping a Climate-Changed World (Transnational Institute). The book unveils a new climate security agenda in which dystopian preparations by the powerful are already fuelling militarised security responses to the unfolding climate crisis. But it also puts forward and tells the stories of the inspiring alternatives that promise a just transition to a climate-changed world.

Shock Waves: Managing the Impacts of Climate Change on Poverty

24 November 

Webinar featuring: Carlo Carraro (Vice-Chair, IPCC WG III and Co-chair, GGKP Advisory Committee), Stephane Hallegatte (Senior Economist, Climate Change Group, World Bank) and Paul Ekins (Director, Institute for Sustainable Resources, UCL).

The Green Growth Knowledge Platform (GGKP) hosted a webinar exploring how the two objectives of ending poverty and stabilizing climate change can be more easily achieved if considered together. The webinar was moderated by Carlo Carraro (Vice-Chair, IPCC WG III and Co-chair of the GGKP Advisory Committee), featuring a presentation of the new World Bank report by one of the authors of the report, Stephane Hallegatte (Senior Economist, Climate Change Group, World Bank), and a presentation as a discussant from Paul Ekins (Director, Institute for Sustainable Resources, UCL). This was followed by a moderated discussion with the audience.

Panel from the event - credit:climateoutreach.org

Public engagement on the road to Paris - and beyond

12th November 2015, UCL. 

The upcoming Paris negotiations are key to the UN process of achieving an agreement that will limit global warming – but how engaged are the public with the conference? What do they think about its goals and how the UK government should be involved? 

Climate Outreach's founder and director of projects, George Marshall hosted a panel discussion with Dr Chris Shaw (Climate Outreach), Professor Chris Rapley (Professor of Climate Science at UCL), Ruth Davis (Senior Associate at E3G, former Political Adivsor at Greenpeace) and Dr Candice Howarth (Senior Research Fellow in climate change communications at Anglia Ruskin University). Updates and video of the event will be made public via Climate Outreach

The new universal Sustainable Development Goals for 2030: from vision to action

12th November, available via YouTube

At the recent United Nations Summit on the post-2015 development agenda, heads of state and government have adopted the new agenda that will orient the global efforts towards poverty eradication and sustainable development in the 21st century.

The new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)  are the result of a worldwide participatory process taking  more than two years that has included the voices of civil society, the business community and academia. 

Amina J. Mohammed discussed the recent historic and unprecedented agreement by global heads of state and government to focus the post-2015 development agenda on poverty eradication and sustainable development.

Last Tango in Paris

16th November 2015

Can the UN be the broker of an international Climate Change Agreement and how will it affect the economy? World leaders are to meet for COP21 this year seeking to reach consensus on an international climate change deal. This Debate previewed the key issues and likely outcomes.

Host: Sir Nigel Knowles, Global Co-Chairman, DLA Piper Chair: Roger Harrabin, Environment and Energy Analyst


  • Adrian Gault, Chief Economist of the Committee on Climate Change
  • Dr Celine Herweijer, Partner, Price Waterhouse Coopers
  • Anthony Hobley, CEO, The Carbon Tracker Initiative
  • Teresa Hitchcock, Partner, DLA Piper UK LLP
  • Professor Paul Ekins OBE, Professor of Resources and Environmental Policy, University College London 

Organised by Pamela Castle and Sykes Environmental.

Franco-British bilateral conference on Climate Change Adaptation, Resilience & Risks

2nd June 2015

Write up by Anna Mavrogianni & Sofie Pelsmakers

On June 2nd, UCL and the French Embassy in London held talks and workshops for invited ‘millenials’ and UCL postgraduate students discussing future climate change adaptation to focus on how both countries and their capital cities are going to adapt to climate change challenges and how to increase resilience to climate change risks (watch the conference video here). This was followed by a public debate, hosted by the BBC’s environment correspondent Roger Harrabin.