Sheffield academics accelerate world-leading research vital for sustainability

cop22Leading academics from the University of Sheffield will join world leaders in Marrakech next week (7-18 November 2016) for the start of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP22).

Researchers from the University’s Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures and Energy 2050 institute will share their expertise on food security and sustainable energy with leaders and delegates from across the world at the event, which follows last year’s historic conference when the Paris Agreement was signed.

Projections show that by 2050 the demand for food and energy will double and the need for clean water will increase by more than 50 per cent. The challenge to meet these demands is made more difficult due to a changing climate and a global population that is expected to reach 10 billion.

Last year’s conference led to an historic global deal to prevent global temperatures going more than 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. This year, COP22 will focus on action in order to achieve the priorities of the Paris Agreement, encouraging countries to commit to a low-carbon economy.

The University will host and participate in discussions on the global energy transition, food security and innovation with a range of international partners.

Energy 2050 is one of the UK’s largest energy research institutes, bringing together research into energy across all disciplines. It aims to go beyond traditional research boundaries by delivering innovations to the energy industry, focused on competitiveness and the de-risking of large scale investment in new technologies both in the UK and internationally.

Matthew Billson, Programme Director of Energy 2050, said: “The energy research taking place at the University of Sheffield is world-leading. We are pleased to have the opportunity to share our knowledge on issues including alternative aviation fuels and how to re-use carbon dioxide at the conference. Energy innovation is essential to tackle our climate challenges.”

The Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures at the University of Sheffield brings together a powerful collection of interdependent, multidisciplinary teams. Their research is breaking new ground in finding solutions to the grand challenges of climate change, food and energy security, water scarcity and environmental resilience.

The centre was launched after the University was awarded £2.6 million from Jeremy Grantham – a world-renowned investment manager and co-founder, with his wife Hanne, of the Grantham Foundation.

It is not only a pioneering research centre providing real life solutions to urgent issues facing today’s society – but through its innovative PhD programme it is also building a global community of sustainability leaders of tomorrow.

Professor Tony Ryan, Director of the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures, said: “We live in a world where resources are being consumed faster than they are being put back.

“We have a growing population so more mouths to feed, and an economy to sustain with energy. At Sheffield we are optimistic about the development of a sustainable future. We relish challenges because they provide us with the opportunities to discover solutions.”


Find out more about the Grantham Centre at COP22