Sheffield delegation return from important UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech

Posted on November 21, 2016 in News, Policy by . Share this article
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Scientists and engineers from the University of Sheffield have helped world leaders shape a more sustainable future at the successful United Nations conference on Climate Change in Marrakech.

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

The University hosted and participated in 7 seminars with discussions on the global energy transition, food security and innovation with a range of international partners.

Energy 2050, one of the UK’s largest energy research institutes, held a panel discussion event on the subject of alternative aviation fuels. Academics from the institute were joined by Haldane Dodd from the Air Transport Action Group who discussed the ways in which the industry is embracing innovations in fuel and aeroplane design to reduce emissions.

The institute also held a Reusing CO2 event regarding how carbon dioxide can be used instead of oil-based products in chemicals, petrochemicals and fuels.

Presenters included Professor Peter Styring, Director of the UK Centre for Carbon Dioxide Utlisation; Katy Armstrong from CO2Chem; Richard Heyn, Senior Research Scientist from SINTEF; and Christoph Gebald from Climeworks.

Matthew Billson, Programme Director for Energy 2050, said: “As the Paris Agreement is ratified by more and more countries, it is important that we turn policy into action.

“The University of Sheffield’s Energy 2050 institute plays an important role in discovering ways to deliver secure and clean energy for the world. It was therefore important to share our knowledge and expertise at COP22 in Marrakech.

“Our varied events were well attended and we look forward to working with partners in industry and government to tackle the world’s energy challenges.”

Academics and PhD scholars from the University’s Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures also attended COP22 and held panel discussions on food security and sustainable agriculture.

Professor Tony Ryan and Jon Price, Strategic Advisor to the University of Sheffield also took part in a panel discussion titled Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and European institutes collaboration on economic diversification. They discussed barriers and solutions for scaling up investments in both advanced manufacturing and agri-tech, developing low-carbon sustainable technologies for deployment in GCC and wider Middle Eastern and North African region.

Professor Tony Ryan, Director of the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures, said: “COP22 gave us the opportunity to showcase our important research to leading figures in the world and raise awareness of the problem of food security.

“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.

“As a centre of multidisciplinary expertise, it is important for our PhD scholars to develop their knowledge of policy and understand world issues. That’s why it was fantastic that our scholars had the opportunity to attend and even present at events.”

PhD scholar, Niall Bradshaw spoke on a panel about sustainable agriculture. He said: “The enthusiastic response to our research from the audience reflected the positive mood of the entire conference, with people eager to learn more about the global responses to the questions of sustainable development and climate mitigation.

“Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll learn whether this enthusiasm can be developed into concrete action required to enact the Paris climate agreement of last year. What’s most clear is that time really is of the essence.”

(via www.sheffield.ac.uk/news)