Kevin Anderson on The Unforgiving Math For Staying Under 2 Degrees

welcome to the elfin may with the support of the Klamath Alumni Association I’m from canoes show agama La Salle Juha cool erection be positive Jenna Tompa dogleg show lack of Atari quality ma exactly those are the sounds from the moment when the Paris agreement was struck when delegates representing 195 countries from around the world reached a landmark deal to limit greenhouse gas emissions now there are a few main parts to their agreement that on its core was the declaration that the nations of the world had collectively took action to keep the increase in global average temperature to well below two degrees Celsius the quote was heralded as historic by the media and by politicians but in some ways it was incredibly short on specifics about how we’re going to get there so you might wonder what will it actually take for us to meet these goals and what does science tell us about by how much and how fast we’ll need to cut our emissions in order to make what was declared in Paris a reality well answering that question is exactly the area that Kevin Anderson works he’s a professor of energy and climate change at the University of Manchester and he’s the deputy director of the influential Tyndall Center Seventeen’s what we know from climate science and applies knowledge from other fields like engineering and policy he does this to map out various scenarios or emissions curves that would allow us to stay within our carbon budget and have a high probability of meeting the goals we’ve sat and I’m afraid he doesn’t have good news for us you see the thing is we’ve waited a really long time all of your life people like my generation have chosen to do absolutely nothing about climate change worse than doing nothing we’ve actually watched the emissions go up in fact we’ve waited so long that despite what we agreed to in Paris the window for us to actually be able to meet two degrees is extremely tight and that window is closing quickly so quickly that many scientists wonder if we can meet it at all we’ve squandered almost all of our carbon budget for two degrees centigrade and therefore we now face these dire political repercussions that are about today Kevin points out that climate change isn’t about 2100 or the next 50 years because not only has it already arrived due to the carbon budget we have left it’s really the next five years that will determine what kind of world would left with four generations to come no this conversation was tough for me and I’ve thought about it a lot since because the picture he paints is bleak and I think for the first time in talking to Kevin it really hit me how much were up against and how much more urgency there needs to be we’re going to keep really terrible things from happening but I keep thinking about something that Kevin said in this interview that true hope if there is any to have comes from first dealing with the facts of the matter no matter how bleak and I think that’s true so in order to be prepared to push for the transformation that needs to take place within our society we first need to look at where we’re at and Kevin is a great guide into exactly that question so here’s my interview with Kevin Anderson I caught up with Kevin while we were in Paris for cop21 we got to the specifics behind what will need to happen in order for us to meet the goals that were set in Paris but first I started off by asking Kevin if he’s been to these cop meetings before I’ve only been to one or one and a half I should say I don’t I don’t fly and therefore it limited to which ones I can go to with sufficient to be of ease so you so you don’t fly I’ve not flown for 11 years no but now you can even have a reason to academic career still yeah I snuck in without flying it’s challenging there are certainly certain parts of my life some of which are professional some of which are personal which are more difficult but ultimately from a professional point of view actually don’t think it’s that limiting depends exactly what your research area is I still travel a reasonable amount and when I go I tend to plan it a lot more in advance and I go for longer because it takes longer to get there so I plan to do much more when I’m there so I don’t tend to go for short one-day events or three in two or three days I generally tend go oh I can do this this this and then Oh plenty for say a week or a fortnight or maybe a month sometimes and why having made this decision basically with two reasons but I’ve obviously both related it’s a carbon dioxide emission reason I work on climate change and one of the conclusions are draw from mine and others research is that those of us who are responsible for the lion’s share of emissions have to make very dramatic changes to how we live our lives to reduce our emissions now that in itself on me making these reductions from my emissions is not necessarily important at a bigger picture level but that I

then try and discuss that with other people helps encourage a different way of viewing these things so a lot of my colleagues take a different view towards their flying I know lots of other academics now who think quite differently about flying than they did before so what you do is you catalyze or your may catalyze a sort of change a different mindset so I think you can as individuals I think you can actually you can be a real agent for change but it’s not just what the emissions are from yourself it’s actually how do you communicate that and gets me quite vociferous and thick-skinned and stubborn nothing to push these things forward thick skinned thick skin means that you only get a lot of criticism so have you oh yes oh yeah get me titli from other high-level colleagues who want to justify their incredibly carbon profligate lives who spent half their lives on planes and the more senior ones half their lives on business class planes as well and then they they don’t like the idea your question in these things so some people find it very uncomfortable but also a lot of I mean academics across the board don’t find that easy because they regularly like to go to conferences this though they would always say it’s about the information the knowledge actually deep down there’s still something about flying as a positional good it makes us feel good about ourselves because other people aren’t doing it and even though the flying itself is often quite uncomfortable so I I still think it has some symbolism of the sort of luxury of a particular group of society and from the 1950s even though the practice the flying is nothing like that anymore I think people who fly gym with our people are in that much wealthier category in society so it said something about us as individuals our success because we measure our success Geminids into wealth now I’ve kind of thought about this question myself and remember something that Noam Chomsky said I mean it’s a slightly different example because it’s not about emissions but just in terms of like buying clothing or what we eat and he made the point that well sure to the degree that it doesn’t take up all your energy you can try to make good choices but if you’re spending all your time and energy trying to make the right decisions then it’s kind of a waste of effort because the effort should be going into changing the default of the system what do you think about that well it is both but I don’t I don’t see the system is separate necessary from the individual I don’t we liked are their top-down or bottom-up I agree a lot of what Tom’s get I said over many years on lots of issues but I am I don’t particularly there isn’t a society into top-down and bottom-up I see I see if we do they make the changes if we then talk about that within family group our social group our our work community if we discuss in universities with our you know heads of school of these seeds or with our companies with our bosses and so forth we can discuss these things we can try to catalyze and foster a system level change ultimately because I agree you have to get that system level change the system level changes don’t to the merchant you know from nowhere it’s something triggers them and we could be those triggers now we may well fail when we try to do this but even when we fail in trying to catalyze change we may have helped make someone else think about something differently so we don’t know where else their new ideas make a percolate out to the system and in this sense it makes all seven billion of a stakeholders now we may approach this differently some people may prefer to take oil companies to court or to battle with their politicians others may prefer to demonstrate change themselves and try to capitalize that within their local environment and then say look hey we’ve managed to do this as a community as a as a university whatever it might be and the divestment movement is a very good example it emerged from something little of it and it’s spread and now it’s become much more white Mane Stream is becoming you could see that the vestment movement helping make a system change so I guess we’re saying we need both strategies or an old types of strategy we do need all types of strategies yes but I don’t like the idea of the same that saying it’s just about individuals I don’t think it really in a complex system individuals don’t really exist yeah we are all part of the system and we are we have the ability to catalyze change within our system now one of the maybe you can explain it better and more fully than me after I’m done but so one of the primary things you do is you look at the the official targets like 1.5 degrees or 2 degrees and then I think sort of reverse engineer it and say well what would that mean to get there can you just describe a bit about what that work involves yes and well we have these tummy nurses take the 2 degree C target we have a 2 degree C and I firstly don’t like putting a target I see it’s an obligation of a duty if you look at the language that was wrapped around it it was never about a target it was we will take the action not we may take the action we’ll try and take the action it’s we will take the action to keep the temperature below two degrees centigrade doesn’t say a 50/50 chance of a 75% chance of exceeding it says below two degrees centigrade so taking a corner representing the core because we can’t dive in agreement it means almost every single year government sign up to the same sort of language on the consistent with science and on the basis of equity I would use the Copenhagen Accord it’s the neatest the capsulation of this but it’s the same language that’s used repeatedly so I don’t see it as a target I see it much more as an obligation or duty and I think that changes your perception of how important it is so but let’s be clear the 2 degrees C framing is not something that scientists derive it is something that’s that came out of civil society science informs that that debate science can tell you what the impact might be at certain temperatures in certain parts of the world that sort of thing but whether that save impacts are seem to be dangerous or not is the role of civil society and there’s a messy process of international negotiations and I’m fortunate mastic messy process has been dominated if we were blunt

about it by which white generally men in the northern hemisphere and we now have this target of 2 degrees C and what we’re hearing him here in Paris is that there are many people around the world think we should go but go for a lower target of one and a half and that they have a legitimate case for that and nevertheless we have this agreement around 2 degrees C even though as I say it’s 2d we see it’s like if you’re dangerous and deadly for many of poor communities it’s then the role of people like me to take that and say what tell us about two degrees see what would need to deliver in terms of emission reductions though the science tells us very clearly and particulate as IPCC report but for a temperature rise of cosmic century we have a set carbon budget a total amount of carbon dioxide that we can emit into the atmosphere and then we can quite easily its scientists we can start to translate what does that mean in terms of the mitigation rates how fast we have to reduce our emissions we know what the current level emissions are we might make some assumptions about emissions from save deforestation or from cement use so we can work out what’s the emissions from energy the I focus on and so we might make certain sets of assumptions but it can be very clear and obvious assumptions you can adjust those little bit up and down but in the end of the day we have a very clear carbon budget however you just these bits of detail the same message comes out we need rapid and deep reductions probably bordering on the 10% per annum level let me pick back up on that in a second but first let me get this idea of the carbon budget straight so basically we can calculate more or less how much carbon we can collectively burn until we definitely go over that 2 degree line yes yes I mean there’s a bit more to it than that but yes if we’re talking about stabilizing atmospheric temperature of a 2 degree C rise by the end of the century we have a set of carbon budgets now they vary a bit with the probability do you want a very good chance of it it’s not really very good chance but the best that we’re using is a 66% chance of staying below 2 degrees C or don’t a 50:50 chance or just a 30% chance of staying below 2 degrees C and they all have a different carbon budget associated with them and that is the total amount of carbon dioxide we can emit the atmosphere between 2011 and 2010 it earlier or later but they that’s that’s the budget range they’ve given in the IPCC report and we understand that fairly clearly and there was a very high correlation between temperature and the total amount of co2 we put in the atmosphere so when you quench the numbers and kind of look at the carbon budget that would keep us below this threshold what do you come away with there okay well firstly there’s very little the carbon budget left and the rate that’s one of the reasons that some the arguments that I’m making they’re a little bit different to some of the other arguments in May here here in in Paris and we are in doubt 2015 with the end of 2015 and the carbon budgets in the IPCC report are from 2011 so we’ve already emitted since 2011 150 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide by putting the atmosphere now that’s that’s 15% of the budget for a good chance at 2 degrees C gone so you’re either say well that’s already spent there that if you imagine it like a bank balance that 15 pounds of you a hundred pounds in the bank has now gone so we then have to say well how much do we think we’re going to use in my case so I focus on energy I don’t know how much we only use for the emissions from cement when we use cement we it’s a mixed character and in the atmosphere the process of using cement cement is about the second most used material on the planet we use it for wind turbine bits foundations for nuclear power foundations for roads for rail networks almost all of our buildings have cement bases to them and of cement in the construction industrialization or the development if you want to use that term for the poorer parts of the world will also evolve lots and lots of cement so I then look at that how that may play out in the future and cement emits a lot of co2 yeah it does actually require a lot of energy to make the cement but that could be low-carbon but the process emission is the actual process the chemical process of making cement releases huge current quantities of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere so I’ve tried to take account of those being very optimistic about what the technology can do to change it and so I take account of that I also take account of the emissions from deforestation which is still ongoing even though we could do something about it but nevertheless it is ongoing it is awaiting we remain ongoing for the next few years at least so it makes some estimate of all of these and then we reduce that for the carbon budget as well so the carbon budget that we have in the end the the headline budget that comes from the IPCC is a thousand billion tons of carbon dioxide across the century and we would say well that’s really now no more than 650 which is already a 35 percent reduction now that makes a big difference to what your analysis tells him and how much carbon are we burning a year right now about 36 37 something like that billion tons of carbon dioxide so the current rate were you it would take about under 20 years at current consumption rates he’ll be under 20 years and then the budget would have gone completely we can also then look at where does that budget come from who are the people yeah burning it back carbon dioxide and we understand that either from a country level which nderstand it with a reasonable level a very good level of detail so how much does it is in the EU or the US or the or China or Tanzania or whatever it might be so we understand that fairly well and or the recent and very recent work that’s been done by chancel and pickety witch sir she says and they also report from ox and wasps have been here says well but who does it come from and they show that 50 percent of the emissions from 10% of the population they showed that the top 1% of emitters in the US have emissions they’re two and a half thousand times higher than the bottom 1% globally so even in stocks say well it’s

not just about national boundaries is actually about the people who are high emitters and we can identify who they are quite well so yeah looking at those sorts of things can they help you understand what the policies would have to be either a national level or beyond that to think about how do you develop policies that focus particular on these high emissions admitting people so that’s the sort of work that I’m involved with so it sounds like that in France that a lot of thinking about power then it does I mean even if you know even if you only think about it from a mathematical sense you say here’s a particular group at very high emissions and if the emissions are so high you think well doesn’t matter about the rest of the population this is the group that really matters then yeah that they aren’t businesses of power that they are very influential people is almost separate if you’re serious about two degrees centigrade I can start to say well if 2 degrees C has to be achieved I have a certain carbon budget these people I was responsible for the lion’s share of that carbon budget I have to say though we have to come up mechanisms that will bring the emissions down from that particular group so if you like the maths forced to it forced you into questioning these issues of power and and it may well be that these particular groups and it well it is the case that these particular groups will respond to certain certain types of policies differently to how other groups may respond which is one of the reasons I’m not a great advocate of a simple carbon price because because if you put at least the way that most people talk about carbon prices if you put a carbon price on on energy the priced energy goes up but people like me and the high emitters are inelastic to the price of energy if our flights go up the price by 25 percent so what we still fly dark our fuel goes up a 25% we just try the same large cars we don’t significant change what we do price of carbon goes up that means the price of fertilizer goes up that takes a lot of energy to make fertilizer that means the price of food goes up which means the poor people can buy less food the price of energy goes up people in 20% of all houses in the UK are in fuel poverty that means they cannot heat their houses adequately in the winter their children have bunked long term conditions as a consequence but the price of energy goes up their children have worse bronchial conditions because they can’t heat their house as well so there’s a real equity implication of price so I think we have to think we have to send there to think the other simple lets us add a carbon price and that would be enough it will be very inevitable and actually I don’t think it will really drive the emissions down very significantly in terms of behaviour and so forth because mo hi omitting people like myself are fairly inelastic to the price of energy it may help us move our energy systems from say cold towards gas or if the price was high enough maybe you know towards renewables but have to be a very high carbon price but then you say well that has this other impact impact elsewhere and that’s why I’m saying the policies need to be much more subtle and nuanced than a simple carbon tax well we talked to James Hansen the other night and he was talking very specifically about doing a revenue-neutral yeah yeah I think I see oddly over although I’ve been I’ve really been quite opposed to a price mechanism for a long time including the missions trading I definitely like nevertheless I think I think the the idea popularized by hand so don’t think it was his originally but I mean that idea of fee and dividend is when you initially look at it’s quite attractive the the idea that if you consume more energy and they’re all car therefore emit more carbon that you would pay a large sum of money for that and then that money is just to move now evenly across all of society helps overcome some of the equity implications of a high carbon price there is the practical part of that can you imagine plying that globally could you imagine the u.s. saying we’re happy to see huge amounts of money going to Ghana or Nigeria or wherever else it would be so I think at the global level it becomes quite challenging know how you apply that at international level ever you could imagine it being played applied well I would like to think you can imagine it being applied at national level I’m you interesting though whether in the States that would be the case where they in fact they very influential you can imagine yeah the the Republicans are indeed do and the the Democrats as well these will be that very high missing group and if they’re serious back to degree see the carbon price would be huge it wouldn’t dispute n 2050 dollars I would think if we’re serious about 2d we see carbon budget that carbon price would have to be in the hundreds and hundreds of dollars if your air to meet the carbon budgets that we have and remember it’s the policymakers who have to pay that very high carbon tax – enough to pass it as well cuz they’re the ones that are gonna be the high missing group what will you say to people who say that you know two degrees of global temperature rise that doesn’t actually sound like that much well coming from the northwest of the UK two degree C’s sounds quite pleasant we’d like a bit of warming really um but then you something well there but yes but what does it really mean globally it is a very significant temperature increase two degrees C is a global average that’s about six degrees in the poles means we will melt the Arctic Vasek residual period of the year so these are it’s a huge temperature rise but also we don’t live in global averages we live in whether we don’t live in climate we live in weather and these actor then asked well what would these global averages of two degrees c mean for the extreme weather events they’re the ones that cause us real problems when we just see extreme weather that would there would be a climate signal on top of that and you start to think well that would be a suitable additional flooding some bats that world droughts prolonged heat waves changes in food patterns changes in rainfall around the planet planet and we all we all have learnt to live with our current climate our infrastructures have evolved you look at someone like a lot of Europe not continental Europe tickley the infrastructures have evolved over hundreds of years of ever take the form

of climate and so when that climate changes and when you start to get these extreme weather events our infrastructures have not been developed for that and that’s not just our technical infrastructures but our social infrastructures like our agricultural framing and all of that sort of thing so actually two degrees C is not this yeah on a cold day monster sounds quite pleasant it’s nothing like that I mean it’s it is a fundamental change in the shape of our planet in many respects if he ate doesn’t like four degrees say it’s almost like another planet I mean it’s living somewhere that looks very different and feels very different for the world in which we live and also we have to be careful that two degrees C and the northern hemisphere we like to think that we can you know think that we can probably just buy our way out of it as I still think many of the poor people in the in the in the northern hemisphere will still struggle at 2 degrees C will certainly struggle a lot at 2 degrees C but the poorer people in the climatically in vulnerable parts of the world 30 million people living on the coastal strip with Bangladesh within the meat of sea level rise and sirs and already susceptible to typhoons that will increase in severity and possibly frequency with increased climate change their lives are going to be made even even more unbearable so people are already struggling with the current climate are going to find their lives much more challenged and let’s be really clear and blunt about this many millions of people will die if we don’t do something about climate change you know 2 3 4 degrees C we are talking about millions and millions of people put C billions of people being affected but and certainly the high temperatures and millions of people will be very seriously picked affected and many of those people will die so whilst we might think we can get away with it in some parts of the US or in the UK or in Netherlands wherever it might be you know we have to accept the fact that many will suffer the implications of this and they’re already suffering implications of just a one degree temperature rise one degree is what we have so far it’s one degree is about the woman that we’ve seen so far yes so if we’re talking about millions potentially billions of people being affected why do you think we’ve responded collectively with mostly a shrug because the because we’re not competin become an economic political paradigm mayoría we have this particular way of luke view in the world and that that is become so dominant it’s more important than physics and maths so you know it’s almost like they are set down by God this is how the world has to be and you must not question it as scientists feel is constrained by the fact they feel they can’t really question this so they were always trying to fine-tune certain sets of assumptions to make sure it delivers within the current political paradigm our policymakers liked it because it means them got to put forward to hunting are very stringent policies we like it as a as a scientific community because we even came out on flyer to our nice climate change conferences all around the world that public like it cuz they can carry on going in their holidays and buy their cars and not to worry about this sort of agenda and you know when we think about carbon it’s an every facet of our life it’s in the and the dyes that make up my coat here it’s how we travel to this event here it’s in the varnish that’s on the on the seats that were sat on now Oh bleep part of my life has been influenced by carbon fossil fuel-based carbon and we’re talking about trying to take that out of the system in 20 30 40 years at the very outside mid 20 30 years this is a huge challenge we’ve never faced anything like that let alone face it we’ve got 7 billion people on the planet and you put all of that together you know tie that in with our current economic paradigm no one was to no one really wants to stand up and say I’ll start there show some leadership on this I’ll start to make the sorts of changes that are necessary and even the NGOs have been co-opted really in this much of the time they are all part of the same quiet upbeat optimistic view that technology in the future will solve the problem for us and there’s an engineer I really wish that was the case you know I spent a lot of my life working on large pieces of engineering equipment designing and constructing them and I wish we could simply engineer our way out of this problem Engineering is an important part of getting out of this problem but it is nowhere near enough it has huge social and political moral and philosophical repercussions now because we have left engineering like geoengineering you mean and I just no simply just just you know engineering in terms of things like renewable energy that’s a big engineering task if you think your nuclear power is very low as lots of other problems with it but you know again that’s a big engineering task and engineering low-carbon transport networks improving well network building houses that are that are very low energy consumption or zero energy consumption hopefully even generate energy all of this is engineering that we should be doing and I wasn’t particularly about geoengineering or negative emission technologies I think they’re part of the problem but people people think we can do all of this engineering very quickly I was in the event today and someone’s saying well we just do it all with renewable power I’m all for renewable power but just be realistic we cannot build enough renewable power to to get us out off the curve or down to the curve that would be necessary for two degrees centigrade it’s just not we just can’t physically do that and therefore in the interim because we’ve left it so late we have to reduce our levels of energy demand the wealthy of us have to make very significant reductions if we started this in 1994 the first IPCC report came out a quarter of a century ago and how old you are but it’s probably were probably very young a quarter of a century ago we’ve had all of that time to do something about it so virtually all of your life people like my generation have chosen have been absolutely nothing about climate change a quarter of a century worse than doing nothing we’ve actually watched the emissions go up so this year the emissions would be 60% higher than they were a quarter of a century ago that shows how much we’ve cared about climate change we have this carbon budget we’ve squandered most of it by our complete inaction and now we face these

challenges that we don’t like you know tough if we serious about two degrees C if we’re serious about trying to you know keep a world and within which is a reasonable place to live then what we face now is the repercussions are completely inept failure over the last 25 years and we said to bite the bullet and make those sorts of changes or we pass on an awful legacy to the next generation so so you mean even if we were to take all the policies people would be advocating with building renewables and you know putting in a high carbon tax or whatever even then we couldn’t reduce it fast enough you don’t think just with building building solar and wind no nowhere near fast enough no that’s because of the lag time yeah because of the lag time but don’t we just think so don’t win right both I’m really forced so don’t win there and they’re wonderful technologies they’re twice as really coming down how do you fly your planes with those are you know power all these ships traveling around the world with solar and wind how about all the car infrastructures they’re going to go overnight the solar and wind yeah electricity is 20% of the energy we consume 80% of the energy we consume is not electricity now fine we can convert a lot of that to electric and they make it more renewable but yeah that does not that’s not a five-minute job building a grid network that is three four five times bigger than one we have today that can deal with some of the intermittency issues which have been exaggerated by some people but nevertheless there’s a different performance structure to our performance output from renewable type power to the sort of typical thermal power stations we’ve been more used to so what makes up the other 80% that transportation mostly you’re right oh well gas for heating transportation our aircraft our ships industry requires lots of direct energy use gas sometimes coal and sometimes oil so that’s 80% of Energy’s not electricity and I think most people forget that and they were and a lot of the NGOs forget that and they talk about energy and electricity as if it’s the same thing they both beginning EE and ending why but they’re quite different now we can Electrify a lot of the other part of the system but that is not a five-minute job here that is going to take us quite a lot of years to do that and even if we had as I often call it a Marshall style plan which is like the reconstruction after the Second World War if we were that concerned about climate change and we really put all of our efforts into constructing a low-carbon physical infrastructure that will still take us too long for the carbon budgets that we have left so it is a prerequisite we have to do that but we also therefore have to reduce our energy consumption in the short term and once we reduce our energy energy consumption and the energy is primarily fossil fuel we will reduce our carbon dioxide emissions so you’re saying there’s a huge cognitive dissonance even among people who are really involved with this issue oh yes I mean I often use that in my slides inside there the cognitive dissonance or I say fancier academics opieop obviously a lot of the time as many of us actually aware of this but having said that many people also are not a lot of climate scientists work in their particular area of climate science they’re not experts in a broader issues and mitigation or the broad issues of climate change I mean that Forsett position where the sort of job I have requires me to engage with experts we work across the realm so whether it’s people who look at some a detailed carbon cycle feedbacks or whether it’s other people looking at behavior and psychology and social theory around how people respond to certain signals price signals I have to look at that full breadth of issues and I think you get quite a different view as to how big the challenges when you do that but quite a lot of sides as I know they occasionally pin out from their area of read detailed expertise and they make quite often naive assumptions about the world that side now whether you like cognitive dissonance or where they just call that it’s a miss placing of expertise really well what are those naive assumptions about the world outside well often about how fast you can put technologies in place so a lot of scientists engage but really I get the impression that they’ve never really done any engineering they’ve never been involved in building anything it takes a long time to build something I think they think what you see in their textbook can be certainly been delivered almost at the press of a button but you know what’s going to be planning you got to recruit people you look at rain people you got to find the right part of the country where you can actually try and do that you’ve got build infrastructure around it you’ve got you know closed roads to put large pieces of equipment in place you’ve got the dig pipelines that go under sites of special scientific interest in the UK that have a certain legislation around them so all of that takes years and you don’t do it one power station or two power station or 30 power stations often one or two new train lines you’re doing it across the full swathe of infrastructure trying to convert it all to low-carbon in 20 to 30 years now that is a Herculean engineering task and I think a lot of people simply underestimate that so we can use carbon capture storage we can use you know all of these other three normal technologies they take a long time to put in place so that was interesting in it it’s been put out much quicker than anyone expected it’s much cheaper and I’m not saying we can’t do things much quicker and I’m very much in favor of us to shifting towards renewables like there’s no tomorrow or I’m simply saying is even when we do the best we could possibly imagine it’s nowhere near enough to get to the 2 degree C carbon budget and if we’re serious about 2 degrees C therefore in the interview and we have to reduce our energy consumption it can go back up again when we have a low-carbon energy supply we can go back to all of the inequalities and all the other things that we have in our lives if we think that’s really worth having there may be sustainability constraints but from a carbon perspective what you want you’ve got low carbon supply even consume as much as you want up into that point you have to stay within the carbon budget and that means you have to use less energy and so what would that look like well if you think about people probably and most the people at the cop maybe not everyone but a lot of us here we’re probably in that top 10 percent of emitters by and large and how did most people get here I get guess the huge

people number of people here flew there once somehow I think that they are somehow more valuable in our society they’ll have no doubt flown business class there’ll be a few stars will no doubt have turned up here that first class on private jets all of that would have to go far fewer people would arrive here we’d have to have virtual conferencing links back to other parts of the world so the people can actually engage via their own in their own countries we have to develop those infrastructure virtual conversing there were much more successful than the ones we have today the people did come here we have to come from here by very low carbon means of transport you know by all by ways that can at least be made low-carbon like trains unlike planes which really are locking ourselves into a very high carbon future and when we go home we would have to start living in smaller houses generally well the wealthier ones we would have to heat our houses probably less than we do and maybe not air-conditioned them as much and we’d have to drive smaller more efficient cars would sometimes have to share share lifts with people make a radical idea imagine a car with five seats having more than one person in it I mean it’s impossible to imagine when you look at Europe nowadays or the u.s you have a big car it’s only ever one person in it we have to find some way out of this that we start to to learn to be more obviously more communal but make a least more more aware of the energy we use when we try and do something at the moment when you think about when we travel short distances what do we do we get 90 kilograms in my case 93 kilograms of flesh you get in a car that weighs 1,500 kilograms new drives seven kilometres to pick up some groceries yeah in 2015 can we not find a better way to pick up ten kilograms of groceries than having two transports 1500 kilograms of metal so a supermarket and then bring it back again but if that’s necessary right now we have a pretty big gap there from what is politically even anywhere feasible and what you’re saying is necessary that we do right this minute and even if that gap is somehow closed that will take a long time to close that political gap and we will choose I think I mean I don’t think we’re gonna succeed at this I mean we cannot guarantee we will fail because we haven’t tried if we tried we may well find that we don’t succeed but if we don’t try we’re guaranteed to fail and therefore although you say is a huge political void if we are serious about 2 degrees centigrade we have to acknowledge that and say we are going to deal with it otherwise let’s be honest and say we’re not going for two you name for three or four and just tell the poor people elsewhere in the world well forget it we’re not worried about your future that’s what we just let’s just be honest about that that’s really their underlying texts from Paris we don’t really care about the poor and vulnerable elsewhere and and we have a loss and damage you know budget or 100 billion which is irrelevant really in terms of either in the quantity or I think we have to achieve and so the real message coming out something that laces the wealthy parts the world who are responsible for the lion’s share of the missions or even the wealthier within the poorer parts the world as well we did we just don’t care about the people who only impacted by climate change that’s the real take-home message level of honesty better also doesn’t seem very feasible wait say it is level of honesty I mean okay so what we are always saying then is that we can only carry on by being dishonest I mean I think humanity can be more than that I think humanity can be honest I think humanity can make very significant changes I mean even just a very simple thing to put a bit of maths or some of it if we took the top 10% of the global population not the other 90% the top 10% of high emitters these are around the globe in everything in the US the EU and so forth but also a significant number people in China and India as elsewhere but let’s imagine that top 10% could reduce their emissions down to the level of the average European now that’s not impoverished that’s near that’s not a bad quality of life the average European and they can achieve that in a year that would be a 30% reduction in global emissions and all require there is the top 10% of emitters to live a life of an average European in terms of energy consumption yeah I think they can achieve that in a year they wouldn’t like it that would mean they would have to have only one or two flights a year and they were but probably maybe only one flight a year they’d have to start living like an average European lives but that isn’t an impoverished life that isn’t struggling to live Matt a lot of isn’t it a lot of it from just the built-in infrastructure and way things have been designed Oh Wyn I don’t mean the people the top 10% are there not because of the infrastructure there they use the same infrastructure you be using where they were on the road one person might be traveling on that road on a bus one person might be travelling along that road in a bike another person might be travelling in a car that does 100 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre or the American car that’s averaging 220 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre so there are huge difference ways all traveling on the road all traveling the same seven kilometres to pick up their groceries or whatever they’re going to do there are huge differentials about that is that that infrastructure the same infrastructure same road same grocery shop at the end people do the same things using very different levels of energy while I’m simply saying here is if two degree C is a serious issue then let’s be just honest about it and we can do a huge amount by a significant a very small group of people but it’s still significant a small group of people ten percent making reduction levels that are compatible with the average European I’m not saying the average Nigerian or the average Ghanaian I’m talking the average European that’s a fairly high quality of life now if we cannot be even bothered to say that the people responsible for 50% of global emissions can even bother to make that level of reduction then okay let’s accept the fact three or four degrees C tell poor we don’t care about their futures we’ll pretend a little bit but if we’re honest about it we don’t really care and weakens get on living our lives and enjoy it was you know was the Sun shines and let the temperatures keep going up but for some direct honesty in all of

this I heard you say in a talk that one of the primary things that people misunderstand is that it’s not about targets even in like 2050 it’s about right now like the next five years that will determine whether or not we even have a chance of getting to two degrees can you talk about yeah that that ok well this comes back this idea of that carbon budget for a long time people have actually focused on these long-term targets what 80% by 2050 2050 yes that’s the sort of had in the UK we’ve had that enshrined in law in the UK an 80 percent reduction by 2050 an 80 percent reduction by it not in my term of office that’s what the policy is or 80 percent reduction by I can carry on flying as a climate scientist or as a member the public or whatever you know it feels far away it feels a long way away a technology in 2030 2040 will solve the problem for us problem is there’s no science to that the science has told us very clear we have a carbon budget if we’d started threw out a long time ago we would have we could we could have introduced more gradual policies and so forth we’ve squandered almost all of our carbon budget for two degrees centigrade and therefore and we now face these these dire political repercussions that are about today because in five years from there we’ll effectively wiped out any chance for 2 degree centigrade if we do not do something very significant from policy perspective over the next few years that start to bring our emissions down then the 2 degrees centigrade and framework has basically gone so we haven’t got other 5 years to weights or whatever wherever the next the will be in five years time another grand event too late you know we are that parish is the last major where we have any opportunity to do something on two degrees C and we’re not even there was all talking about very thin probability now so the reason it shifted from a 20 and 80 percent reduction by 2050 to actually these carbon budgets is as the carbon budgets I have a scientific way to think about temperature this way of delaying action and till some technology of solve the problem in 2050 that means the carbon dioxide emissions keep rising in the atmosphere and that’s all that matters to climate change you know the level of co2 in the atmosphere so whether we keep pumping co2 in the atmosphere and make some big reductions in 2030 or 2040 or 2050 too late the carbon dioxide is there changing the atmosphere changing the climate for the next 100 to 10,000 years so and because we’ve left it so late we have this very small carbon budget now and that’s why it comes you know it comes on the current generation to do something about it in the next few years so if this is the case that why do we so suddenly hear this in the press or even at places like this we do hear a little bit depressed but not that often one of the reasons for this is that this particular technology that’s on phase not technologies it doesn’t work as yet there is a prospect of a future technology which will suck the carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere so that is now embedded in almost all of the main models that are informing governments not only the detailed climate models not the physics models that look at climate but the models that combine that physics with economics and behavior and politics and they sort of what will integrate the assessment models these models are the ones that informs the policy makers they called cost optimizing models they work out what’s in the cheapest way of holding the 2 degree centigrade and they almost all show the same thing which is the technology we don’t have now if that comes into place in 2015 to 2017 and sucks the co2 out of the atmosphere sucks the carbon oxide out of the atmosphere then we don’t have to make it such big changes today so we’re pinning our hopes on a technology that doesn’t really exist yet yes yeah and oh yes without that’s what that is the underpinning of almost everything been discussed in Paris all the discussions about the IND cease and the IND cease are two point seven degrees or three degrees all of that is premised on assuming we can suck the co2 out of the atmosphere a long time in the future no one even talks about it now that that technology that does not exist it’s just assumed to work and it’s been completely normalized and a lot of climate scientists are particularly known the natural scientists and the physicists are really very concerned about this but they’re not quite so vociferous yet in voicing that concern though that is changing I mean here it’s changing them the big Climate Change Conference from the scientific community that was in June in Paris actually this year there lots of people that are really genuinely deeply concerned about these integrated assessment models and their reliance on this technology that didn’t exist a long time in the future dr. Strangelove have you ever seen the film but I think there’s a dr Strangelove technology it may work but the idea to assume that it will work is really very dangerous and what do you think the effect of this built-in assumption is is it is it dangerous that everyone has this built-in assaultin it’s incredibly dangerous because what it allows us to do is effectively use an incremental an adjustment to business as usual it allows us to carry on smile at these events patty gel on the back leave here on a plane to go home once you’ve got the taxi to the airport and living our biggest homes but us because negative emissions in the future we just turn the dial up and that was suck my co2 okay we have to make some adjustments we have to gradually move towards renewable energy and maybe eliminate fossil fuels in the system in the next 70 80 90 years that some people have been talking about and it from the IPCC have been talking about as well this doesn’t fit at all with the 2d BC framing unless you can suck the co2 out of the atmosphere so it fundamentally changes what we prepared to talk about here and and even the idea that people say with the IND CSR in line with two point seven degrees yeah but that is repeated here in many venues yeah the people who are saying that never understand or virtually never understand that behind that isn’t assumption that huge mass of carbon oxide gonna be sucked out the atmosphere in years to come and a very common technology for that planned technology is something

called Beck’s biomass energy carbon capture storage and they’re going to plant places likely on they could be huge some of these scenarios assume places as big as India or larger planted with biomass and capture they’re being harvested every year transported around the world to power stations burnt in power stations the carbon dioxide captured liquefied pressurized and put down into a reservoir somewhere under the under the ground and held there 4,000 plus years safely without leak at more than a thousand plus years safely without leaking that’s the premise that’s what we assuming is going to occur at the same time we’re trying to feed seven to nine billion people on the planet the aviation sector thinks it’s going to use biomass for flying the planes that shipping industry thinks it’s gonna use biomass of preparing it ships the card is using already using biomass and the chemical industry thinks it will use biomass for chemical chemical feedstock so you’ve got all the sectors thinking are we going to use this biomass this magical fuel looking to save save the world you know and people need to sit back and think we’ve got a round planet we’ve got changing temperatures we’ve got seventy nine billion people we’ve got you know we have this changing climate is this an any way realistic and lots of the people now lots of sizes are saying no it’s not and there are some papers now coming out suggesting this looks incredibly dangerous set of assumptions to to build our current policies on is this what you mean when you talk about how there’s a bias even within the scientific community of kind of tweaking the numbers so that we get a conclusion that is palatable that we can digest yeah very much so I mean there are a number of ways we do it but that is the most powerful one that was used I mean another one is that we assume global emissions will peak very early so quite a lot of the snows and the bcc assumed global emissions have already peaked really yeah oh yes yeah a lot of them in lot of the scenarios and the unit gap report and a lot the snow is there I’ve assumed global emissions have already peaked so we have this one where he needs lots of negative emissions we also assume a very very early people possibly a peak in the past which is in more challenging and there’s often a very naive assumption on the uptake of technologies how rapidly they can penetrate the system now they can do a lot with technologies but we have to be more realistic about how they can be factored in and what what that would actually mean yeah we do we have enough people trained to do these things well coming after mu can we move them off of other things that they’re doing and move them on to you know pushing forward a very low carbon agenda I just don’t think people really think this through on a on a sort of system level basis they do it with their algorithms and where their computer models and their equations and I think this there’s a real danger now so it’s non iconic non contextual yeah they don’t really step outside and look at the world within which they live and think well how would you how would you deliver that here in the next few years but it allows us by adjusting those assumptions it allows us to fit within the current political discourse and again that’s the one that you hear you hear that sort of language green growth you know we can have our cake and eat it you hit that repeatedly it’s just rubbish win-win opportunities there were out of some win-win opportunities here and there but by and large we’re gonna have to make such large changes but the way we would normally measure these sorts of successes in our society you know will not be successful you know that we would measure that has been not so positive so things like economic growth we will probably have to question whether that’s viable in the short to medium term for the wealthy parts the world certainly wealthy people within the wealthy parts the world that is unlikely to be viable my almost certain will not be viable in the 2d BC framework people would have to take a significant economic hit there positional goods the way that they see themselves in society will have to change now it doesn’t mean we’re to have a low quality of life because it’s never very high quality of life but that was adjustments at the moment we would measure those things as not all see those things has not been particularly positive I’ll be curious what it’s like for you personally to work in this area especially without a lot of the comforting assumptions that other scientists or people in the environmental movement use I imagine that can’t be be easy because just thinking about that last point well how likely is it politically that the most powerful people and nations in the world are certainly gonna say to themselves we can’t grow our economies anymore yeah very few of them and that’s partly because we’re whipping become dominated by a particular group of economists but this wasn’t the same twenty or thirty years ago I mean they dominate every facet of our lives now whether we’re that’s in governments whether it’s in universities whether it’s in our schools I mean everywhere our lives are dominated by a particular way of looking at the world in that and that but that’s new that he’s constructed we don’t have to have it like that there are ecological economics out there look at the world differently those people are having daily very influential you should be in the World Bank Stiglitz of this world on the pickety of this world there are people questioning some of these things so it is being questioned a little bit now this is this particular economic paradigm that we have what is it like for you personally for me personally because I mean you obviously have to contemplate a lot of scary scenarios yeah and there are two ways that firstly from a personal point of view in terms of being isolated I don’t feel quite sliced like that I feel the lots of other people now saying these sorts of things now often they won’t say them publicly and they’ll use a form of languages of slightly different to mine our coins appreciate the fact that you have to ever yeah we all communicate in the way that we think is most appropriate for us I do think it has to fit with the science and you know some people argue my line is a slightly more colorful I think that Badgett is I use fit very well with the numbers so I don’t feel I’m misusing the adjectives I think you know numbers look dire then I would use those adjectives that say it’s dire and but other callings find it’s slightly harder to do and they will you know it’s used slightly different

language but nevertheless they were quite I mean the event it was acted a I think some of the colleagues are on the understand I don’t think five years ago they would have said the things they were saying and I hear that from not just from early career academics I hear that from quite a lot of senior academics who same things that are really quite challenging for society as a very clear example of someone who’s held up at high esteem in place like Germany and now another swell across Europe II by John Sheldon here but now he’s saying things that you know I’m fairly difficult far current economic framing of society and you know you can argue the Pope’s coming out and say these things as well so yeah there are very senior people saying these sorts of things the IMF pointing out that the huge subsidy for fossil fuels they were at the International Energy Agency coming out same aiming for six degrees C that’s not a trendline and we’re gonna devastate consequences for the planet the IEA saying that so these there are established figures and institutions that are saying things that are fairly radical as well as there’s lot more detailed stuff that I and increasing numbers people so it’s much easier now than it was two or three years ago two or three years ago I found it very difficult so it’s not too challenging for me from that point of view the way it is challenging is actually trying to live a world live in a world where I mean the flying one is not easy for me I think we should have to accept the fact it will not be easy academically it’s it’s less of a problem it doesn’t mean that I spend a little more time away from home they would like to do and it takes a lot more organization and what about anxiety for the future oh oh yeah I mean there’s a lot of that and meat yeah yes and I think about a lot of people in NGOs no swear I feel that as well but and but it’s a it is a rich middle class person’s anxiety a lot of people have anxiety around the globe and they’re worrying about that whether food comes from tomorrow or what’s an app to them two weeks down the line or that huge if London India now that’s what they’re dealing with so I’m so kind of waving the end of the world essentially it is but I’m not gonna worry about my Western anxieties I think I think I can deal with those and you know I think a lot of other people have got a lot more immediate anxieties which maybe not the end of the world but the end of their lives or their family’s lives or least that reads more livelihood so yeah I’ll take that hit because I work in this particular area I guess I see these things I don’t find that a problem but the personal things are like and I have a lot I’m a rock climber a lot of my rock climbing friends go away climbing for weekends or for the odd week here and there to Morocco or to somewhere in Norway for ice climbing in the winter I can’t join them they jump on a plane and off they go so that has affected my friendships there I have an uncle at home very close to who lives in Australia lovely man I will never see him again yeah that’s not easy he’s old not very well I would love to see him I’m not seen him for 11 years and I will likely never see him again I’ve know he talked to him or Skype in whatever it might be and that is not easy so personally that is very challenging but if I got to see him unless I can get there slowly maybe if he’s still around when I’m retired then I’ll try and going to see him but if I was to fly there the emissions are so high from that from that particular journey I think well that would have an impact on poor people living in Bangladesh now I don’t know which one it will be over there but it will significantly add to the burden for these people and I can’t justify that so therefore I can’t go see him couldn’t you say that because you’re working your whole life on on climate change and trying to promote the types of actions required that but then it’s justified in a way a lots of environmentalists say that lots of my scientific colleagues say that in fact I’ve not met anyone who doesn’t think we’re very few people you don’t think that there’s so now I talked I felt a very pressing when the second day I was here talk to really scientific colleague of mine an excellent excellent scientist and he said I can justify flying here from a provincial town in the UK because I think good work on climate change yeah I just think I’ve met only doesn’t think differently the business community thinks each has to fly and have to have a largest amount of carbon dioxide because it feeds into and prosperity in our society allows us to buy more expensive renewables as they see it aviation sector thinks it’s the exception important for growth cultural development around the world shipping industry essential for moving of goods and their world so there’s two sectors that shouldn’t be included and in fact our outside UNF Triple C have not submitted any I in DC’s and they’re almost no control for their co2 emissions but then there’s the climate scientists who think they should carry on because hey we’re doing really good things as the environmentalist I think they’re doing really good things as a business leaders think they could do good things the politicians have to fly around the world because they’re doing really good things where is this person that’s gonna compensate everyone else’s emissions yeah I would joke that it’s a small pet shopping problem there’s an accomplice eight for the rest of the world is think they’re so important they are allowed they should be allowed more emissions than anyone else so I think they’ve been very careful about this particular ruse that we use to justify our anyway so cognitive dissonance issue we know deep down that’s not what we should be doing that’s quite hard to deal with psychologically so we make it make out this point that we are that particularly important people I don’t think I’m that important that I should be flying around the world to try to solve climate problems so you and you’ve done that know you also take a very negative stance to carbon offsetting can you explain why yes I can’t why can’t I pay for my flight by planting trees somewhere else indulgences so you don’t think the science behind it is quite a number reason Bill Gates offsets and I’m not completely opposed to to them a bit I think the way they’re seen it here I certainly am and so say you plant trees all right so you fly somewhere you fly – yeah in New York to Paris to come to this company and in doing that you plant a few trees your flight is guaranteed to emitted carbon oxides because you were on the plane you’ve also sent a very

clear market signal that says please buy some more planes and build more airports and those cannot be made Lokar in the future and you gotta compensate for that by planting a few trees which you hope of set the co2 up over some period in the future but that’s of course that peer in the future how did you know those things happened how’d you know they were not only a movement in pests that mean those trees get killed by the changing climate bring around new pests that’s happening the you a lot that’s a lot lots of reasons lots of cheesing dying in the UK now and because of a lot thinks as a climate change but because of changes in their natural environment one way or another um how did you know that that in 20 years from now because of me some sort of problem with fuel in one part of the world where the cheese be implanted they get chopped down and converted into you know just fuel for people to use so it’s the uncertainty of about yeah but the uncertainty is there so but it’s more than just the uncertainty because what you have done is it put the co2 in the atmosphere and sent a market signal to expand that particular high carbon form of energy and what you’re done to try and compensate that is plant a very uncertain tree somewhere else so they’re not comparable that tundra in the tree which is very uncertain it’s not the same as the tonne you’ve guaranteed to admit it that all the tonne of co2 almost guaranteed of embedded in the in the expansion of the industry that you have supported the other problem is that people say well can we not just pay for a wind turbine or solar panel elsewhere I’m all for us doing that but not as an offset so imagine that we fly somewhere and we buy some solar panels for an Indian community village somewhere wherever it might be some poor village that didn’t have power before great they’ve got solar power I’m all for that they can access light they can do extra reading they can have a television or a radio they have a television or radio there now get advertising on television radios yeah now that that’s there the advertisement could be by a small petrol scooter so you can travel between the markets maybe you can get a small truck to move your goods from one market to another great that’s good for development not really opposed to that necessarily but that now means that they’re now driving the scooter mile using the ox or if it was their doing before and your emissions are sending the atmosphere from your flight so what you’ve done over a longer period of time is a lot to help the other part of the world improve their development and therefore increase the amount of co2 emissions in the short to medium term that’s not an offset you’ve probably increased the amount of co2 emissions so it’s actually worse than doing nothing from a co2 perspective but that doesn’t mean that I’m saying those people should not have a solar panel I think we should not fly and we should pay for the solar panel that’s yeah that’s reparation we are stopping them from developing the way that we developed because we think the carbon dioxide emissions will be too high but their moment what we’re saying we want to carry on doing what we’ve done as well as benefiting from the fossil fuels in the past when they came on flying and everything else I mean I pay the poor people elsewhere in the world to compensate for them I think that at every level scientifically mathematically and morally it is reprehensible to be doing there so you’d say it’s worse than doing nothing oh it’s my view is much worse than doing nothing here yeah at lots of levels and they’re not just the scientific the scientific way mathematical way in terms of carbon dioxide emissions but also the mobile framing that that is an appropriate thing to do you mentioned that you worked in the oil patch yes I mean I’m I left school at 16 and worked didn’t it apprenticeship was an engineer in the Merchant Navy working on tankers and gas carriers and container ships and then later on I did the engineering degree and then I went to work in the oil industry basically basically is a design engineer designing offshore platforms and then in the what’s called the hook up in commissioning the construction of the platform offshore and then partly in the operation of the old platforms as well that’s my sort of engineering history um but I was always interested in energy and environmental issues right from being a child then next door to a nuclear power station where my dad used to work as a fitter so you to work on the reactor and I think I was interesting those issues right back in the nineteen seventies when people wouldn’t thing about climate change then but we think about alternative energy it used to be called so we think about how we could go move away to alternative energy sources so it’s a long history all my life I’ve had interests in energy and really sit thanks to my dad and some reason had any environmental issues and I don’t know where that quite came from but that persisted whether I was working on the ships or whether were working all because I was always involved in trying to make sure they did things as cleanly as possible so he didn’t release CFCs which we’re a big issue when I was on the oil platform trying to say how can I restore the CFCs and putting back in the system and we’re doing maintenance work so I was always gonna look at it like that and then I start thought its climate changes you came along this looks really serious trying to understand the science I need to go back to university and find out more and I’ve been working on it ever since wait you’re was that 1990s really early on when it was yes yeah it was the very early days of sort of climate change being seen as a big I mean obviously people had worked on it before its time but it was becoming a vogue issue I was trying to read quite a lot about it I thought I don’t know that much about climate change I need to find out more I didn’t much reading reading as I reasoned he could that was available in 1990 and but no I need to go back to university and find out a bit more detail and so that’s what I did and I’ve been working on it ever since and was er it was there like an article or something that you remember interacting with that really got you thinking or concerned about it no I don’t think it was and I see I think my life is ever really run like that there’s been one thing that’s triggered occasionally maybe but generally hasn’t worked like that it’s a sense of something sorry you know you read bits and pieces and you think about it bit more I always think that thinking is very important I was I got good students yeah don’t the first thing is not to read the first things to think so I was thinking about a lot of issues then I’m trying to read about it and I came to

judgment that this is likely to be an important issue and the study that I did at university went back again look to me this was a very very important issue oh you suit you certainly made the right bet on that one yeah well unfortunately yeah yes yes unfortunately I genuinely wish the skeptics who right I think I wish the skeptics right much more than them I I would I would very happy pack up my job and go back to doing something else I would much rather do I really miss my engineering I really enjoyed doing it I feel now I’ve developed a sufficient expertise in this area that I feel I’ve sort of Bligh’s to sit stick with this area I don’t want to be doing this I don’t want to being caught I don’t enjoy working on climate change particularly I have some good colleagues but it’s not it’s not the sort of terrain that I feel particularly happy with but I think it’s a very very important subject and I’m lucky enough to have a set of expertise that has a role to play in it so I feel somewhat moral obligation to work within this area in it but that’s the way it is I still can self I’m a lucky Westerner living a very comfortable life so I can’t complain you mentioned how important it is that we peek you know basically as soon as possible to have even a chance I just read an article in the BBC yesterday using research from East Anglia that said that we might have peaked this year or there might it might be down so have you had a chance to look at that and what do you have in fact that was the side event we rented a was with with the global carbon project my colleague Cohen LeClair works with Tyndall centre and the global carbon project she was involved in that she did the press releases and so forth yesterday and we talked with Glenn Peterson from Cicero in Norway and who’s a heavily involved in that project so that sounds like great news right oh it’s a excellent news it was really good news and let’s hope it lasts but when you then ask the same people who are the you know the detailed analysts who understand it yes coin or us Glenn whether this looks like a change in that in in the trend or at least it does look like a real peak they don’t think this is a peak admissions they think it is a for various sets of quite detailed reasons but significant related to coal use in China and so forth and also weather and hydro generation in China milk Thomas is bought the emissions growth that we’ve been seeing it was typically has been about two to three percent per annum during this since the millennia really and it’s brought it down to pretty much flat line for the last couple of years but it’s only about two years with the date at the moment so that’s partly because of economics yeah the even like economic slowdown in China is partly because and they’ve had a very large amount of rainfall which helped them with hydropower but the same time they built some more hydropower as well and they’re also closes with a coal-fired power stations down so you put all that together and it’s because China’s such a large part of the global emission profile then emissions have slowed down you then say well do they think that’s gonna be long-term they think the conditions that they brought that about will not persist for a long period of time though it’s still I think it’s fair to say they also say it’s unlikely to go back up to the sort of a 2% per annum growth rate but it’s time to get back up to the sort of 1% or maybe a bit more then they say that couldn’t get a clear eyes again by tell me back to the 2020s if say India became the renew relation wants the new China so it’s trying to move towards a service economy the rest of the world as well where who’s the making the manufactured goods for us now maybe it’s going to be India or Indonesia or somewhere else so at the moment they’re very hesitant to suggest this is anything other than a small dip but are very yeah are very welcomed it and let’s hope it let’s hope it is it the peak in emissions let’s hope it is a new trend but I think we have to be very careful about taking 2 years with the data except relating it and if we could if we can have this as the peak if we could bring our missions down very rapidly that make things a little bit easier but still with however you play it out it’s still gonna be a very a very hard ride for a similar to do we see well enough I’d be curious what gives you hope and resilience going forward given all the kind of giving us a lot of bad news today Kevin so so you’re still working very hard on this issue obviously you’re not giving up so what gives you resilience going forward well it’s more of a moral framework really I’m not the science is sufficiently uncertain around exactly what you know what budget hits what temperature we know when the reasonable realm but we must not overplay the the exact precision we have in the science so there’s a little bit of flexibility in the science not a lot I mean the science is all well understood and as far light sounds completely right when we have it we will understand climate change we very clearly know why the missions ago why carbon emissions are going up in the atmosphere we know from what sources they’re going up and we know that it relates to temperature all that stuff we know but exactly what the temperature rise will be for the for these exact America come dr. missions there’s some some uncertainty there so that helps us and we also have an opportunity to make the big political changes that would be necessary so these are these are all very small yeah the door was slightly open on the science the door slightly open on the politics and there’s not much hope of us pushing hard against any of these but if we did push really highly might push them quite a lot further open and we could perhaps then move to a different place you know a different paradigm a different way of thinking of these issues and that’s what my where my hope is really is that whilst that thin thread of hope remains and it’s very thin as a betting person the chances are that we’re going to fail but whilst it remains it’s incumbent on people like me to do my damnedest to try and make sure we bring about those sorts of changes and necessary changes we are already too late for 1/2 degrees C and a lot people are talking about it here and I think I’m pleased that they are talking about it and I’ve had discuss with my colleagues about where that’s a

bit of a bad thing but I think politically I think it’s important that they’re pushing hard for a lower temperature and I don’t think you can scientifically achieve that now I think it’s beyond yeah I come by just have been blown for 1.5 degrees C as far as I can tell and that means that we aiming at 2 degree C and that means a lot of people who ever there nothing to do with the problem will be will suffer the repercussions of our profit use of carbon and knowing profligate use of carbon so we have effectively in the West all the wealthy partly world anyway we’ve been like a meteorite that hit the planet knowingly with a conscience so or without a conscience maybe we’ve known only hit the meat like but without a conscience by the way of seeing it and I think that’s wrong I find that morally you know there’s not not appropriate you do that and if I have some ability to try to change that little bit then that’s what I try and do but it isn’t one of false hope I don’t think we’re going to succeed but I don’t know we’re going to fail and that thin thread that the difference between thinking and knowing is what keeps me working on climate change was that what you mean when I started talking you said that it comes from dealing with just how bad things are that we all get any hope if there is any to get well that was saying then that was the thing as I recall that was saying that until we recognized how bad things really are until do we recognize the situation we’re in now so it’s a bare assessment at the scale of the challenge we face a lot of people say I take away all that all this hope not anybody hope in my view what I’m doing is trying to offer real hope you have to say where are we today exactly precisely bluntly we need to understand the challenges we face and then we can say well what can we do about it the moment we’re not even prepared to accept where we are today we pretend we’re somewhere else already so you know in Paris we should recognize that we say we need 20 minutes or 20 seconds with it’s the bow our heads in shame we’ve had a quarter of a century of doing nothing about climate change so although greatly good turning up here and people academics as well their suits not tweed jackets let’s just us remember that we have fundamentally failed but poornam published around the globe we will have was our failure would have resulted in that many many deaths and certainly very many impoverished lives of poor people elsewhere who had nothing to do with climate change in terms of causing it and I have to suffer the repercussions of our failure and I do think a little bit of a little bit of humility a little bit of holding our heads in shame and then standing upright put our shoulders back and saying right let’s what do we need to do is what is that’s how we should start but we’re not prepared to do that yet we’re not prepared to acknowledge where we are and what we’ve done and that’s my point about you know hope only useful hope only emerges if we’re honest amount of situation we face today and we’re not ready to do that yet and that’s point people who’ve been listening you know obviously you’re saying we need to all reduce our emissions once people have done done that I mean what else what else would we say people need to do things first I’m not saying we all have to reduce our emissions I’m saying that those are self responsible for the lion’s share of emissions have to reduce our emissions yeah that’s that’s certainly not everyone probably yeah most most of our listeners well maybe yes okay the audience but it may well be motional essence well it’s not only reducing their emissions it’s about reducing their emissions and arguing with their friends their colleagues write to their politicians it is making the case way beyond just what they do themselves but actually if you don’t do it yourself and I agree elsewhere and you lose credibility so I think you have to demonstrate your action yourself and make the case elsewhere and the other thing of course is that we also have to argue for a rapid shift away from fossil fuels fossil fuels I mean they’re very blunt message from is fossil fuels have to stay in the ground 80 to 90 percent of all the common reserves need to stay in the ground if we’re serious of two degrees C so we have to be arguing for that so the point I made earlier today countries like Norway the UK and some of us made the point about Australia these are countries with huge renewable energy of opportunities wealthy populations and very well-educated they should be producing no fossil fuels so the oil and gas in the UK should stay in the ground no more shale gas in the UK on developing shale gas the Norwegians should close down the North Sea oil industry and they met change stop producing coal we all know that it’s fossil fuel use that affects climate change not the matter how many renewable you’ve got if you still burn the fossil fuels then that’s no good so if rich countries like ours aren’t paid to do that then we have no hope so that’s that’s the sort of scale of change that we need and it’s incumbent on your listeners I would argue that I think climate change is important to not only make the changes themselves about how they use energy but to be pushing really hard for their governments to move away from a fossil fuel based economy well Kevin Anderson thanks so much for joining us as well pleasure okay that was my conversation with Kevin Anderson professor of energy and climate change at the University of Manchester and the co-director of the Tyndall centre the UK’s leading climate change research organization and that’s all for the elephant’ this time the elephant is put together by myself campaigners along with Matias guts and Christina Peters and it’s made with support from the climate kick that’s kic Alumni Association is a community of entrepreneurs and young professionals working on creating a climate resilient society you can find out more at cka a EU you can find us on facebook and twitter our handle is at elephant podcast and were online at elephant podcast org I’m Kevin canners see you soon