Development Programme – Climate Change Panel Discussion

You are cordially invited to the Thatcher Development Programme’s Foundation Day Panel Discussion on ‘Climate Change: Approaches and Innovations for the Future’ on Tuesday 27th February at 5:15 pm in the Flora Anderson Hall (FAH) at Somerville College.

Part I: The science and broader context of Climate Change will be discussed by

Prof Joanna Haigh: Joanna is the Co-Director of the Grantham Institute at Imperial College since 2014. She studies the influence of the Sun on the Earth’s climate. Energy emitted by the Sun — in the form of heat, light and ultraviolet radiation — warms the Earth and drives its climate. Using data from satellites and modelling the processes, Joanna is helping to untangle the warming effects of greenhouse gases from those of natural variations in solar energy. She has transformed the ability to predict the behaviour of the atmosphere and climate by integrating ideas from physics to produce computationally fast yet accurate models. Methods developed by Joanna are now used by researchers worldwide and incorporate the finest details of climate processes and solar influence.

Prof Philip Pool: Food, Population and Climate Change. The climate is changing and farmers across the world are facing new challenges – extreme weather conditions, increased prevalence of pests and diseases or diminishing agricultural land. Finding ways to boost yields in a sustainable way is vital. Plant science researchers are tackling some of these challenges in food security as we consider how to adapt the global food system in light of climate change. Philip’s research focusses on interactions between plant roots and microbes in the rhizosphere, particularly nitrogen fixation; availability of nitrogen limits the development of crops – food, feed, fibre and fuel. Unfortunately, many important crops, such as maize/corn, rice and wheat, cannot fix nitrogen and need nitrogenous fertilisers to sustain yields. Ways to equip these crops with nitrogen-fixing capabilities are being studied, ever more important as diets change globally, moving from a traditional plant-based diet (lower in greenhouse gas emissions) to intensive livestock production, which is a major contributor to emissions.

This will be followed by a Q & A session, including any questions you would like to pre-submit to get us going!

Part II: Short Presentations — Looking at innovations and solutions from different fields to achieve net carbon zero emissions

Isobel Hettrick, Thatcher Scholar: On the Economics and Cost Benefit Analysis of Carbon Neutrality
Emma Eatough, Somerville student: On the Impact of the Stern Review – Biodiversity and Ecosystem Protection
Gideon Laux, Somerville student: On their Innovation Project, an Off-Grid Energy Access for India’s Poorest
Gabriella D’Cruz, Indira Gandhi Scholar: On the Implications in Oceans, Corals and Artificial Reefs and Citizen Science Involvement

The Panel Discussion on Climate Change will end with a final round of Q&As. This will be followed by a networking reception before the Foundation Dinner.

Please RSVP by Monday 26th February to with your affiliation and any questions you may have for the speakers.

Climate Change: Approaches and Innovations for the Future
Date: Tuesday 27th February
Time: 5:15 – 6:45 pm
Location: Flora Anderson Hall (FAH) at Somerville College.

We look forward to seeing you there!