Energy and climate policy: The science of necessity or the art of the possible

6:00 PM - 7:30 PM, 21 February 2019
Energy Futures Lab , Sir Alexander Fleming Building G16, Imperial College London, United Kingdom

For this year's Dennis Anderson Lecture, Imperial College London's flagship energy policy lecture, Energy Futures Lab are delighted to host Professor Jim Skea, the Co-chair of Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.


Aspirations to achieve a "balance between sources and sinks of greenhouse gases" - net zero in other words - have now been expressed at the global, European and UK levels. IPCC's 2018 report on Global Warming of 1.5°C sets out unambiguously why 2°C warming is a worse outcome than 1.5°C in terms of climate impacts. The need for deep cuts in emissions, reaching “net zero” by mid-century, follows directly from the science.

The report also warns of the “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented” changes required to achieve these emission pathways. Policymakers have embraced “net zero” as a necessary aim. But there is little sign of measures that will induce “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented” changes.

The lecture will address this cognitive dissonance in the policy space, exploring the nature of the changes needed to achieve low emission pathways, the obvious next steps required to move in the desired direction, and some lessons for science-policy communication.


Professor Jim Skea is currently the Co-chair of Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Working Group III covers the mitigation of climate change.

Jim has research interests in energy, climate change and technological innovation. He has been a Professor of Sustainable Energy at Imperial College since 2009, and was RCUK Energy Strategy Fellow from 2012-2017. He was Research Director of the UK Energy Research Centre 2004-12, Director of the Policy Studies Institute 1998-2004, and President of the UK Energy Institute 2015-2017.

Jim has operated at the interface between research, policy-making and business throughout his career. He is also a member of the UK Committee on Climate Change and Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group III for the 6th assessment cycle. He was awarded a CBE for services to sustainable energy in 2013 and an OBE for services to sustainable transport in 2004.


The lecture is being held in Room G16 in the Sir Alexander Fleming building, on Imperial College London's South Kensington campus. It is building number 33 on the campus map.

The easiest way to find the venue is by entering the College from Exhibition Road on to Imperial College Road (by building 38) it is the large glass fronted building across from the Queen's Tower. The room is on the left at the top of the flight of stairs in front of you as you enter the building.


The event is free. You can register here.