Lecture 1

Living Within a Carbon Budget

This lecture took place on Monday 30th April 2007, 7.30pm, at the Council House, Market Square, Nottingham. The speakers were:

Dr Alice Bows

Researcher at the Tyndall Institute for Climate Change Research based at the University of Manchester and an expert in climate, energy and transport (particularly aviation)

Jonathan Harris

Assistant Regional Director of Public Health and Head of Regional Partnerships at the Directorate of Public Health - East Midlands

Chair - Michael Frater

Chief Executive, Nottingham City Council

The event was organised by Health in Your Environment with the support of Climate Action Network Nottinghamshire, Nottingham City Council and Greater Nottingham Health and Environment Partnership.


“The UK has reached a ‘tipping point’! If the Government’s carbon dioxide targets are to actually have meaning, the Government must act now to curb dramatically the nation’s carbon dioxide emissions. The message from this research is stark... It is an act of either negligence or irresponsibility for policy makers continually to refer to a 2050 target... The real challenge is in making the radical shift to a low carbon pathway by 2010 - 2012.”
(Tyndall Institute report for Friends of the Earth and Co-operative Bank.)



Many thanks to the high proportion of attenders who took time to give us feedback on this first event, on forms at the lecture and via the website. The overall response was very positive. Here are some of the main points that came out. All the points have been fed in to planning of future events.

What did you like best? Alice Bows' presentation was praised for getting important and interesting points across in a clear way. The question-and-answer part of the programme was felt to give plenty of opportunity for discussion, and the quality of that discussion was appreciated. A number of people noted that the venue was pleasant and welcoming.

What didn't you like? How could it be improved? This was more diverse - including a few people who said "Nothing", which is encouraging! Some comments were about the logistics - start and end times, heating, lighting, etc. A few people were interested in relating content more to business.

Has this event changed your views? Responses indicated that most people who came were already convinced that climate change is a serious problem that needs addressing., and the event confirmed that view. A lot of people said it added to their knowledge about the complexity and urgency of the issues.

Has it changed the way you will act in the future? Most people said that they were already acting to limit the impacts of their own lives, but that the event had confirmed and strengthened their desire to do so. Some felt that it would be hard for them to do more as individuals. Some said they would do more to spread the message to others.

Any other comments. Many respondents took the opportunity to compliment the event and thank the organisers - which is much appreciated! Another main strand was about the risk of "preaching to the converted" and the need to promote the events and their conclusions as widely as possible. A few people raised specific topics, like the risk of vilifying air travellers; the importance of education; potential impacts of the 2012 Olympics; and the strains of rising population.



You can listen to the speakers being interviewed by our reporter Catherine Adams.

Here are the speakers' presentations.

  • Michael Frater welcomes the audience and says a bit about Nottingham City Council's work on climate change (07:42, 5.3MB mp3).
  • Brian Davey (BTB project coordinator) sets the event in context (04:53, 3.4MB mp3).
  • Alice Bows' talk (27:40, 19.0MB mp3).
  • Jonathan Harris' talk (19:28, 13.3MB mp3).

Audience questions:




Dr Alice Bows' presentation (1.1MB PDF).

Jonathan Harris' presentation (36kb PDF).



The Tyndall Institute report is available in PDF as a summary version (4 pages, 1.4MB) and full version (175 pages, 0.8MB).

The outline letter to your MP for the current consultation on the Climate Change Bill can be downloaded as a Word .doc (110kb) or PDF (121kb).

CANN (Climate Action Network Nottinghamshire) compiled 50 top tips (156kb PDF) for reducing your own greenhouse gas emissions.



The NHS Carbon Management Programme
aims "to embed carbon management among key stakeholders and ensure feasible energy saving opportunities are considered wherever possible".

Energy page at the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency.




You can discuss the issues raised in this lecture, and other aspects of climate change, through our Yahoo email group.

You can tell us what you thought of this lecture though the feedback form






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