Image of =""

Beyond target-setting: Prof Peter Williamson co-chairs workshop on the practicalities of tackling climate change

On 29 September, Lord Adair Turner (Chair of the Energy Transition Commission) and Jesus College Fellow Professor Peter Williamson led a Global Issues Dialogue Centre workshop considering how to achieve large-scale reductions in emissions in the real world.

Delegates attending ‘Acting on Climate Change: Technology and Financing Options’ included academics, policy makers, and representatives of think tanks and businesses from the UK, Europe, North America, and Asia.

The workshop focused on how methods and approaches such as green hydrogen, advanced battery technology, synthetic biology, financing, and carbon markets could be practically employed as ways to tackle climate change.

It concluded that there is a strong need for scientists and engineers to focus on how to remove the bottlenecks that stand in the way of scaling up promising new technologies such as green hydrogen, advanced battery technologies, and synthetic biology where the potential has been proven.

The workshop also noted that generating reliable data, greater transparency, and global agreement on definitions of measures of climate impact are now critical to enable the development of deep and efficient mechanisms for financing action on climate change.

It flagged the need to move beyond piecemeal, local, or national carbon market initiatives to develop more global markets for pricing carbon emissions, to create the right commercial signals to businesses to reduce their carbon impact. The delegates discussed that these signals should be targeted at specific industries, rather than a ‘one-size fits all’ approach.

Professor Williamson said: “I was delighted that we were able to use the convening power and expertise within Jesus College and the University of Cambridge to take an important first step to moving beyond target setting and begin to define the practical role new technologies, financing mechanisms, and carbon markets can play in actually achieving large-scale reductions in emissions.”

The full workshop report will follow soon.

The Global Issues Dialogue Centre is part of Jesus College, which in 2021 unveiled bold new plans to tackle climate change. The College’s Master and Bursar both took part in the workshop.

Climate Change Dialogue participants list.pdf