Can we expect success at climate talks?

16 September 2015

Upcoming climate talks must "set the tone for the future", renowned scientist Professor Tim Flannery will argue in a forum next week.

COP21, also known as the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, will take place in the French capital in November.

As world leaders prepare for the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations this December, the former Australian of the Year and Chair of the Climate Council will share his views on the chances of success in Paris and the risks of another failure to reach an effective international agreement.

"We need commitments to strong emissions reductions, shorter review periods, and some consideration given to research and development of 'Third Way' technologies," Professor Flannery said.

Professor Flannery will also draw on his recently published book, Atmosphere of Hope, to explain some new 'third way' measures governments could further develop to reduce the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. 

"The 'Third Way', as I've come to think of it, is a very new concept encompassing proposals and experiments that shed light on how Earth's system might be used to draw CO2 out of the air and sea at a faster rate than occurs presently, and to store it safely," he said. 

The 'third way' is about creating our future out of thin air
Professor Tim Flannery

Professor Flannery joins an expert panel at the event including Professor Robyn Eckersley from the University of Melbourne, a specialist in international environmental agreements; Nikola Casule from Greenpeace; and Emma Herd, CEO of the Investor Group on Climate Change, an investor collaboration focussed on the impact that climate change has on the financial value of investments.

The evening will be tightly chaired by Adjunct Professor Nick Rowley, a former adviser to British Prime Minister Tony Blair on climate change and sustainability, now based at the Sydney Democracy Network at the University of Sydney.

The COP 21 Paris talks come at a time when the need for an effective agreement to halt global warming is paramount, according to Adjunct Professor Rowley.

"Like the internet, climate change is here and getting bigger and more potent every day," he said. 

"A global agreement on how to reduce emissions at scale could be achieved in Paris at the end of this year. The aim of this open forum is to consider with a group of eminent practitioners how either failure, success or somewhere in between, might affect policy, investment, and the politics of climate change."

The event is jointly hosted by the Sydney Democracy Network and the Sydney Environment Institute at the University of Sydney.

Event details

What: A Global Climate Deal in 2015: What are the chances? What are the implications?
When: Wednesday 23 September, 6.00pm to 7.30pm
Where: Charles Perkins Centre Auditorium, Johns Hopkins Drive, The University of Sydney
Cost: Free, online booking required. Book online.

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