The Radical Emission Reduction Conference: 10-11 December 2013

Recordings of all sessions at the Radical Emissions Reduction conference are now available on the Tyndall Centre website

This conference intends to provide an evidence-base for developing radical-mitigation strategies.

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speaker programme
speaker abstracts

10th - 11th December 2013,

Royal Society, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AG.

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Conference programme

download speaker programme as a pdf
download speaker abstracts as a pdf

DAY ONE, 10 December 2013

09.30-10.15 The rationale and framing for the conference

  • Professor Kevin Anderson, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Manchester, ‘’ Avoiding dangerous climate change’, Why we need radical reductions in emissions’.
  • Professor Corinne Le Quere, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of East Anglia 'The scientific case for radical emissions reductions'.

10.15-10.45 Break

10.45-11.35 Framing and barriers to radical mitigation

  • Professor Fred Steward, Policy Studies Institute, University of Westminster, ‘‘Radical Efficiency’ through city led system innovation for sociotechnical transitions’.
  • Professor Clive Spash, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business, Institute for the Environment and Regional Development, ‘Myths in the political economy of radical greenhouse gas emissions reductions’. 
  • Professor John Wiseman, Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, University of Melbourne, ‘Winning the climate war: removing political roadblocks to radical emissions reductions’, via weblink.

11.35-12.25 Understanding the policy context

  • Professor John Barrett, University of Leeds, ‘The UK emergency carbon plan’.
  • Andrew Simms, NEF/Global Witness, ‘A Green New Deal: historical precedent and current potential for rapid economic adjustment’.
  • Laurence Delina and Mark Diesendorf, Institute of Environmental Studies, University of New South Wales, ‘Is wartime mobilisation a suitable policy model for rapid national climate mitigation?’, via weblink.

12.25-1.15 Lunch

1.15-2.00 Keynote address: Naomi Klein via weblink

2.00-2.50 Policy options for radical mitigation

  • Dr. Tina Fawcett, Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford, ‘Personal carbon trading in a radical future’.
  • Prof. Dr. Jaap Spier, Supreme Court of the Netherlands, ‘Legal strategies’.
  • Professor Steffen Böhm, Essex Sustainability Institute, University of Essex, ‘Governance failure: why carbon markets will not bring about radical emissions reductions’, via weblink.

2.50-3.20 Break

3.20-4.10 Behaviours and political and social norms

  • Dr. Christopher Shaw, Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex, ‘Generating public support for radical emissions reductions through a radical reframing of climate risks’.
  • Nicole des Bouvrie, European Graduate School, ‘Responsibility for radical change in emission of greenhouse gases’.
  • Professor Diana Liverman, University of Arizona, ‘The potential for radical emission reductions in the American West’, via weblink.

4.10-5.00 Behaviours and engaging publics

  • Mike Berners-Lee, Lancaster University, ‘Psychology of human acceptance and engagement’.
  • Stuart Capstick, Cardiff University, ‘Social science prospects for radical change’.
  • Provost Professor Richard Wilk, Indiana University, ‘The Power of Shame: using social pressure to reduce consumption’, via weblink.

5.00-7.00 Posters and reception

DAY TWO, 11 December 2013

9.00-10.05 Governance for radical mitigation

  • Rebecca Willis, Green Alliance, ‘The ‘penny-drop moment’: Building political leadership for radical emission reduction’
  • Dr. Jane Hindley and Professor Ted Benton, Essex Sustainability Institute, University of Essex, ‘What would Churchill say?  Political leadership, collective action and the framing of radical emissions reduction strategies’.
  • Dr. Francois Fortier, United Nations Office for Sustainable Development (UNOSD), ‘Political Economy: the missing knowledge of sustainability transitions’, via weblink.
  • Professor John Wiseman, Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, University of Melbourne, ‘Out of the shadows: Moving climate decision makers from private concern to public action’, via weblink.

10.05-11.10 Delivering radical mitigation 1

  1. Charlie Baker, URBED, ‘Starting the process of change in the home, to change the world’
  2. Dr. Brenda Boardman, Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford, ‘Low energy lights will keep the lights on’.
  3. Dan Staniaszek, Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE), ‘Required policy landscape to deliver radical emission reduction in the buildings sector’, via weblink.
  4. Trent Hawkins, Beyond Zero Emissions Inc., ‘Zero Carbon Australia (ZCA) buildings plan’, via weblink.

11.10-11.40 Break

11.40-12.30 Delivering radical mitigation 2

  1. Dr. Dan Calverley, Tyndall Manchester ‘Choice-editing the car market: radical reductions without reinventing the wheel’
  2. Dr. Alice Bows-Larkin, Tyndall Manchester, ‘Shipping visions on the horizon’.
  3. Neil McCabe, Green Plan Manager, Dublin Fire Brigade Training Centre, ‘Case study: Kilbarrack Fire Station’.

12.30-1.35 Mobilising action amongst non-government actors

  1. Larry Lohmann, The Corner House, ‘Identifying often-overlooked alliances for change’.
  2. Ruth Mayne and Jo Hamilton, Environmental Change Institute, The University of Oxford, ‘Scaling up local action’.
  3. Dr. Milena Buchs, University of Southampton, ‘Can third sector organisations promote radical behaviour change?  A review of Carbon Conversations’.
  4. Miriam Lyons, Centre for Policy Development, ‘The political economy of climate change advocacy’, via weblink.

1.35-2.35 Lunch

2.35-3.05 Lifestyles and emissions

  1. Dr. Angela Druckman, University of Surrey, ‘Low carbon fun: lifestyles in a low emissions society’.
  2. William Lamb, Tyndall Manchester, ‘Transitions in pathways of human development and carbon emissions’

3.05-3.55 Pathways for radical mitigation

  1. Simon Bullock, Friends of the Earth, ‘Utilising the DECC 2050 energy pathway to model radical emissions reductions, and the ‘political’ limitations of the model’.
  2. Professor Terry Barker, UEA and University of Cambridge, ‘Demand-side regulation in the policy mix to achieve radical GHG reductions: modelling global decarbonisation with E3MG’..
  3. Alice Hooker-Stroud, Centre for Alternative Technology, ‘Zero Carbon Britain (Energy)’

3.55-5.00 Closing session


The Climate Change Context

With large-scale impacts of climate change becoming discernable from the background of natural variability, so concern is rising over the global community’s failure to control emissions. The International Energy Agency (IEA) captures this pivotal moment in history, when noting that "The current state of affairs is unacceptable … energy-related CO2 emissions are at historic highs”[i] and emission trends are “perfectly in line with a temperature increase of 6 degrees Celsius, which would have devastating consequences for the planet”[ii]. In similar vein PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC)[iii], the UK Government chief scientist[iv] and a growing body of academics and researchers are allying current emission trends with 4°C to 6°C futures.

Why Radical Mitigation (i.e. emission reductions)?

Today, in 2013, we face an unavoidably radical future. We either continue with rising emissions and reap the radical repercussions of severe climate change, or we acknowledge that we have a choice and pursue radical emission reductions: No longer is there a non-radical option. Moreover, low-carbon supply technologies cannot deliver the necessary rate of emission reductions – they need to be complemented with rapid, deep and early reductions in energy consumption – the rationale for this conference.

Details of the Conference

While there is a wealth of research and experience in delivering incremental reductions in demand, there is little cogent analysis of non-marginal, step-change and systemic reductions – either from a research or from a practitioner perspective. This conference is intended to catalyse such a critical transition in the climate change agenda and provide an evidence-base for developing radical-mitigation strategies.

More specifically the two-day conference, hosted at the Royal Society (London), will consider how to deliver reductions in energy consumption of at least 8% per year (~60% across a decade). It will foster an up-beat and can-do mentality. Obstacles, barriers and hurdles need to be considered, as do practical attempts that have failed to deliver. But lessons need to be learned; translating failure into programmes of successful mitigation is paramount not just to the framing of this event, but more importantly in tackling the very real challenges of climate change.

Who should attend?

While the conference is academic in format – meaning that all presentations and discussions will be robust and open to critical scrutiny - the event itself welcomes contributors who are:

-Practitioners attempting to deliver major reductions in absolute energy consumption or emissions, whether from the public and commercial sectors or civil-society groups and different tiers of government.

-Decision makers within government and big business seeking to understand/facilitate radical mitigation.

-Academics and researchers from within and across disciplines, but addressing issues of radical change in energy demand specifically and profound transitions more generally.

Register Here

Submitted Abstracts

Abstract submissions are now closed.

Presentations will be scheduled for 10 minutes, and delivered in a full plenary session. There will be a respondee for each accepted paper and presentations are therefore required to be submitted by12th November 2013. 

Presentations from overseas via the internet are accepted and encouraged.

Poster presentations are also welcome. Posters should be a maximum of A0. The conference schedule will include specified time slots for poster authors to present their work. 

We will inform presenters whether their abstract has been accepted by 9th September 2013.

Presenters will need to register for the Radical Emission Reduction Conference. The cost is £250 for bookings before the end of September and will rise to £300 thereafter. This cost does not include accommodation.

The reduced registration rate for full-time students is £190. We hope to offer a limited number of bursaries where cost is a barrier to attendance. Upon acceptance of your abstract, please email if you wish to apply for a bursary.

[i] IEA’s Executive Director, Maria van der Hoeven, writing in the Guardian, 14/4/2012.

[ii]  IEA’s Chief Economist, Fatih Birol, as quoted by Michael Rose of Reuters, 24/5/2012.


[iv] Sir John Beddinton, speaking in a BBC interview, 25/3/2013.


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