Sheffield delegation joins sustainability leaders in Marrakech UN Climate Change Conference COP22

In November, leading academics from the University of Sheffield joined world leaders in Marrakech for the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP22). The meeting followed last year’s conference in Paris and focused on agreeing action in order to achieve the historic global deal to prevent global temperatures rising more than 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

Projections show that by 2050 the global demand for food and energy will double, and the need for clean water will increase by more than 50 percent. The challenge to meet these demands is made more difficult due to a changing climate and a global population that is expected to reach 10 billion.

Researchers from the University’s Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures and Energy 2050 institute hosted and participated in discussions to share their expertise on food security and sustainable energy with leaders and delegates from across the world at the event.

Energy 2050 is one of the UK’s largest energy research institutes, bringing together research into energy across all disciplines. It aims to go beyond traditional research boundaries by delivering innovations to the energy industry, focused on competitiveness and the de-risking of large scale investment in new technologies both in the UK and internationally.

Matthew Billson, Programme Director of Energy 2050, said:

“The energy research taking place at the University of Sheffield is world-leading. We are pleased to have the opportunity to share our knowledge on issues including alternative aviation fuels and how to re-use carbon dioxide at the conference. Energy innovation is essential to tackle our climate challenges.”

“As the Paris Agreement is ratified by more and more countries, it is important that we turn policy into action.

“The University of Sheffield's Energy 2050 institute plays an important role in discovering ways to deliver secure and clean energy for the world. It was therefore important to share our knowledge and expertise at COP22 in Marrakech. ”

The Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures brings together a powerful collection of interdependent, multidisciplinary teams. Their research is breaking new ground in finding solutions to the grand challenges of climate change, food and energy security, water scarcity and environmental resilience.

The centre was launched after the University was awarded £2.6 million by alumnus Jeremy Grantham – a world-renowned investment manager and co-founder, with his wife Hanne, of the Grantham Foundation.

It is not only a pioneering research centre providing real life solutions to urgent issues facing today’s society - but through its innovative PhD programme it is also building a global community of sustainability leaders of tomorrow.

Professor Tony Ryan, Director of the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures, said:

“COP22 gave us the opportunity to showcase our important research to leading figures in the world and raise awareness of the problem of food security.

“At Sheffield we are optimistic about the development of a sustainable future. We relish challenges because they provide us with the opportunities to discover solutions.

“As a centre of multidisciplinary expertise, it is important for our PhD scholars to develop their knowledge of policy and understand world issues. That’s why it was fantastic that our scholars had the opportunity to attend and even present at events.”

You can read more about the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures or Energy 2050 via their websites.

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