Climate change versus sustainability (the morality of disaster relief)

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Date(s) - 27/01/2014
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Aston University


Event Details

Inaugural Lecture by Keith Clarke,  Visiting Professor of Sustainability, Royal Academy of Engineering

Venue: Room 644, Main Building, Aston University

Time: 6.00pm start with tea and coffee from 5:30pm. A buffet will follow the lecture.

Al Gore famously described climate change as “An Inconvenient Truth” hence his groundbreaking lecture and film. Climate science has progressed enormously with the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report clearly and unequivocally stating the order of magnitude of climate change scenarios. It is not simply as Gore put it, inconvenient that this is true and scientifically established but the structure and nature of climate change is not capable of being addressed by the current organisational structures either within academia, business or Government.  Given it is unlikely for there to be either a single silver bullet that will decarbonise our society, nor a worldwide uniform revolution that will put in place a single political system dedicated to decarbonising in the time frame required, what are the structural implications for our society going forward to attempt to mitigate and adapt to climate change.  Unlike any other environmental issue to date, both the magnitude, complexity and time constraints are manifestly different.

This Inaugural Lecture will attempt to set out the structural landscape, exploring climate change and its ramifications for young professionals.

About Keith Clarke

Keith Clarke trained as an architect in Brighton with a Masters degree in Urban Planning from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and worked for the New York City Government in economic development. Keith returned to the UK to work for Olympia & York on Canary Wharf and then moved to Trafalgar House and ultimately Skanska, where he ran a global construction business. Keith joined WS Atkins, the UK’s largest design and engineering consultancy, as Chief Executive in 2003, retiring in August 2011. He is now Chair of the Trustees for Forum For The Future and an advisor to both the UK Treasury and the Government of Qatar as well as Visiting Professor in Sustainability at Aston University.

To book a seat, register at
For further information please contact Emma Sutton on 0121 204 4542 or email

The lectures are open to the general public and there is no entry charge.