Have your say about one of the most important issues facing our generation at a series of debates this autumn organised by the British Academy and Prospectby Nicholas Stern / August 24, 2015 / Leave a comment
The public will be invited to debate the momentous changes in the way we generate and use energy during a series of events this autumn organised by the British Academy and Prospect, in collaboration with the Royal Society.
Across the world, a growing realisation of the impact of energy systems on human health and the environment is shaping urgent discussions about how we can increase standards of living and tackle poverty, in the context of strong growth in the world economy, increasing population and intense urbanisation.
Increasing awareness of the risks posed by the burning of fossil fuels, particularly through climate change and local air pollution, is leading to an understanding of the need for a rapid transition to alternative sources of energy.
But concerns about managing radical change, including around who might win or lose from such a shift, and the practical challenges of abandoning the traditional consumption of oil, coal and gas, have made energy one of the most contentious areas of public policy in many countries.
While there has been much discussion of the scientific and technological advances that are driving the low-carbon transition in the global economy, there is a rising appreciation of the important role that the social sciences and humanities should play in analysing these concerns.
For this reason, the British Academy is teaming up with Prospect and the Royal Society to allow audiences in England, Wales and Scotland to listen to the experts and have their say about one of the most important issues facing our generation.
It all begins in London in September with an event that will explore the overall challenge of providing energy for a global population that is expected to rise from over 7bn today to 9bn by 2050.
During the next 35 years, the global economy will continue to undergo profound structural changes, as the majority of the output of goods and services transfers to what are currently described at developing or emerging market countries.
Over this period, most of the population growth will occur in cities. Urban populations will rise from about 3.5bn people now to around 6.5bn in 2050. How the cities are structured and function will largely determine how well the world meets the challenge of cleaner and more efficient production and consumption of energy.
Governments are beginning to recognise the true costs of the…