Conference looks at most effective ways to tackle the climate emergency

The climate emergency and how it can be tackled will be the subject of a two-day online conference hosted by the University of Plymouth.

Sustainable Earth 2021 will feature a range of presentations and interactive sessions about the many and varied ways the human population is having an impact on the planet.

It will also look at how individuals, enterprise, community and other groups can play a significant role in inspiring climate innovation and action both now and in the future.

The free to attend conference is being hosted by the University’s Sustainable Earth Institute, and will take place online, across Thursday 24 and Friday 25 June.

More than 800 people have already registered to attend and they will hear five keynote presentations covering the latest research and response to the climate emergency from academia, not-for-profit organisations, business and industry:

  • From wilful delusion to action on climate change: a fair response to Paris: Professor Kevin Anderson, University of Manchester;
  • A designer’s response to the climate emergency – the power of creativity: Sophie Thomas, Thomas Matthews Communication Design;
  • Why we need to consider systems change?: Anna Birney, Forum for the Future;
  • Why business must win the race to net zero carbon: John Elkington, Volans;
  • It’s the end of the world as we know it: NOT the end of the world: Dr Matt Winning, Climate Economist (and Stand-up Comedian), University College London.

Over 20 guest speakers – including world-leading researchers from the University of Plymouth – will also share the latest insights, research and developments across the forum’s key themes, which include the built environment, mobility and transport, energy, food and diet, economy and resources, behaviour change, arts and climate, carbon offsetting, and policy.

The online forum will include action-oriented workshops providing case studies and sector findings, plus the tools and strategies to take action at all levels.

Over 40 marketplace sessions will showcase research, action and initiatives, hosted by researchers, businesses, social enterprises, community groups and individuals.

There will also be a screening of the new climate documentary 8 Billion Angels and a Q&A session with one of its expert commentators, Professor of Marine Biology Jason Hall-Spencer.

Professor Iain Stewart MBE, Director of the Sustainable Earth Institute, said:

“We keep hearing about the climate emergency, but what does it really mean and how will it affect our daily lives? And can society really step up to the huge local and global challenges it’s going to throw at us? Sustainable Earth 2021 aims to provide a forum for everyone, as we all have a vested interest in this issue, and offer the chance to hear from inspirational speakers, to collaborate with people and to spark ideas.”


Read more about Professor Stewart and his pioneering work on science communication

Sustainable Earth Institute

The Sustainable Earth Institute is about promoting a new way of thinking about the future of our world.

We bring researchers together with businesses, community groups and individuals to develop cutting-edge research and innovative approaches that build resilience to global challenges. 

We link diverse research areas across the University including science, engineering, arts, humanities, health and business.

Find out more about our institute