Abstract - Climate change and renewable energy: the challenge of predicting the future
History is full of examples of our obsession with predicting the future, which continues today with the use of high-performance “super” computers. Here, I hope to explore our resilience from future changes in our weather which is predicted by climate change. Using examples from coastal flood risk and renewable electricity supply; uncertainties of downscaling climate models to local decision-making tools will be discussed alongside the impact of resilient engineering practice. For example, flood walls may reduce the hazard but can increase risk or lead to habitat loss and reduce access to a recreation space. Given uncertainties in policy, future extreme events and societal behaviour – how can we mitigate future climate change driven risk? Should we? And how can this be done in a fair and sustainable way? This presentation will not answer these questions, instead I will provide some background to concerns of future risk in coastal flooding and renewable electricity that, I hope, will lead to a conversation about engineering a resilient future.
Dr Pelle Tejsner – “Fluctuating weather and changing coastlines: perceptions of climate change on Qeqertarsuaq/ Disko Island”, - Wednesday 3rd November 2021
Abstract - Fluctuating weather and changing coastlines: perceptions of climate change on Qeqertarsuaq/ Disko Island
Global warming increasingly impacts Arctic ecosystems and indigenous livelihoods, melting glaciers and sea ice simultaneously open the region to increased shipping, tourism and resource extraction. As the global climate science community’s “canary-in-the-coalmine”, the Circumpolar North is getting a lot of press nowadays, by being simultaneously framed as a ‘resource frontier’ or ‘nature reserve’ but how do local Inuit communities reflect upon such changes to their horizons? The presentation invites the audience to consider the experiences and voices of Qeqertarsuarmiut (residents of Qeqertarsuaq/ Disko Island) as they reflect on past, present and eminent ecological changes, rapid social transitions and growing pollution, and how these uncertainties affect Inuit socio-ecological relations and the continuation of local subsistence-based livelihoods.
Abstract - Banks’ Voluntarily commitment to Environmental Sustainability: Pivotal Move or Greenwash?
Are the voluntary initiatives adequate to encourage the banks to keep their commitments towards the climate change and greener economy issues? In addressing this major question, we match 56K syndicated loan-level data to 6K listed firm-level data (2002-2020) covering 82 countries to assess whether the lead managers in particular the UNEP FI signatories charge less to the eco-friendly (green) firms compared to the non-eco-friendly (brown) firms. Our results indicate that the UNEP FI signatory first-lead managers charge a significantly higher price for the non-eco-friendly borrowers while their impact on setting the loan price for eco-friendly banks is insignificant. Further, if all the lead managers of a loan contract are UNEP FI members, they would charge 18bp lower (31bp higher) interest for the eco-friendly (non-ecofriendly) borrowing firms. However, the picture is not universal.Investigating further by taking into consideration of country specification of the lead banks, we find that EU28 based lead banks would likely charge higher for eco-friendly firms while lower for non-eco-friendly firms, while the US lead banks act oppositely. Our findings indicate that mere voluntary initiatives cannot bring any noteworthy uniform impact on setting the carbon premium within the loan pricing mechanism while taking lending decisions. Therefore, universal mandatory regulatory measures e.g., added capital requirements, are needed to introduce so that irrespective of their location as well as the corporate objectives, banks have to comply with unique environmental regulations. Thus, our study offers new insights to the government and financial regulators and policymakers in addressing the environmental and carbon risks associated with lending decisions
Abstract - Land use and policy: challenges when ‘place’ interacts with climate mitigation and sustainability
Many approaches to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating climate change challenge the way we use land and natural resources. At the same time, climate change itself places new strains on the existing species and ecosystems we are so familiar with in the landscape. Significant changes are likely within our lifetimes. Dr Morwenna Spear will present some of these conflicting demands and reflect on how we interact with landscape in the UK. What do we value and why? How will these expected changes impact our appreciation of landscape? Will we welcome changes in land management if they are for some ‘greater good’ or should such changes happen elsewhere, out of sight?
Abstract - Places of Climate Change: Introducing the idea, and linguistic perspectives
This research seminar is the first of a series of monthly seminar talks offered by this group. It will introduce the theme in general, followed by more specific insights from a linguistic perspective on the topic.
The notion of ‘place’ has long been recognised in human geography and other areas as a locational concept to which humans feel attached in some way (e.g., emotionally, culturally or through a sense of responsibility and ownership). Climate change happens globally but is felt locally, in the places where we live and to which we feel attached.