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Series 5: Climate Change

The fifth series of Webinars@SocEnv had the umbrella topic of "Climate Change". Four individual webinars for this series provided cross-disciplinary knowledge transfer opportunities for environmental professionals and beyond. 

We heard from Chartered Environmentalists from professional bodies, universities and independent consultancies. Sub-topics under the umbrella theme included the relationship between climate change and global water security and the roles materials, Environmental Impact Assessment and land use professionals can and do play in tackling climate change.

While our CEnv speakers and those linked with their work are specialists in their field, they provided the perspectives from different sectors, which made for an interesting debate.

You can view the recordings for these webinars via the links below. 


Part 1

Recorded 05.05.2020

Materials, Resource Management and Climate Change 

Dr Church will discuss the importance of materials in meeting our climate change targets, both in terms of the fundamental role materials will play in enabling the necessary societal change and through the lens of minimising resource use’s contribution to GHG emissions. 

By Dr Colin Church CEnv - Chief Executive @ the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) 

Nuclear Netflix and Atomic Automobiles? The Future of Nuclear Power in the UK’s Low Carbon Energy Mix

We all recognise the importance of decarbonising the energy system whilst maintaining a secure and affordable supply. Renewables are steadily improving and increasingly able to meet the UK’s energy requirements. However, around 40% of our energy needs are still met by fossil fuels. This presentation looks at the potential for nuclear power to take over as a low carbon alternative to fossil fuels, complementing the increasing capacity of renewable energy sources. The presentation will focus on innovation in the field of Advanced Nuclear Technologies and their potential for meeting future energy needs.

By Victoria Robinson CEnv - Senior Consultant @ NUVIA


Part 2

Recorded 12.05.2020

Addressing Climate Change in Environmental Impact Assessment: What, Why and How Well Are We Doing? 

The talk will begin with a brief overview of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process and of the European Union’s rationale for including climate change in the 2017 updated EIA Directive. The new requirements to address both climate change mitigation and adaptation in EIA will be discussed, with reference to available guidance and to recent project examples.  The talk will conclude by considering good practice pointers and key challenges going forward. . 


By Joanna Wright CEnv - Director, Environmental Planning at LUC (Land Use Consultants) 


Part 3

Recorded 20.05.2020

Global Water Security: The Need for a Holistic Approach

The talk will introduce some of the general challenges of global water security and highlight the likely global impact of climate change, increasing population growth and pollution on water resources, including flooding and droughts as highlighted increasingly in the media.

The nexus between water, food and energy will be introduced, along with the concept of virtual water, and the need for society, industry and governments to address water security challenges in a global framework.

Examples will be given as to how western originated cultures in countries such as the UK, can have a significant impact on the water security for citizens living in many less well-developed countries. The case that some small step changes in our behaviour could have a giant impact on water security in so many other countries will be discussed, along with how we could have a marked impact in improving the quality of life of so many fellow citizens world-wide, particularly in developing countries.

The concept of water security, and the need for a holistic approach to water management, will also be discussed at the local river and coastal basin scale. An example case study will be given of the Ribble river basin and its impact on the bathing water quality along the Fylde Coast, which includes the seaside resort of Blackpool. The results highlight the significance of catchment management and sediment transport on the Faecal Indicator Organism (FIO) levels affecting the bathing water quality. This example has generic applications and particularly where rivers flow down short and steep river basin catchments. 

By Roger Falconer CEnv - Emeritus Professor of Water Engineering at Cardiff University; Independent Water Consultant, Roger Falconer Water Consultancy Ltd  


Part 4

Recorded 26.05.2020

Land Use Professionals and Net Zero

Who do you work with? The importance of networking for the good husbandry of our countryside. 

By Ross Weddle CEnv - Principal, Immanent Associates Ltd 


Jobs in a Changing Climate

Based on a view of two stages – pre full climate change where we still hope to be able to minimise impacts and post tipping point leading to irreversible changes to climate potentially from 2030 onwards – what does this mean in terms of jobs? Where there is a challenge – and we are facing a massive one – there are also opportunities, as well as things to be left behind.  Measures taken during the coronavirus crisis may be giving us some indication of what could be done and what types of jobs may, almost, be a thing of the past – if we are serious about trying to curb emissions.  Food for thought rather than a precise solution.

By Kirsten Rottcher CEnv - Independent Consultant, RoettcherKonsult


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