On 29th September, the Science Council held its first ever policy conference titled The Science Council Climate Conference - The UK Pathway to Net-Zero. The event brought together Science Council members and other organisations from across the science and engineering community to discuss how the UK can meet its targets for reducing emissions and reaching net-zero in the coming years.
The conference drew on the diverse expertise of Science Council member organisations, exploring in depth topics such as challenges and opportunities in the food system, the role of hydrogen in balancing future supply and demand, and achieving net-zero in the steel industry.
The IES was involved in organising two of the breakout discussions in partnership with other Science Council members. Additionally, IES CEO Adam Donnan chaired a Plenary Panel on the role of the UK science and engineering community, and IES Communities & Partnerships Lead Ethny Childs chaired a breakout discussion on shaping policy on nature, climate and pollution.
Speaking at the conference, Sir Patrick Vallance, Government Chief Scientific Adviser and National Technology Adviser, said:
"Every year, we're losing Arctic sea ice and CO2 levels have dramatically increased since the industrial revolution. There are clearly unarguable changes that are occurring. Science and technology are undoubtedly central to what we need to do. We need to be focused on technologies that we can already see, technologies that we have already invented, and ask how do we work out which of those we can implement and scale."
The Science Council’s President, Professor Carole Mundell, closed the day by summarising six themes that became evident to her throughout the discussions. These were science, scale, society, supply chains, systems and solutions. Professor Mundell also thanked all of the societies, partners, speakers and participants for their part in making the day so inspiring, insightful and motivating.
The Science Council looks forward to building on the connections and conversations from the conference and will continue its convening role within and beyond its membership.
To find out more about future events held by the Science Council and its professional body Members see their website.
Videos of the livestreamed sessions can be found here:
- Plenary Panel 1 - The UK’s Net-Zero Challenge
- Keynote Address by Sir Patrick Vallance
- Plenary Panel 2 – The role of the UK science and engineering community
The full programme of the conference is available here.