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One of the world’s leading climate change experts will be speaking at the University of Birmingham on Monday 28 January 2019 to set out the implications of predicted global temperature rises, and what we need to do to tackle them.

Professor Jim Skea CBE, is Co-Chair of the WG III on the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and editor of the IPCC’s influential report outlining the effect of a 1.5oC rise in global temperatures.

The United Nations IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C achieved an enormous global impact when it was released in October 2018. It generated controversy at the COP24 Climate Summit in Poland at the end of 2018 when countries debated what actions to take to cap temperature rises at 1.5°C

Professor Skea's talk is part of the University’s Leading Thinkers lecture series, a programme of keynote talks where inspirational leaders from across the world are invited to share their influential ideas that are leading change.

Professor Skea will explain the origins of the IPCC report and summarise the key findings, focusing on how global emissions lead to temperature increases, and the need to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The talk will then address the follow-up to the report both in terms of what net zero targets might mean in practice for the UK and EU, and in terms of United Nations IPCC's ongoing work.

“We know that limiting warming to 1.5°C will really reduce the impacts of climate change in important ways,” says Professor Skea. “But that will require huge changes to the way we address challenges such as land management and transportation.”

Commenting on how Birmingham can contribute to reducing the effects of climate change, Professor Skea said:

“It is important to take action locally. Issues such as energy use need to be tackled at a governmental level but individuals can make a big difference too, for example by using their cars less or simply throwing less food away.”

Researchers at the University of Birmingham are working on predicting and reducing the impacts of climate change.  Current initiatives include the Birmingham Institute of Forest Research, established to explore how future forests will respond to rising CO2 levels and other stresses of environmental change. Birmingham’s hydrological research includes projects to improve drought and flood preparedness in vulnerable areas around the world and several researchers have also contributed to IPCC reports on climate change.


Notes to editors

If you would like to interview Professor Jim Skea CBE, he has availability following the lecture on Monday 28 January 2018, 17:00-18:30, for short radio and print media interviews. To confirm, please contact or call 0121 414 2772.