2020 Investigator Lecture: COVID-19 speeds up zero carbon future

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen energy demand reduce across the world, with fewer greenhouse gas emissions and less air pollution in big cities, resulting in a 17% global reduction in carbon dioxide emissions in April 2020.

Big global emitters like the US, EU, and also Australia with its large per capita consumption witnessed declines in power consumption and transport emissions as people worked from home.

Imagine a world where carbon neutrality is the norm and what that would mean for the future. Could the current challenges speed up our transition to a zero-carbon economy?

Professor David Karoly, one of the world’s leading climate experts, will provide fresh insights into the ongoing effects of climate change on our planet for the 2020 Flinders University Investigator Lecture at 6pm on Thursday 22 October.

Professor David Karoly.

Professor Karoly, winner of the Eureka Prize, the Royal Society of Victoria Medal for Scientific Excellence in the Earth Sciences, and a Fellow of both the American Meteorological Society and the Australian Academy of Science, will focus on new research and draw conclusions that may change the way we deal with a warming climate.

“We have witnessed major reductions in carbon dioxide emissions associated with burning fossil fuels from different sectors because of the massive decreases in economic activity and transport usage around the world. A 17% reduction is equivalent to how emissions were 14 years ago in 2006, but it’s still unclear how different countries will progress.”

“What happens in the future will depend on how countries use economic stimulus packages. There is an opportunity to apply stimulus to support a rapid transition to a zero-carbon economy around the world, and that would then lead to massive long-term reductions in greenhouse gas emissions,” says Professor Karoly.

For this special annual Investigator Lecture, Professor Karoly will be streamed live from Melbourne to the newly refurbished Her Majesty’s Theatre in Adelaide, joining a panel of experts on stage, and presented to a live audience.

Professor Karoly’s expertise in the behaviour of the atmosphere, the variability of climate and the effects of climate change on plants and ecosystems, water resources, agriculture, people and health have seen him gain an international reputation as a global leader in climate dynamics and the science of climate change.

“Global temperatures will continue to increase to 2030 and beyond unless we rapidly transition to a zero-carbon economy. We still have the opportunity to do better, even if are too late to limit global warming to two degrees. Everything we do to limit emissions will reduce the level of global warming that will profoundly impact people and ecosystems.”

Professor Karoly’s skills as a researcher are paired with incredible passion as he powerfully communicates the challenges we face. His 2020 Investigator Lecture is set to make us think differently about the climate action that is urgently required.

Entry to Her Majesty’s Theatre for the Investigator Lecture is free, but registrations for tickets are essential via the BASS website.

More info & bookings: https://events.flinders.edu.au/events/2020-investigator-lecture-climate-change/

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