Sheffield University’s new £10m centre to tackle climate change

A NEW £10 million centre to tackle climate change has been set up at a Yorkshire university.

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The Centre for Climate Change Mitigation at Sheffield University has been announced to coincide with an international conference in Paris aimed at reducing global carbon emissions and limiting global warming.

Sheffield University described climate change as “one of the greatest challenges facing humanity in the twenty-first century.”

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The Leverhulme Trust has revealed plans for the new centre, which will be funded for up to £10 million over ten years.

The centre is one of four winners of the new Leverhulme Research Centre awards. It will be led by Professor David Beerling who said it aims to develop new approaches to climate change mitigation. Prof Beerling, the centre’s director said: “Turning the tide on climate change is a matter of inter-generational justice. Deployable strategies for removing CO2 from the atmosphere are strongly embedded in climate stabilization policies but don’t yet exist. So pinning the future fate of the Earth and seven billion humans on meaningful emission cuts without fostering research into alternative actions to avert the threat of dangerous climate change is a risky strategy.”

He said the announcement “couldn’t be more timely and represented a huge vote of confidence for the outstanding team of scientists and social scientists involved from Sheffield and elsewhere.”

The announcement comes as the climate change conference in Paris is taking place. London Mayor Boris Johnson is visiting the city to discuss tackling climate change and cutting carbon emissions with other leaders as crucial UN talks continue. Mr Johnson is meeting senior politicians, including French president Francois Hollande and mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, and more than 100 city leaders from around the world who are gathered for a summit of “C40” cities - major world cities working to tackle global warming.

The mayor has come under fire in the city for not doing enough to tackle London’s air pollution problem, but will be discussing with other leaders his success in transforming the capital’s bus network to make it greener and how working with other cities can drive down costs of new, cleaner vehicles.

He will also discuss plans to boost London’s status as the clean tech capital of the world, boost research and innovation and deliver the world’s first ultra-low emissions zone in a bid to improve London’s air quality and reduce carbon emissions.

Mr Johnson said: “It’s vitally important that world cities unite and work together to mitigate climate change. London’s thriving green economy is worth over £30 billion and we are a leading centre of innovation, with the entrepreneurs, technical ability, academia and engineering to drive the transition to a low carbon economy.

“We’ve proven in the capital that unprecedented population increases are no barrier to reducing carbon emissions and I look forward to discussions with my fellow mayors that help deliver a positive environmental impact.”

Mr Johnson is visiting a thermal power station owned by Engie which uses water from the River Seine to cool five million square metres of public buildings, including the National Assembly.