The London Climate Forum, not something I can honestly say I’d ever heard of prior to joining Imperial College just over 2 months ago, but in many ways, I’m unsure as to how I never got wind of it in the first place. In short, it is a fascinating, insightful and cutting-edge forum which anybody interested in climate and sustainability, even those who aren’t, should endeavour to get involved with.
For those, like me initially, who are not clued up at all on this project, let me provide a brief summary. The London Climate Forum is an entirely student-led and organised conference based within Imperial College, and is the biggest in London, and quite possibly the country in terms of size, attendance and speakers welcomed to the stage. It runs over just two days, Saturday and Sunday, but offers up some serious clout with it’s multiple leading thinkers in the worlds of sustainability, business, policy and academia, all of whom grasp the opportunity to reach out to the new generation of green ‘ecowarriors’ in an attempt to inspire the next big thing(s).
The Forum’s goal? To speak directly to those who are on the frontier of the climate agenda across a wide variety of sectors, whilst entertaining the chance that through events like these, the solutions we so desperately seek in solving climate change may be nurtured within it’s walls. So it’s a modest goal to say the least…but one which we are all highly invested in, and one which was in full swing this weekend as the Forum was expertly carried out.
I wanted to, as succinctly as I feel possible doing, summarise some of the major talking points and stances which the stage was party to over the weekend just past, just to scratch the surface of some of the subjects covered. And trust me, there were many, so bare with me!
The first day was mostly focused on the present; what the current climate is doing, why it is doing this, what we are currently (mostly not) doing to mitigate it, and how business is adapting to tackle the myriad new challenges such change is bringing about. Two eminent and, I’m sure they wouldn’t mind me saying this, highly outspoken campaigners filled the morning, in the form of Tony Juniper and Tom Burke, the latter part of a panel trio who, combined with the director of our very own Grantham Institute, painted a rather desperate and somewhat depressing picture of a story we all have unfortunately come to know intimately.