The London Climate Forum is the UK’s largest student led conference on climate change and sustainability. Bringing together leading thinkers from politics, business, campaigning, media, science and engineering, it will be a chance for young people and students to find out how they can be part of creating a more sustainable future.
But why should you care? Well, the consequences of a changing climate and resource scarcity are set to impact on everybody's lives. Whether this is due to oil shortages (maybe), freak weather events (probably) or changes in food and water supply (almost definitely), it is becoming clearer and clearer that change in inevitable.
But not only will climate change and sustainability challenges effect us, it will be down to us, the students of today and leaders of tomorrow to help pave the way to a more sustainable planet. Come 2030 when we are the key decision makers, we need to make sure that we are making the right ones not just for ourselves but also for the entire planet.
I’ve been interested in climate change and sustainability for a while now, and back in February I ventured to Oxford on a snowy winter’s morning to attend the Oxford Climate Forum (see “Gatecrashing the Oxford Climate Forum” in the February 16th issue of Felix). It was a fantastic day of talks, discussions and debates and I came away feeling inspired. As I sat on the train back to London I thought about 1: how nice it would be if I didn’t have to venture half way across the UK to attend this
event and, more importantly, 2: how valuable a climate forum centered at Imperial would be, where we have a hub of scientists and engineers brimming with knowledge, creativity and great ideas in one of the most influential and cultural cities in the world. (I’ll leave that spiel there before I start sounding like Boris Johnson talking about the Olympics)
So, nine months on and several hundred emails later we are very happy to be able to invite you all to the London Climate Forum 2012. This inaugural event will take place on the 24th and 25th November in Imperial College’s Great Hall and is coordinated by Imperial Hub. We are inviting students and young people from Imperial, London, and the rest of the UK to be part of the hottest student debate - pun very much intended.
We’ve invited some incredible speakers to come along to talk, including Professor Sir Brian Hoskins, Director of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change, James Cameron (not the film director- although that would be kind of cool too), Founder and Non-Executive Chairman of Climate Change Capital, Carmel McQuaid, Climate Change Manager at Marks & Spencers and our favorite campus celebrity, Professor Lord Robert Winston, Professor of Science and Society at Imperial College, politician, scientist, author and t.v presenter. The list of knowledgeable and inspiring high profile speakers really does go on.
The London Climate Forum will be your chance to hear from the experts, learn some more about what we need to be doing to confront climate and sustainability challenges, and start to figure out how you can play your part in making a positive change. Whether that is setting up a project during your time at university, like e.quinox, a student-led project that brings cost-effective, sustainable renewable energy to developing countries (who will also be speaking at the Forum), or in your future career as a banker, scientist, engineer, consultant, doctor... Either way, sustainability is going mainstream and will be affecting us all in some way shape or form, which means it’s time for us all to start paying attention to this issue.
James Hubbard, a student on the Environmental Technology MSc course and co-organisor of the London Climate Forum 2012 says: “Sustainability is going to offer exciting and challenging opportunities to us all throughout our future careers and lives, you actually can’t avoid it. I think that
being able to interact, understand and benefit from it is of fundamental value when planning ahead. Coming to the Forum means hearing from the best about what’s happening at the edge of this fascinating topic, having a vision for the future and taking a positive step towards being part of the most critical discussion of our generation” Now, you can’t argue with that.
We’ll be promoting the London Climate Forum on campus over the next few weeks. Watch this space for bake sales, your chance to getinvolved in some lunchtime arts and crafts, and the most ambitious flashmob to hit Imperial to date (hopefully). Intrigued? You should be. Insa Roemgens, one of the publicity team leads said “I read about the Climate Forum online earlier this term and thought rather than just attend, the best way I could help to make a difference was to help put together an amazing and inspiring event”. If you’d also like to get involved there’s still time, email email@example.com for more information.
So, if you are thinking about making plans for the weekend of the 24th and 25th November, stop right now. Put the dates in the diary and head on over to www.londonclimateforum.org to get your earlybird tickets before they end next week. See you there!