An event which pulls together dozens of organisations in the South to address climate change at a local level is taking place at the University of Portsmouth on 15 September.
University scientists and specialists will join local businesses to share best practice and discuss what more can be done to make a bigger impact to limit the effects of climate change in the region. Businesses sending representatives include Xyratex, Wightlink and Southern Water who will join forces with Greenpeace, the New Forest National Park Authority, Hampshire PCT and several councils.
The aim of the workshop is to bring organisations together across a wide spectrum of sectors with a common goal. Organiser, the University’s Environment facilitator, Dr David Hutchinson, said that the breadth of organisations attending reflected the commitment across multiple sectors to create local solutions to tackle a global problem.
He said: “Organisations have recognised that this is an opportunity to be part of an agenda-setting event which will influence the future of this region. Ideas discussed today will influence tomorrow’s world and I’m delighted that so many organisations that surround the Solent are joining us at the event.”
The event will also be used to demonstrate how local organisations can utilise University expertise and facilities to help find solutions to environmental issues affecting their business and their surroundings. Sessions include presentations by University staff and invited experts who will use evidence-based examples to demonstrate how they are mapping and modelling climate change, its impacts on vulnerable features, animals, plants and habitats.
Other sessions will look at how coastal communities are adapting to change with specific discussions about coastal flood and erosion risk management schemes in Southsea and North Portsea Island.
Key-note speaker, Dr Graham Floater, Director of The Climate Centre, former Government advisor to the Prime Minister and University governor, will discuss the concept of a low carbon society and a vision for growth, jobs and innovation.
The University is setting an example by committing to reduce carbon emissions by 30% within 5 years, with a vision to create a low-carbon university and a green campus in the heart of the city. This year the University was given a first class award by People & Planet, an independent Green League table ranking the environmental performance of more than 138 universities in the UK. The University carbon management plan was produced with support from the Carbon Trust and is available online.
The evidence-based workshop, Climate change and the Solent, takes place on 15 September 2011 at the University of Portsmouth. The event is now full but more details can be found at: www.port.ac.uk/climate For details of the EcoIsland initiative see www.eco-island.org/