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'Countdown to Copenhagen' event at the University

'Countdown to Copenhagen' event at the University

John Prescott and Hilary Benn will be among the political heavyweights discussing climate change at the upcoming event 'Countdown to Copenhagen'.

Hosted by the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy at the University of Leeds on 13 November 2009, the panel will also include Edward McMillan Scott MEP, Vice-President of the European Parliament, and Franny Armstrong, co-founder of the 10:10 campaign and director of 'The Age of Stupid'.

This December, governments will meet at the United Nations conference in Copenhagen to agree a 'new deal' on climate change. But how serious is the climate change challenge, how should governments react, and what might this mean for people, businesses and the environment in the UK?

This event gives members of the public the opportunity to put their questions to some of the key players in UK and European politics, campaigning and climate science, as well as to hear the panel's views on what kind of global deal needs to be reached in Copenhagen and whether this could trigger the development of a low-carbon, climate-resilient UK.

Chaired by Professor Andy Gouldson, Co-Director of the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy, the panel will include:

·         Leeds Central MP, Rt Hon Hilary Benn, Secretary of State for the Environment

·         Hull East MP, Rt Hon John Prescott, Environment Rapporteur for the Council of Europe

·         Edward McMillan-Scott MEP, Vice-President of the European Parliament

·         Franny Armstrong, Director of the 'Age of Stupid' and founder of the 10:10 campaign

·         Ashok Sinha, Director of the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition

·         Piers Forster , professor of climate change at the University of Leeds and contributor to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

John Prescott said: "The agreement made at Copenhagen will have far-reaching consequences for people all around the world, including at the local level. This event, at one of the UK's leading centres for environmental research, is an opportunity for people from to engage with what is the most important issue of our age."

Professor Andy Gouldson said: "We urgently need to develop climate resilient, low carbon societies. This recession has reduced our emissions and so has given us a head start towards the low carbon economy. But it won't slow the rate of warming by much, and we need there to be real ambition and a global agreement at Copenhagen if we are to avoid dangerous levels of climate change"

For further information:

Please contact the University of Leeds Press Office on +44 (0)113 343 4031 or email

Notes for editors

  1. The ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy ( is hosted by the University of Leeds and the London School of Economics and Political Science. It was officially launched at the University of Leeds on 27 January 2009. The Centre is funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council ( and Munich Re (
  2. The University of Leeds is a centre of excellence for research on climate change and the transition to a low carbon economy. As well as the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy, the University is host to major initiatives such as the National Centre for Atmospheric Sciences and the Doctoral Training Centre on Low Carbon Technologies , and it is a member of the newly funded Centre for Low Carbon Futures, which brings together leading researchers from the universities of Leeds, Hull, Sheffield and York.

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