Scientists to debate the future of climate science and policy


The University of Leeds will host an event on Tuesday, 4 November to critically reflect on the key findings of a report on climate change that was recently published by a United Nations (UN) panel.

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its Fifth Synthesis Report on 31 October 2014, which assesses the scientific, technical, and socio-economic factors concerning climate change, its potential effects and the options for adaptation and mitigation.

The University’s School of Earth and Environment is home to several lead authors of the IPCC report, providing a pool of expertise to analyse and discuss the report's key findings.

“The University of Leeds hosts world-leading expertise in climate change research and our contribution has spanned the breadth of the three Working Groups of the IPCC, focused on physical climate science, climate change impacts and adaptation, and climate change mitigation,” said Professor Jouni Paavola, from the School of Earth and Environment and Director of the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy (CCCEP) at Leeds.

At the upcoming event, ‘The future of climate science and policy’, Professor Paavola will chair a panel discussion involving four of the University's lead IPCC authors: Professors Piers Forster, Andy Challinor, Suraje Dessai and John Barrett. The scientists will analyse the report's key findings and consider its implications for the future of climate science and policy. 

Professor Forster said: “On Sunday, following six difficult 20-hour days of negotiating, we (the IPCC) released our Synthesis Report on climate change. We clearly say that climate change is dangerous, some has occurred already and it will get worse. But we also say that we have the means to stop it.

“Will our report do any good, though?  I’m looking forward to discussing the best ways of affecting change.”

The event is part of the Economic and Social Research Council’s (ESRC) 12th annual Festival of Social Science, which takes place from 1-8 November 2014.

Further information

Date: Tuesday, 4 November 2014, 18:15 – 19:45

Location: Rupert Beckett Lecture Theatre, Michael Sadler Building, University of Leeds

To attend the event, please register here. For further information, please contact Margo Hanson on 0113 343 6817 or by emailing

The 12th annual Festival of Social Science takes place from 1-8 November 2014 with over 200 free events nationwide. Run by the Economic and Social Research Council, the Festival provides an opportunity for anyone to meet with some of the country’s leading social scientists and discover, discuss and debate the role that research plays in everyday life. With a whole range of creative and engaging events there’s something for everyone including businesses, charities, schools and government agencies. A full programme is available at You can also join the discussion on Twitter using #esrcfestival.