Podcast: Jonathan Porritt on ambition

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Last week we posted a podcast of John Vidal speaking at a recent National Trust conference at CAT. This week we have another podcast from the same conference. Jonathan Porritt speaks passionately about ambition: the level of ambition that The National Trust needs to show and the level of ambition we need to achieve global targets. These quotes give a flavor of his speech and the podcast contains the speech is full:
“Delighted to be here… always good to be back at CAT. I must say this is a place that loomed very large in my early life as a green activist and its been an important part I think of reminding people just where we should be putting the ambition level about low carbon futures.”
“Right now as you will all know renewable energy, community energy, local energy, sustainability writ large are all pretty much in the non essential basket as far as decision makers are concerned. I must say I had a rather chilling affirmation of that yesterday when I went to a meeting about Rio+20, this jamboree going on in Rio in a few weeks time to “celebrate” the progress that has been made since the summit in Rio in 1992. And there wasn’t a lot of celebration going on at that time… the discussions going on in Rio are so mind numbingly banal that it actually takes us back to 1972 to the first UN conference on the environment and human development in Stockholm, let alone to 1992 in Rio.”
“Focus on this one statistic for the moment… it relates to the carbon intensity go the global economy… in 2009, the carbon intensity of the global economy as a whole was 768g/CO2e emitted per dollar of value created in the economy. Now, go out to 2050, the economy grows from 74trillion dollars to 130trillion dollars. Human numbers grow from 7bn to 9bn by 2050. If we’re lucky we’ll have achieved the millennium development goals… what do you think happens to the carbon intensity? 6g of CO2 per unit of value – that is all we can get away with if we want to meet those three targets – economy, poverty, low carbon. So our destiny is written in that one statistical analysis of what our politicians have signed up to… You think do they really understand what that journey looks like – and more importantly, today, do we really understand what those targets mean?”


WISE is available to hire as a conference venue: http://venuehire.cat.org.uk/


Previous podcasts

Podcast: What has nature ever done for us?

As more and more rainforests are chopped down, peat lands drained and species wiped out, we ask ourselves: ‘What has nature ever done for us?’ We live in an economically run world, where the immediate returns and profits are the most important outcome, so... Read More ››

CAT pioneers reunite for BBC Radio 4 broadcast as 40th anniversary approaches

  Five early pioneers of the Centre for Alternative Technology were reunited on Sunday 28th April for BBC Radio 4’s The Reunion. Hosted by Sue MacGregor, The Reunion takes a weekly look at significant events and moments in history by reuniting the people who... Read More ››

ZCBlog: the Energiewende

As we write up the research for our third ZCB report on how Britain can decarbonise, it’s interesting to look around at what’s being suggested in other decarbonisation strategies. Germany, for instance, stands out for its ambitious Energiewende (‘energy transition’) that combines a phasing out... Read More ››




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