Category Archives: in the media

Selected reference to Kevin Anderson’s research in the media

Debate with environmental business advisor on flying, emissions & leading by example

Jan. 2014  Is flying beyond the pale?  New Internationalist

A “head to head” debate with business advisor Brendan May on whether those of us espousing significant reductions in carbon emissions should lead by example.

The request for the debate from the New Internationalist arose from a Guardian piece Brendan May had written encouraging environmentalists to fly and my response arguing that it was inappropriate to call for radical change by others but not ourselves.

Linked to the debate, I had previously written a piece questioning the “profligate’ emissions of those of us working on climate change , Hypocrites in the air: should climate change academics lead by example?

Weak EU decarbonisation target risks locking in dangerous climate change

22 Jan. 2014  ‘Modest’ EU climate targets criticised  Nature

Report by Quirin Schiermeier on the incompatibility of the EU Commission’s new 2030 decarbonisation target of 40% with the same Commission’s express commitment to make its fair contribution to avoiding the 2°C characterisation of dangerous climate change.

As the report concludes:

From a scientific viewpoint, the EU’s 2030 target would need to be nearer to 80% than to 40%, agrees Kevin Anderson, an energy and climate scientist at the University of Manchester, UK, and deputy director of Manchester’s Tyndall Centre.

Anderson has previously criticized the commission for misrepresenting probabilities — with “dramatic consequences for the necessary scale of mitigation” — of keeping atmospheric warming below 2 °C.

“Whilst political decisions are rightly the responsibility of politicians, it surely is incumbent on us as scientists to press hard for scientific consistency,” he says. “Scientific uncertainties notwithstanding, I am surprised that so few scientists have been prepared to voice their concerns about the sheer scale of the shortfall.”

Nature doi:10.1038/nature.2014.14573

Scientists suggest UN climate talks are going backwards & risk 4°C of warming

21 Nov. 2013.  Warsaw’s widening climate chasm could lead to 4°C of global warming.  The Guardian

Report by Graham Readfearn highlighting the chasm between international climate change negotiations and what the science demonstrates is necessary to meet the international community’s 2°C obligation.

See Holding to 2°C … for a further account of my and Tyndall colleagues contribution to the Warsaw conference and negotiations (also includes a link to our COP19 presentation).

Holding to 2°C is an issue of equity; the wealthy must change their ways

21 Nov. 2013.  Make the rich change their ways to avoid a 2°C rise  The Guardian

John Vidal reports on a presentation I and my colleague Alice Bows-Larkin gave at the 2013 international climate change negotiations in Warsaw (COP19). The talk revealed how staying below 2°C demands a temporary but immediate and radical reduction in energy consumption by the relatively wealthy few. In 2013 holding to 2°C is principally as issue of consumption and equity, and not of population growth.


Article on climate science, carbon budgets and fear of speaking out

Dec. 2013.  Piece for the British Science Association. People & Science

An invited article summarising my concerns over the emergent conspiracy of silence amongst policy-makers, business leaders and many scientists as to the political and economic repercussions of science-based carbon-budgets for staying  below a 2°C rise in temperature.

** The fuller pre-editted version is available at: An emergent conspiracy: is the clamour for ‘policy-based evidence’ silencing science?

Democracy Now interview at Warsaw COP19 climate negotiations

21 Nov. 2013.  “We Have to Consume Less”: Scientists Call For Radical Economic Overhaul to Avert Climate Crisis  Democracy Now

Amy Goodman of Democracy Now interviewed Alice Bows-Larkin and I about our research and our contribution to the Warsaw international negotiations on climate change (COP19). In particular we discussed how meeting the 2°C obligation demands radical and immediate reductions in energy consumption (and hence emissions), and how this was now as much an equity as a technical issue.

Panel debate on carbon prices for Russian radio

27 Oct 2013  Is fuel fuel tax (& carbon prices) the best way to control emissions  The Voice of Russia

Rajenda Pachauri, the Chairman of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), asserts that the financial markets are humanity’s only hope to combat global warming. He said: “An extremely effective instrument is to put a price on carbon. It is only through the market that you can get a large enough and rapid enough response”. Others however have expressed considerable doubt as to whether carbon taxes and prices could deliver radical and urgent reductions in emissions. To debate this subject EcoPlus welcomesKevin Anderson, Professor of Energy and Climate Change at the University of Manchester, and Director of the Tyndall Energy Programme, Oleg Shibanov, Finance Professor of the New Economic School in Moscow, and Elena Koritchenko, Head of Environmental and Social Compliance at Bank Otkritie in Moscow.

‘Sceptical’ politicians and financial crisis are factors in UK climate lethargy

15 Oct. 2013 Report on presentation during National Ethical Investment Week  Blue&green tomorrow

… Anderson notes how the Government’s introduction of tax breaks for shale gas, it’s rejection of a 2030 decarbonisation target for electricity generation and support for both exploitation of the Arctic and record investment in North Sea oil and gas, are contrary to a sustainable economy.

Response to Defra minister’s comments on the IPCC report

1 Oct. 13 The Independent ask for views on Owen Paterson’s interpretation of the IPCC’s summary

Owen Paterson is a UK cabinet minister and the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). Following a meeting at the Conservative Party conference in 2013, The Guardian quoted his comments on the IPCC scientific summary which attracted a range of responses published in The Independent the following day

My response to the ministers distortion of the IPCC report is also picked up in Manchester Climate Monthly.