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Thursday, 2 December 2004, 6 p.m., Edinburgh
Climate Change: The Imperatives for Action

Sir David King, Chief Scientific Advisor, HM Government

Sponsorship is provided by Wood Mackenzie.

This event occurred on: Thursday, 02 December 2004, 6 p.m.

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Sir David?s lecture will focus on the science of climate change and the need for action. Governments face serious challenges today from the effects of climate change. Climate change is real, despite some conflicting views on the seriousness of its effects. The causal link to increased greenhouse gas emissions is beyond doubt. Carbon dioxide levels are now at a higher level than at any time in the past 420,000 years. Sea ice, glaciers and snowcaps are in retreat and snow cover is declining while plants and animals are responding to changes in the seasons and extreme weather events are becoming more frequent. The UK Government intends to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 60% by around 2050. How can this be achieved? From individuals, industry and to Governments around the world we must now make a concerted effort to limit global warming and adapt to those changes in climate which are already unavoidable. Effective action demands international agreement on a process, which engages the world community in tackling this global problem. Action is affordable; inaction is not.


Sir David King was appointed as the Government's Chief Scientific Adviser and Head of the Office of Science and Technology in October 2000. Born in South Africa in 1939, and after an early career at the University of Witwatersrand, Imperial College and the University of East Anglia, he became the Brunner Professor of Physical Chemistry at the University of Liverpool in 1974. In 1988, he was appointed 1920 Professor of Physical Chemistry at the University of Cambridge and subsequently became Master of Downing College (1995-2000), and Head of the University Chemistry Department (1993-2000). He retains his position at Cambridge as 1920 Professor of Chemistry.

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