Thursday, 25 February 2010, 6 p.m., Edinburgh
The Oil Crunch and its Intersection with the Climate and Financial Crises
Jeremy Leggett, Founder and Executive Chairman, Solar Century
This event occurred on: Thursday, 25 February 2010, 6 p.m.
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Growing numbers in industry believe the global oil industry has probably got its collective asset assessment systemically and ruinously wrong, in the manner we now know the banking industry had in the run up to the financial crisis. Leggett examines these fears, the chances of proactive mobilisation to soften the peak-oil landing, prospects for retroactive mobilisation, and what the oil crunch means in the context of the ongoing climate and financial crises.
Social entrepreneur Jeremy Leggett is founder and Executive Chairman of Solarcentury, a leading European solar energy company, and founder and Chairman of SolarAid, a charity set up with 5% of Solarcentury profits. He is a also a founding director of the world's first private equity investment fund for renewables, run by Bank Sarasin (New Energies Invest AG, 2000-present). He has written several books, including The Carbon War (1999) and Half Gone (2005). In a first career as a geologist, he researched the history of oceans, explored for oil, and worked on oil source rocks funded by BP and Shell among others (1978-89, while on the faculty at Imperial College). Increasingly worried by global warming, he left to become an environmental campaigner (1989-1996, with Greenpeace International), during which time he won the US Climate Institute's Award for Advancing Understanding. Coming to the view that successful green businesses were badly needed in the global struggle to cut greenhouse-gas emissions, he set up Solarcentury, which has expanded into the fastest-growing UK private energy company of any sort, according to the 2008 Sunday Times Tech Track 100. The company has won multiple awards for innovation and sustainability, and become a magnet for talent. Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2009 New Energy awards, Leggett has been described in the Observer as "Britain?s most respected green energy boss." He is convenor of the UK Industry Taskforce on Peak Oil and Energy Security (ITPOES), members of which include Virgin, Scottish and Southern, Arup, and Yahoo.