David MacKay to crowd-source pathway to 2050 emissions targets at IET lecture

Interactive presentation invites members of the audience to propose the changes they'd like to see delivered by energy policy, with the impacts revealed using DECC's 2050 energy calculator

London, UK, 3rd March 2014 – On the 6th March, Professor David MacKay FRS, Chief Scientific Advisor to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), will be presenting the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) 2014 Clerk Maxwell Lecture entitled ‘Climate, Energy Arithmetic and 2050 Pathways'.

The lecture, held at The Royal Institution, will explore alternative possible energy futures for the UK using DECC's energy calculator, which enables the public to play "Secretary of State for Energy" through an easy-to-use interface. A large part of the lecture will be interactive as David invites members of the audience to propose the changes that they would like to see to lifestyles, to energy-using technologies (cars, planes, buildings, industry), or to energy supply. Using the calculator, David will show the collective impact of such changes on greenhouse gas emissions, on land use, on security of supply, and on long-term costs.

"The IET is one of the largest engineering organisations in the world and I was honoured to be invited to present one of its prestige lectures," said David MacKay, "The audience of this lecture will consist of interested parties from all walks of life and I am looking forward to hearing a variety of views on the direction of UK energy policy, and seeing if the audience can come to consensus on a plan that adds up."

Like many developed nations, the UK gets 90% of its primary energy from fossil fuels. To meet 2050 targets the nation's energy system must be overhauled. MacKay believes that it is essential to canvas a broad range of opinions to determine the best course of action.
"David is an important advisor to government, so we are delighted that he has made time to give this lecture," said Barry Brooks, IET President. "It is not yet clear which path the UK should take to ensure it hits 2050 targets, but DECC's energy calculator reveals the options available and the potential impact of any decisions on energy policy. It would be wonderful if we could reach a consensus within the lecture hall."

The Clerk Maxwell Lecture is free to attend and is one of ten IET Prestige lectures. The Prestige series aims to give thought leaders in engineering and technology a platform to share their views with their peers and inspire debate in their field. The next lecture, Viscount Nuffield, takes place on 27th March at the University of Strathclyde and is entitled ‘Advanced Manufacturing in the Defence Industry'. More information on this lecture and the IET Prestige series can be found here.

Members of the general public are invited to suggest a pathway they would like discussed at the lecture, by visiting David's blog. To register to attend the Clerk Maxwell Lecture, please visit the IET's website: https://localevents.theiet.org/register.php?event=2ddaf7

Those unable to attend on the day can view the Clerk Maxwell Lecture online via a live webcast at 6.30 pm GMT on 6th March 2014.

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