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Presented by Professor Simon Spooner, Atkins

About this Webinar

Humanity has grown prosperous and numerous by burning and consuming the products of biological systems of the past and present. In doing so we have allowed the degradation of the environment which we share with other living things. We have now learned how to get much of what we need without causing such destruction but we are not all doing it yet. We must transition to embracing and stewarding our world instead of consuming it. To get there we must focus on the causes rather than the symptoms of our problems. The causes being our addiction to using combustion to give us power and our clearing of land to feed ourselves, while GHG emissions, climate change and biodiversity loss are symptoms of these activities.

This talk sets out concepts and principles building on the Combustion Transition Framework TM which introduces metrics and tools that can help us to plan and manage the transition more effectively than just carbon accounting. Examples will be presented of practical measures for the UK to accelerate our transition to net-zero and then on to thriving sustainably as part of our biosphere.


About the Speaker

Professor Simon Spooner is an environmental scientist applying scientific methods combined with social, political and regulatory models to address the challenges that we face and help build better infrastructure systems.

Currently his main activities are: as a senior expert advisor on the UK health Security Agency programme to develop wastewater based epidemiology responses to the Covid-19 pandemic; applying his SimBasinQ river basin water quality model to address the impact of wastewater discharges on our rivers; and developing nature based catchment solutions to flooding, water quality, water resources, biodiversity and carbon sequestration. He has developed the combustion transition framework, an innovative approach to integrating GHG emissions reductions and land-use based regeneration of natural processes with a framework of metrics and economic tools to facilitate an accelerated transition to net-zero.

As a consultant with Atkins and before that Mott MacDonald he worked about half his time overseas, mostly in China over the last 30 years, on major World Bank, EU and UK government projects in urban environment development, energy systems and environmental policy. He was Technical Director for water and environment for Atkins in China delivering urban planning projects. More recently he worked in partnership with KPMG for the UK FCDO in China on the development of environmental governance processes and access to international financing for infrastructure projects under China’s Belt and Road programme. In the UK he mostly worked for water companies in wastewater and river basin management and in water industry regulatory processes.

Honorary Professor of Nottingham University in UK and China, regular guest lecturer Cambridge, Tsinghua and many Chinese Universities. Author of reference books on water and environmental regulation in English and Chinese. Advisory Board Member for UK and EU research projects.

What he really enjoys is building on the latest science and digital systems to innovate and find simpler integrated solutions to complex problems.

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