Tyndall Assembly 2017 – Newcastle

Tyndall Assembly 2017 – Newcastle University – Draft Agenda

Climate change – Conflicts and synergies with the SDGs


Due to taking this on late, the university halls of residence were fully booked.  The Assembly fee therefore covers day and evening costs and it is up to you to decide how much to spend on accommodation.

There are many hotels to choose from, but some we suggest because of their price and/or location include:

Tune Hotel

Premier Inn, The Gate (there are other Premier Inns around the city centre)

Motel One, High Bridge

The County (directly opposite the railway station)


As noted above, the cost of registration does not include accommodation which must be arranged separately.  The registration system is live.


Monday 11 September

TECN Meeting

Responding to Climate Change: Should the Experts Decide? 

Tyndall public event debate

The issue of public distrust of experts has become a hot topic recently notably in the discussions surrounding Brexit and the US presidential election. This gives rise to serious questions about what part expertise should play in decision making and what that means for democracy. What does this mean for climate change policy? Some argue that, given the scientific consensus on climate change, policy should be driven by the experts. Others argue that the science of climate change is only a small part of the story when it comes to making decisions about, for example, energy policy. So, how much weight should be given to the views of climate scientists? How do we make the right decisions about our future?

This event, open to all, will explore these issues with a panel of speakers in conversation with the audience. Full details to follow.

Panellists (Chaired by Caspar Hewett, Lecturer in Hydrology at Newcastle University and Chair of The Great Debate):

  • Prof Sir Bob Watson FRS
  • Representative of BEIS
  • Representative of Newcastle University

Followed by drinks reception and bowl food

Tuesday 12 September

Times are changing. In the background of global political turmoil, actions to deliver a resilient and low-carbon future are rapidly spreading out among society, engaging all levels of government from local to international and all levels of actors from citizens to businesses. Yet we are nowhere near reaching the rapid transformations needed to support climate stabilisation and to limit the impacts of climate change.

The Paris Climate Agreement has important synergies and potential conflicts with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We need to understand those synergies and conflicts in order to deliver the strongest possible outcomes for society and further our understanding of underlying and interconnected drivers.

The 2017 Assembly of the Tyndall Centre will look to renew our research scope in support of this rapid transition, and flesh out key foci areas for our 2018-2022 research strategy. What should the next five years’ or Tyndall research focus on?

Devonshire Building room G21/22

9:00     Opening session [Chair, Richard Dawson]

Welcome (Prof Phil McGowan, Director Institute for Sustainability)

Talks from invited guest speaker – 20-30mins

Ruth Fuller, WWF; Måns Nilsson, SRC; Graham Long, Newcastle

Highlights of the 2012-2017 Tyndall Research Strategy and key pillars for 2018-2022 (Corinne Le Quéré, UEA) – 15mins

Introduction to Breakout themes

3 minute introduction to themes and activities that will run through breakout groups during the Assembly:

  • Impacts of 1.5oC
  • Cities and Climate Change
  • Tradeoffs and synergies between climate change and the SDGs
  • BECCS and decarbonisation
  • Global Challenges Research Fund

10:30   Break with refreshments Devonshire Building room G21/22

Devonshire Building room G20/21/22/27 and Cassie Building room 1.01

11:00   Breakout 1: Building on current projects and identifying future directions

Implications of a 1.5oC future:

  • Differentiating climate impacts from 1.5oC to 3.0oC

Chairs: Sally Brown and Rachel Warren

  • Key principles of resilient urban environments to support 1.5oC living 

Chairs: Ali Ford and Mark Tebboth  

  • Societal and behavioural changes needed and delivered so far

Chairs: Lorraine Whitmarsh and Charlie Wilson

Chairs: Naomi Vaughan and Sarah Mander

  • Realism of projected decarbonisation rates across sectors (Maria Sharmina and Charlie Wilson)

12:30   Lunch Devonshire Building atrium

Devonshire Building room G21/22

13:30   Plenary session 2

Feedback from morning breakouts.

14:00 TECN Takeover

15:00 Break with refreshments Devonshire Building room G21/22

Devonshire Building room G20/21/22/27 and Cassie Building room 1.01

15:30 Breakout 2: Scoping new ideas to feed our 2018-2022 Research Strategy

Possible Topics might include

  • 1.5oC Futures (building on the morning)
  • New challenges in climate research, for example:
    • Governance of new technologies (e.g. driverless cars) for low-carbon delivery
    • Financing low-carbon development
    • Reducing climate-induced risks of conflicts in a decarbonising world 
  • RCUK GCRF 2nd Collective call
  • Etc.

17:00   Web and comms hackathon with Asher and Brett

18:00   Brief period of quiet before dinner

19:30  Tyndall Assembly Dinner at Tyne Bank Brewery

  • Walk or shared taxis
  • Fine ales from the brewery tap (they also have wine etc.)
  • Street food from Scream for Pizza; and Monsieur Crepe
  • Music
  • Optional move into the City Centre for more dancing etc….

Wednesday 13 September

Devonshire Building room G20/21

08:30   Tyndall Council reconvenes early to organise Breakout 3

09:00   Plenary session 4

Project updates – 5 mins per project, open call

Report from previous day breakout inc. plans for next session

10:30   Coffee Devonshire Building room G20/21

Devonshire Building room G20/21/22/27 and Cassie Building room 1.01

11:00 Breakout 3: Extend from previous day

12:30   Closing session including soapbox (Corinne Le Quéré)

13:00   Assembly close

13:15   Council meeting (For Tyndall Council Members)

Devonshire Building room G20

14:45   Council finishes

Image Credit: “Newcastle Gateshead Quayside” by Ian Britton is licensed under CC BY NC 2.0

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