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Digital Technologies and the Planet: Towards Net Zero

Conference

Overview

Credit: NicoElNino

Human activity has increased atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration by more than 40% since pre-industrial times. This, and increases in other greenhouse gases such as nitrous oxide, has led to a global average temperature rise of 1°C above pre-industrial levels. If emissions continue to increase at their present rate, temperatures could rise by more than 4°C by 2100. Limiting global warming to 1.5°C may still be feasible. To achieve a 1.5°C target, the net emissions of long-lived greenhouse gases, principally CO2, would have to reach ‘net zero’ level by around 2050. In the next decade urgent, ambitious and concerted action is required across all countries and sectors to deliver rapid emissions reductions. Rapid and unprecedented changes in energy, land use, urban development, transport, infrastructure and industrial systems are needed, with implications for how individuals live and work.

Digital technologies could support this transformation. These technologies have already reshaped many daily activities – from online retail to on-demand transport services – with individuals using data-enabled systems to bring physical activities into the digital realm, reducing carbon emissions in the process. As technologies develop and systems for data use evolve, there will be further opportunities to find new ways of carrying out everyday tasks, with digital technologies bolstering a low-carbon revolution.

Attending this event 

  • This event will be held online on 10-11 December 2020

Please direct any questions to the Industry team.

About the conference series

This scientific meeting is part of the Royal Society’s Transforming our Future conference series. The Transforming our Future meetings are unique, high-level events that address the scientific and technical challenges of the next decade. Each conference features cutting edge science from industry and academia and brings together leading experts from the scientific community, including regulatory, charity and funding bodies.

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Event organisers

Select an organiser for more information

Schedule of talks

10 December

12:45-13:00

Registration

13:00-13:05

Welcoming remarks

1 talk Show detail Hide detail

Chairs

Dame Sue Ion FREng FRS, Chair of the Royal Society Science, Industry and Translation Committee

Dame Sue Ion FREng FRS, Chair of the Royal Society Science, Industry and Translation Committee

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13:05-14:05

Opening keynotes: Digital technologies and the planet - towards net zero

1 talk Show detail Hide detail

Chairs

Dame Sue Ion FREng FRS, Chair of the Royal Society Science, Industry and Translation Committee

Dr Emily Shuckburgh, British Antarctic Survey, UK

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14:05-14:30

Coffee break

14:30-16:10

Data and technology for climate change mitigation

4 talks Show detail Hide detail

Chairs

Professor Andrew Hopper CBE FREng FRS, University of Cambridge

Climate monitoring and supercomputing to bridge the gap towards Net Zero

Nick Rayner, Head of Climate Monitoring, UK Met Office
Nic Bellingham, Supercomputing Technology Lead, UK Met Office

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Professor Paul Monks, Chief Scientific Officer, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Abstract

 

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Building trustworthy digital platforms using new business models

Dr Gavin Ferris, Co-Founder, lowRISC

Abstract

 

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Sims Witherspoon, DeepMind

Abstract

 

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16:10-16:30

Coffee break

16:30-17:30

Panel discussion: A good deal for nature - incentives for the data-enabled net zero economy and society

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Chairs

Alex van Someren, Managing Partner, Amadeus Capital Partners

Dimitri Zenghelis, Global Advisory Council, Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme, University of Oxford
Peter Bingham, Chief Engineer, Ofgem

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17:30-17:35

Closing remarks

11 December

13:00-14:45

A good deal for nature: output and vision for future cities

4 talks Show detail Hide detail

Chairs

Professor Dame Julia Slingo DBE FRS, Former Chief Scientist at the Met Office, UK

Andy Wales, Chief Digital Impact and Sustainability Officer, BT

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Dr Matthew Lipson, Business Leader: Consumer Insight, Energy Systems Catapult

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Simon Daniel, Founder and CEO, Moixa

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Professor Tadj Oreszczyn, Professor of Energy and Environment, UCL

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14:45-15:10

Coffee break

15:10-16:10

Panel discussion: Positioning of the UK and challenges for industry - research, implementation and post-COVID recovery

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Chairs

Professor Andrew Hopper CBE FREng FRS, University of Cambridge

Dr Robin North, CEO and Co-Founder, Immense Simulations

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16:10-16:30

Coffee break

16:30-17:30

Closing keynote

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Chairs

Professor Andrew Hopper CBE FREng FRS, University of Cambridge

17:00-17:15 Closing remarks

Professor Andrew Hopper CBE FREng FRS, University of Cambridge

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Related events

Digital Technologies and the Planet: Towards Net Zero

Bringing together scientists from industry, academia and the wider scientific, finance and policy community to discuss how digital technologies - from AI to computer hardware - can be harnessed to reduce carbon emissions across diverse industries. Speakers will explore data and technology for climate change mitigation and a vision for future cities. 

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