Innovating our way to a sustainable future: CGLN Youth Council Sessions
A lot of time is spent discussing the challenges we must overcome to solve the climate crisis, but the world needs solutions, and it needs them now. Each of the CGLN’s Youth Advisory Council Members are organising and moderating thematic panel sessions to discuss practical, innovative ways to make their respective sectors fit for purpose in a sustainable world.
1: DEVELOPING TRULY SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURAL SYSTEMS: We all know food. We eat it every day. Yet so many of us remain disconnected from where it is grown and how it gets to our plates! Many still hold pastoral views of the agricultural sector: traditional methods of sowing and growing seeds, large fields, heavy machinery, fights over pesticides and GMOs. Yet, the agricultural sector is changing every day, being constantly redefined by new practices, ground-breaking technologies and ambitious individuals. This session will explore how existing and emerging innovations can help us transform our food system and ensure we can continue to feed a growing population, without damaging our precious natural environment.
2: RE-INVENTING CONSTRUCTION TO ACHIEVE NET-ZERO: The construction industry is responsible for over 30% of our carbon emissions. With construction rapidly accelerating to meet housing demand, delivering new buildings and services through low carbon approaches is crucial. In addition, we must consider wider sustainability principles including social value, biodiversity, and the circular economy to minimise our impact on the planet and influence sustainable lifestyles. This session will explore how these sustainability principles can be delivered in low-carbon buildings, services, and masterplans. This includes designing in sustainable approaches during design conception and influencing low carbon actions on-site during construction and demolition.
3: MAKING MINING SUSTAINABLE: This session will examine not only the steps the mining sector needs to take to become sustainable but how to address the critical issue of how to tackle negative public perceptions and how best to educate the general public in the crucial role the mining sector will play in creating a sustainable future.
4: WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR THE PETROCHEMICAL INDUSTRY: This session will examine what is needed to create a sustainable petrochemicals sector, not only regarding technological innovations (both emerging and disruptive) but policy implementation and a re-thinking of business models.
5: ELECTRIC VEHICLES: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES This session will take a broad look at the challenges and opportunities posed by electric vehicles, specifically in relation to the mining of raw materials, the development of gigafactories and business models implementing EVs into the grid.
6: THE ROLE AND APPLICABILITY OF CDR TECHNOLOGIES: This session will examine the role Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) technologies can and will play in decarbonising, answering the key questions of ‘when’, ‘how’ and ‘how much’. The session will address the applicability of CDR in hard to abate manufacturing processes (such steel and cement) as well as the policy framework necessary to implement CDR technologies to scale.
7: HOW DIFFERENT INDUSTRIES CAN MOVE TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE MANUFACTURING PRACTICES: This session will focus on how a ‘one size fits all’ approach to achieving sustainability within manufacturing processes doesn’t work. This session will examine the manufacturing issues, opportunities, and challenges for three key industries (food, textiles and chemicals), looking at how different sectors can move towards more sustainable manufacturing within their respective markets.
8: THE ROLE OF NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGIES IN ACHIEVING NET-ZERO: This session will focus on the technological advances we have made so far, the supply chains and policies the industry needs for the UK to accommodate new nuclear technologies, as so far we don’t have clear instructions from the UK, or indeed Europe of the US, to accommodate all the needs of the nuclear technology industry.
9: DISCOUNTING THE FUTURE: BALANCING THE FINANCIAL, ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIAL COSTS AND BENEFITS OF CLIMATE ACTION: The discount rates that organisations use for financial decisions directly impact how we value the future impacts of climate change. From a private equity firm’s investment in CAPEX-intensive, OPEX-light renewable energy assets to a government valuing the future externality of climate change (the “social cost of carbon”), there is surprisingly little consensus on how much, if at all, discount rates for climate-related decisions should be decreased. This session would hope to bring together stakeholders from across business, government, and academia to discuss the challenges that we face, and the implications if we get it wrong.
10: SUSTAINABLE ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES FOR THE FUTURE: This session will focus on emerging clean energy technologies towards future net-zero CO2 emissions, with emphasis on renewable energy sources (e.g., solar, wind, geothermal energy) or waste heat. The session will address the potential of clean energy technologies from energetic, economic and environmental perspectives.