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Young scientists produce manifesto to combat climate change – University of Reading

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Young scientists produce manifesto to combat climate change

Release Date 13 December 2005

a polluted cityA University of Reading PhD student recently joined 50 young scientists and economic researchers for a major workshop in Switzerland where they developed a manifesto that could help the world's political and business leaders combat rising carbon dioxide emissions and climate change. At the workshop, which was concerned with "Climate change and its impact on cities", David Brayshaw, 26, who works on 'climate dynamics' at Reading's top-rated Department of Meteorology, helped identify a wide range of climate-change induced problems that require specific solutions, urgently. The group of scientists including David also proposed innovative solutions to today's leaders that combined scientific research, economics and policy making. Intensive discussion resulted in publication of the scientists' consensus in the "Berne Manifesto", which was presented to over 120 important guests, including business leaders and leading UK and Swiss politicians. The Berne Manifesto included the outline of novel long-term contracts between governments and businesses for reducing carbon emissions. It lays out specific solutions that range from mitigating measures, like carbon storage, to adaptation strategies for extreme climatic events such as flooding, heat waves, and resource efficient building design. "One idea that was developed was the 'carbon-cubed' proposal," said David, who is investigating how the north Atlantic storm track is influenced by ocean temperatures beneath it for his PhD. "The carbon dioxide emissions produced by every good or service could be made available to consumers in a manner similar to the nutritional information displayed on food products." It is hoped that such measures would encourage individuals to reduce the impact their energy use will have on future generations. The workshop was specifically designed to encourage 'thinking outside the box'. This was facilitated by inviting young experts in fields as diverse as the climate and environmental sciences, health impact experts, economists, law and policy strategists, young political activists and strategic researchers from water, energy and financial businesses. A group of scientific experts were trained in communication and moderation skills by a BBC correspondent and a presentation trainer. The delegates' creativity was aided by the help of a poet, cartoonist, photographer, and linguist. "The summit was a tremendous opportunity to learn more about communicating science and taking part in group discussion," said David. "It's been very exciting to work with so many people from such a diverse range of backgrounds. A real eye opener." end Notes for Editors 1. The workshop was organised by the British Council in Switzerland together with the local partners ProClim– (CH) and the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, with financial support from 16 companies and additional partners, including the British Embassy in Berne. For more information about the summit please contact the British Council in Berne. The British Council, Sennweg 2, Postfach 532, 3000 Bern 9, Switzerland 031 301 14 73 britishcouncil@britishcouncil.ch 2. David Brayshaw is a final year PhD student in the Department of Meteorology at the University of Reading. He is supervised by Prof Brian Hoskins and Dr Mike Blackburn, and holds a CASE studentship with Dr Gill Martin at the UK Met Office. For media enquiries and to interview David, please contact Craig Hillsley, the University of Reading press officer: T: 0118 378 7388 E: c.hillsley@rdg.ac.uk

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