University of Exeter: Scientists and industry to discuss energy transformation at COP26

The panel will discuss the challenging path towards a climate-resilient, low-carbon system that contributes to net zero targets and can cope with future changes including more extreme weather.

At a meeting hosted by the European Commission, representatives of National Grid and Energy UK will discuss the challenges faced by the sector and the areas where new scientific advice is needed.

The researchers, including scientists involved in IPCC reports and the UK’s national Climate Change Risk Assessment, will provide the latest evidence and insights on how this transition can be achieved, and reflect on future research directions.

“Creating a low-carbon energy system rapidly enough to meet emissions cuts targets is a major challenge,” said Professor Richard Betts MBE, of the University of Exeter and the Met Office.

“I am delighted to be part of this event, helping to ensure that the latest research will meet the needs of organisations facing the challenge of improving global energy systems in the context of climate change.”

Simon Markall, Deputy Director of External Affairs for Energy UK, said: “It is no exaggeration to say that science has changed the way the UK energy industry has responded to the threat of climate change.

“As an industry, we’ve led the decarbonisation of the UK economy and have committed to delivering a net zero power system in the 2030s as a major step towards the UK reaching net zero.

“We will continue to rely upon UK scientific and engineering expertise to help deliver these plans, as well as adapting for the challenge a changing climate will bring, so we can continue to provide a safe, clean and secure energy service to our customers – both now and in the future.”

The event – entitled: “What does transforming the energy system really mean? Adaptation, resilience & transition challenges” – will include a question-and-answer session with an audience, attending live and online.

The speakers and panellists will be Nebojsa Nakicenovic (Group of Chief Scientific Advisors of the European Commission), David Wright (Group Chief Engineer, National Grid), Simon Markall (Deputy Director of External Affairs, Energy UK), Professor Betts (a member of Exeter’s Global Systems Institute and Head of Climate Impacts Research at the Met Office), Professor Elina Brutschin (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, IIASA) and Professor Alberto Troccoli (University of East Anglia).

It will take place on Monday 1 November from 09:30 to 10:30 GMT in the EU Pavilion at COP26 in Glasgow.

To join the event online, visit

The University of Exeter has launched a ‘Green Futures’ campaign and website to drive action on the environment and climate emergency. To find out more please visit

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