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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

Life after Oil - Public Debate

16th March 2011, 17:45 to 19:00, Ken Wade Lecture Theatre (CLC203), Calman Learning Centre

The UK currently requires 212 million tonnes of oil and equivalents per year to sustain its manufacturing industry, agriculture, transport networks, schools, homes and businesses. In the context of news stories focusing on the environmental damage caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year, and pronouncements that the world should be preparing itself for 'Peak Oil' - not so much an issue of oil running out but of global demand for oil to sustain our economies exceeding available supply - should the UK be preparing for a life without oil?

The Institute of Advanced Study and the Durham Energy Institute have joined forces to address this important issue by bringing together an expert panel of speakers to discuss and debate whether the UK and elsewhere should be moving away from its reliance on fossil fuels for energy production and if so what a future without oil look would like.   What will be the geo-political impact of life after oil? What adaptations are required to reduce our dependency on oil but also continue to meet demand for transport and domestic energy?  What are the alternatives?  But also are we being mis-led?  Will new technologies be developed in time to allow our dependence on oil to continue but without the negative impact of CO2 emissions?

These questions and many more will be addressed by a panel that includes:

  • Environmentalist and Founding Director of Forum for the Future, Jonathon Porritt;
  • Chief Executive of Scottish and Southern Energy, Ian Marchant;
  • Chief Executive of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, Michael Izza. 

The debate will be chaired by Alistair Buchanan CBE, Chairman of the UK energy regulator, Ofgem.

The event is free to attend and open to all but registration is essential.

For further details about how to register for this event please visit: