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Institute of Advanced Study

Hung Parliament, Hung Environment? What the new government needs to do to address climate change

Tuesday 25 May 2010 - 17:00 - 18:30

Rosemary Cramp Lecture Theatre, Calman Learning Centre, Science Site

Lord Puttnam is an Oscar winning film producer responsible for numerous films including Chariots of Fire, Local Hero and The Killing Fields.  Since retiring from the film industry in 1998 he has been actively involved in education and the environment.  He is Chancellor of the Open University and chaired the Joint Parliamentary Climate Change Bill Scrutiny Committee. 

David Puttnam is an advocate of the use of technology to educate people - from schoolchildren to policy makers - on the dangers of climate change.  In November 2009, he presented a sermon at Durham Cathedral as part of the Commemoration of Founders and Benefactors.  During his sermon, he stated that climate change is the greatest challenge the human race has ever faced. He spoke of a need for the world's leaders to accept a collective responsibility to act to avert the coming environmental disaster and make it clear that the world's economic problems were not a reason to make global warming a side issue.   He also urged individuals to adopt "a new sense of personal responsibility and duty to secure a sustainable future."   Criticising those who denied climate change was taking place, Lord Puttnam said there was a place for debate on the scale and extent of the damage it would cause to the planet but not the mounting evidence of its present-day reality.   He concluded his sermon with a warning: "If we fail to act on the warning signs, there will be no need to ask for whom the bell tolls, it will be tolling for everyone, and we shall only have ourselves to blame."

Below you will find a transcript of the lecture he gave in Durham on 25th May 2010: Hung Parliament, Hung Environment? What the new government needs to do to address climate change.

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