Climate Change: The Urgency for Action Now

Professor Sir David King
Thursday, 26 May 2022 - 7:00pm

The Dalton Lecture


Climate change, driven by global warming, has already brought such extreme events, felt so widely across the world, that few can ignore it, or deny its significance.  But policy positions and interventions show global warming is still underestimated, or misunderstood.  Faced with accelerating global impacts of Climate Change, Sir David will discuss how our planet and human civilisation can still win back the chance of surviving and thriving.

Climate Repair offers a scalable, safe recipe for future climate stability.  The strategy applies immediate climate repair measures: very rapid progress to net zero global emissions; additional reduction of the volume of atmospheric greenhouse gases; and halting the heating of the Earth and its oceans.  ‘Climate repair’ will refreeze Earth’s poles and the glaciers of the Himalayas, stabilise sea level and break feedback loops that relentlessly accelerate global warming.

Net zero emissions exist as a target for about 70% of the world’s economies, over a range of timescales.  This target offers an important starting point for climate repair.  But emissions reductions must become more rapid than current proposals, and combined with speedy expansion of carbon sinks to create negative growth of atmospheric GHGs.  ‘Net-zero’ alone is insufficient: net-negative emissions will provide foundations for shifting current dangerous GHGs back towards pre-industrial levels that underpinned stable, hospitable climate patterns for millennia.


About the speaker

Professor Sir David King is Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, University of Cambridge; Founder and Chair of the Centre for Climate Repair in the University; Chair of the Climate Crisis Advisory Group; an Affiliate Partner of SYSTEMIQ Limited.  He served as a Founding Director of the Smith School of Enterprise and Environment at Oxford University, 2008-2012; Head of the Department of Chemistry at Cambridge University, 1993-2000; and Master of Downing College Cambridge, 1995-2000.  For almost two decades, Sir David King has not only heroically advanced a new institutional paradigm for confronting global climate challenges, but also established scientific and practical mitigation strategies for governments, businesses, and civil society alike.

In June 2021 he launched the Climate Crisis Advisory Group, comprising world-leading independent experts form all continents to advise, through monthly meetings, on the comprehensive strategies urgently needed by global policy makers to manage the climate crisis facing humankind.  The vision is to place scientific, engineering, social science and diplomatic expertise directly into the public domain so as to help them assist the policymakers' decision process.  In February 2022 he received the David and Betty Hamburg AAAS award for Science Diplomacy.

Image credit: photo by Karsten Würth on Unsplash



Have a question about our events? Please see our FAQ page, or contact us: