Keynote Lecture: Incorporating the value of nature into assessments of future energy pathways

This Valuing Nature Keynote Lecture was given by Professor Andrew Lovett from the University of East Anglia (UEA). The 45 minute lecture was followed by a panel discussion chaired by Professor Michael Winter with Professor Neil Strachan, Director, UCL Energy Institute and the Hon. Professor Peter Pearson Imperial College London and Ece Ozdemiroglu, Managing Director of eftec (Economics of the Environment Consultancy) and member of the Climate Change Committee – Adaptation Sub-Committee.

Date: 3 December 2018, 18:30 to 20:30

Venue:  Friends House, Hilda Clark 2 & 3, 173 - 177 Euston Road,  London, NW1 2BJ  

Abstract: The UK government has made formal commitments to reduce GHG emissions (e.g. under the Climate Change Act 2008) and to protect/improve natural capital and the environment (e.g. as part of the 25 Year Environment Plan).  Meeting these objectives requires an integrated approach to two parallel challenges i) decarbonising the energy system and ii) better understanding and valuation of natural capital and ecosystem services.  From an academic perspective this involves bringing together two substantial, but currently weakly connected bodies of research, while also acknowledging that this integration in a UK setting needs to recognise the international context (i.e. a whole systems perspective).

The ADVENT project (ADdressing Valuation of Energy and Nature Together) has been funded by the National Environment Research Council to develop conceptual frameworks and modelling tools which ‘integrate the analysis of prospective UK energy pathways with considerations relating to the value of natural capital’.  It is also envisaged as a bridge between the activities of the Valuing Nature Programme and the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC).  This lecture will discuss the need for more attention of energy-environment interactions and discuss the content of the ADVENT programme.  Initial results from work to downscale the implications of national energy pathways and incorporating environmental impacts into the assessment of different options will be presented and evaluated.

Biography: Andrew Lovett is a Professor of Geography at the University of East Anglia (UEA). His academic background is in human geography and since moving to UEA in 1990 he has been involved in a range of projects concerned with applications of GIS, landscape visualisation software and statistical techniques.

His current focus is on future rural land-use change, including research on renewable energy systems funded by the UK Energy Research Centre and the Social, Economic and Environmental Research (SEER) project into Multi-Objective Land Use Decision Making funded by the ESRC. He is also co-leader of the Wensum Demonstration Test Catchment project funded by Defra and the Environment Agency.


The 45 minute lecture was followed by responses from the following Panelists:

Michael Winter (Chair) - Professor of Land Economy and Society, Centre for Rural Policy Research (University of Exeter). Member of Valuing Nature Programme Coordination Team

Neil Strachan is an interdisciplinary energy economist. He is the Director of the University College London (UCL) Energy Institute, where he is Professor of Energy Economics and Modelling.

Peter Pearson Hon. Professor of Sustainable Innovation & Energy, Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London

Ece Ozdemiroglu, founder and Managing Director of eftec (Economics of the Environment Consultancy).  eftec has run since 1992 and is the UK’s leading consultancy in environmental economics, with several hundred projects in economic valuation, appraisal, working with natural capital, policy design and training for public, private and NGO sector clients in the UK and the rest of the world. Ece is the economics lead of the Valuing Nature Programme Coordination Team

Delegates participated in a Q&A session to round off the evening.