Can I Do Anything About Climate Change?

Do you wonder if altering your diet, cutting down on flights, or declaring a climate emergency makes any difference to climate change? This sell-out discussion with world-leading speakers from politics, business, activism, and science, moved beyond superficial responses to the vital question ‘Can I do anything about climate change?’ The audience brought its own ideas to debate.

Many of us are inspired to act against Climate Change. But can small individual actions ever make a real difference, or do we need radical activism to bring meaningful change? Perhaps a systems based approach is needed, so the most beneficial outcome is also the easiest.

Banco de Gaia closed the event with a musical piece commissioned by Lovelock Centenary.

This event was part of the Lovelock Centenary conference and is held in partnership with the Global Systems Institute at the University of Exeter.


Speakers


Piers Forster

Professor of Physical Climate Change and Director of the Priestley International Centre for Climate
Member of the Committee on Climate Change
University of Leeds


Piers Forster is a member of the Committee on Climate Change, the public body to advise government and parliament. In May this year the CCC recommended net zero greenhouse gas emissions by the United Kingdom by 2050, which was later announced as government policy. He is the Lead Author for both the IPCC Fourth and Fifth Assessment Reports and co-author of the IPCC October 8, 2018 Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC.

Penelope Endersby FREng, Hon FInstP

Chief Executive
Met Office


Professor Penny Endersby is an outstanding government scientist and inspirational leader who has made significant national and international contributions to the delivery of life-saving science, services in defence and security, and weather and climate. She was appointed Chief Executive at the Met Office in 2018, President of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) in 2023 and is the first woman appointed in each role.

Prior to joining the Met Office, Penny had a distinguished career at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), where she was instrumental in building up Dstl’s capabilities in cyber and data science research and increasing their pipeline of innovative research and intellectual property. She was awarded the 2021 Society Medal by the British Computer Society, became an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Physics in 2021 and awarded CBE in 2024.

Ritula Shah (chair)

Lead Presenter, The World Tonight
BBC Radio 4


Previously producer of Today and presenter of Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4, Ritula Shah became the lead presenter of The World Tonight in 2013.

Molly Scott Cato

MEP
The Green Party


Molly Scott-Cato is a British Green politician, academic, environmental and community activist, and green economist who is the current Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the South West England. Before her election, she was Professor of Strategy and Sustainability at the University of Roehampton.

Danny Chivers


Danny Chivers is a writer, researcher, campaigner and performance poet. He is a founding member of “BP or not BP?”, an activist theatre group who create performances without permission in oil-sponsored museums, theatres and galleries. He writes a regular climate justice column for New Internationalist Magazine, and is author of The No-Nonsense Guide to Climate Change and No-Nonsense Renewable Energy. He also helps run a cycle and solar powered festival stage called Cyc du Soleil.

Steffen Boehm

Professor in Organisation and Sustainability
University of Exeter


Steffen Boehm has published five books including Upsetting the Offset: The Political Economy of Carbon Markets (Mayfly) and Ecocultures: Blueprints for Sustainable Communities (Routledge). He has published in many journals and in mainstream media such as The Guardian, the Ecologist, and CounterPunch.