University of Manchester Distinguished Chair Award, University of Manchester - Geography
I started and direct the California Center for Sustainable Communities at UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. We work on urban energy and water use, urban ecology and the impacts cities have on surrounding and far flung regions. I will be postulating post carbon cities or how cities must transform to reduce their Earth systems and climate impacts. Manchester and its exceptional Geography Department is an ideal place to explore how cities are attempting to move to a post carbon era, most often, today described as carbon neutral. Since Manchester was the heart of the industrial revolution and the fossil fuel era, what better place to examine plans for carbon neutrality goals for 2030. Some of the questions will include whether carbon neutrality involves carbon offsets which simply use other places as carbon sinks, or whether there will be substantive change locally. Given the UK’s colonial history, carbon offsets could be yet another colonial enterprise, or if there is genuine replacement of fossil fuels with renewables, perhaps Manchester will be again at the forefront of massive change. I am looking forward to visiting English gardens, tasting single malt whiskies and locally produced gins, as well as regionally grown foods of all kinds.