Aston Vice-Chancellor addresses World Economic Forum on ‘efficient transport’

Professor Julia King
Professor Julia King

2nd February 2010

Professor Julia King, Vice-Chancellor of Aston University, Birmingham, was invited to speak to the World Economic Forum on the subject of ‘Energy and Mobility: Fuelling Efficient Transport’.

Professor King was in Davos, Switzerland, representing the Global Agenda Council on the Future of Transportation, one of the Councils created by the World Economic Forum to address key challenges in over 70 areas of world affairs.

In her presentation, Professor King spoke of the urgent need to make transportation systems more sustainable and more efficient, so that personal mobility, which provides important economic and social benefits, can be achieved without harming the environment.

Professor King called for new technology, systems and infrastructure to make transport more efficient, from the adoption of readily available technologies such as electric cars to longer term possibilities such as hydrogen vehicles. She also talked about the need to modify consumer behaviours - a huge challenge in itself - and the importance of better logistics and urban planning to make journeys more efficient.

She said, ‘There are some massive global challenges surrounding efficient transportation which we must address collectively, and the World Economic Forum is an excellent platform to advance some of the discussions about what we can do. With the necessary commitment from governments and from the transport industry, we can make a difference, and we must do it now before it is too late.’

Professor King is a member of the UK Government’s Committee on Climate Change, and the author of the King Review on Low Carbon Cars, the final recommendations of which were published by the Treasury in 2008. In December 2009, she was appointed the UK’s Low Carbon Business Ambassador.



For further information or to arrange an interview with Professor King, please contact Alex Earnshaw, Press Officer, on 0121 204 4549 or a.earnshaw@aston.ac.uk


1.     The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting took place in Davos, Switzerland, between 27 – 31 January 2010. For more information about the World Economic Forum, please visit www.weforum.org

2.     The Global Agenda Council for the Future of Transportation was created by the World Economic Forum to address sustainability issues associated with transportation. For more information about the Global Agenda Councils, please visit


3.     The King Review of Low Carbon Cars was commissioned by the Treasury to examine ways in which the UK could reduce carbon emissions from road transport. The Review was led by Professor King and Lord Nicholas Stern, and was published in two parts, in October 2007 and March 2008. The Review can be viewed at http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/king_review_index.htm

4.     Aston University is a top 20 UK university according to the Complete University Guide and Guardian Good University Guide, located in Birmingham City Centre. Aston has particular strengths in Engineering, Business, Health Sciences, Languages and Social Sciences.

5.     Aston University will be hosting the British Science Festival between 14-19 September 2010. The Festival is the largest science event of its kind in Europe. For more information, please visit www.britishsciencefestival.org