Part of the Society matters LIVE event series

Net zero targets are everywhere. The UK has pledged to reach net zero by 2050; the NHS, by 2040; Birmingham City Council’s ‘route to zero’, by 2030; Birmingham Airport’s ‘flight to net zero’, by 2033. Extinction Rebellion demands the UK reach it by 2025.

In contrast, the Net Zero Scrutiny Group of backbench Conservative MPs (along with others on the political right) wants the government to abandon the target, claiming it makes the UK uncompetitive. Meanwhile, as individual citizens, we are encouraged to make our own carbon footprint calculations, and change our behaviours and choices so that we too can reduce or ‘offset’ our emissions.

In this presentation, Dr Graeme Hayes will talk about what net zero means and what it doesn’t mean, what it tells us about climate change and what it leaves unsaid, why calculating carbon footprints is helpful and also why it isn’t, and will argue that net zero is a terrible idea which could probably only be made worse by abandoning net zero. He will end by asking exactly where this leaves us - and what the role of protest and collective citizen action might be. Questions welcome!

Dr Graeme Hayes is a Reader in Sociology and Policy at Aston University. His research focuses primarily on social movements, with an emphasis on protest strategies. He is especially interested in the criminal trials of social movement activists.

Society matters LIVE Graeme Hayes

Explore the full Society matters LIVE event series line-up: https://www.aston.ac.uk/bss/social-sciences-and-humanities/society-matters-live 

Catch up on all episodes of the Society matters podcast: https://www.aston.ac.uk/bss/social-sciences-and-humanities/society-matters-podcast

Dates, times and locations
Date: 23/06/2022
Time: 17:00 to 19:00
Location:
Cafe Artum, Hockley Social Club

This limited-capacity event is free to attend and open to all members of the public.

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