The following post was written by The Guardian’s Dunan Clark
The climate change debate often seems to focus more on the problems than on the solutions. It’s not hard to understand why: almost every week brings another scientific report predicting impacts sooner and more devastating than we were previously expecting.
With so many gloomy headlines, it would be easy to believe that irreversible runaway climate change is now inevitable. But that’s not true – at least, not yet. The world is packed full of ingenious people with ideas for tackling global warming, either through emissions cuts, the removal of CO2 from the air or even the reflection of sunlight into space.
The problem for policymakers, investors and others attempting to pave the way for a low-carbon future is knowing which of these many solutions to get behind. Should we, as some scientists have suggested, spend our environment budgets on painting the world’s roofs white or filling the Sahara with solar panels? Or might it be better to focus on reducing demand? If so, is that better done with, say, energy monitors in homes or the encouragement of bottom-up campaigns to give green makeovers to towns and districts? Or do we need to do all the above?
In order to work out which climate solutions are likely to be the most effective, and to showcase new ones that haven’t yet made the headlines, the Guardian has teamed up with the Manchester International Festival (MIF) and high-profile thinkers in an ambitious project called the Manchester Report.
The first stage is to invite anyone with a plan for tackling climate change to let us know about it. Whether you’re an an inventor, a geo-engineer, a policy-maker or a member of the public with a great idea to encourage greener lifestyles, we want to hear from you. Simply complete and return the short form available on the festival’s site.
A dozen of the most promising applicants will be invited to present their idea to a high-calibre panel of experts in front of a live audience at Manchester Town Hall on the weekend of 4 and 5 July. The panel, chaired by Lord Bingham, previously the UK’s chief justice, and featuring leading lights from the worlds of science, business and policy, will rate the various ideas in terms of their feasibility, impact and commercial potential. .
The results of this landmark event will form the basis of a report – the Manchester Report – to be published two weeks later at the end of the festival. The report will not only be made available online but also sent to policy-makers, to help them decide which low-carbon solutions to support in the run up to this year’s crucial climate summit in Copenhagen.
Republished via The Guardian Environment Network