Lectures 2019 – University of Copenhagen

Lectures 2019


Sustainable diets - why and how?

A sustainability seminar, held on 8 May 2019 with Brent Loken from EAT and Daniel Vennard from World Resources Institute, followed by responses and debate with experts, companies and organisations from the Danish food sector. Moderated by Katherine Richardson, leader of Sustainability Science Centre, University of Copenhagen. Co hosted by Denmark’s green think tank CONCITO and University of Copenhagen’s Sustainability Science Centre.

Session I: Presentations by EAT and WRI Opening address: Connie Hedegaard, chairman of CONCITO

  • Feeding 10 billion a healthy and sustainable diet Presentation of the EAT-Lancet Commission’s report on Food in the Anthropocene Brent Loken, Director of Science Translation
  • From why to how: Nudging consumers towards a sustainable diet Presentation of WRI’s Better Buying Lab Daniel Vennard, Director of Better Buying Lab Clarifying questions and comments from audience

Watch the opening adress by Connie Hedegaard and the two keynote presentations here:

Session II: Responses from Danish experts and stakeholders and questions from audience

  • Arne Astrup, professor and head of department at University of Copenhagen’s Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports 
  • Marie Trydeman Knudsen, Researcher at Aarhus University’s Department of Agroecology and member of the Danish Council on Climate Change 
  • Jakob Jønck, CEO, Simple Feast 
  • Signe Frese, CSR Director, COOP Denmark
  • Jan Johannesen, Sustainability Director, Arla 
  • Michael Minter, Head of programme, CONCITO.

Watch the responses and the following Q&A here:


Who is to blame for extreme weather events?

Today, it is well established that climate change will enviably lead to more extreme weather events across the globe. However, the specific chain of causality between emitter and victim, until now, remains uncertain. The emerging controversial science of extreme event attribution allows us to specifically assess how climate change is affecting specific hazards. With respective advances made in environmental social sciences and legal studies, we are at a threshold of establishing causal links between climate change and concrete extreme events. In this panel, Fredi Otto, Emily Boyd and Kristian Cedervall Lauta, offered an insight into attribution from a physical, social and legal perspective, and discussed what the potential implications of reaching a threshold in this arena might be.

The talk took place on 25 April 2019 and was moderated by Katherine Richardson. The event was organised by the Sustainability Science Centre at the University of Copenhagen, as a part of the Sustainability Lecture Series.


The Future of Air Transport in Low Carbon Economy  - Where will your grandchildren be going on holiday?

Over the past 50 years air transport has changed the world in which we live. Aviation growth, linked to the declining cost of flying, has given rise to new patterns of trade and migration, multicultural societies and the international tourism industry. The resulting social and economic benefits are significant, but so too the adverse environmental costs. The rapid growth of the industry is outstripping the rate of technological and operational improvements with the result that key environmental impacts are increasing year on year, a trend that is unsustainable. At a local level these are already constraining the growth of airports, meanwhile at a global level, given its reliance upon carbon fuels, the twin threats of climate change and peak oil threaten the very existence of the industry in its current form, in the longer term. Failure to deal with these environmental issues will result in increasing airport constraints, fuel and emissions costs leading to the disappearance of low cost flying. On the other hand, action to resolve these impacts (e.g. investment in step change technologies) also threaten significant increases in the cost of flying, which again have the potential to depress demand and therefore the role that aviation will play in a low carbon economy in 50 years time.

The talk took place on 11 April 2019 and the keynote speaker was Callum Thomas. Henrik Hansen moderated, respondents from Airbus and NISA, commentary by Robert Arendal. The event was organised by the Sustainability Science Centre at the University of Copenhagen, as a part of the Sustainability Lecture Series.