Cardiff University will be the main hub for a £5m climate research centre that will explore new ways of cutting the emissions required to address climate change.
A programme of social science research will be set up that focuses on four challenging areas of everyday life that contribute substantially to climate change, including consumption of goods and physical products, food and diet, travel, and heating in buildings.
The university says will ‘place the role of people at the heart of the transformations needed to bring about a low-carbon, sustainable society,’ and researchers will work closely with members of the public to develop new ideas for a low-carbon future.
It’s hoped the public will help develop responses to climate change that emphasise parallel benefits in other areas of life, such as through promoting wellbeing and cleaner air by moving away from a reliance on cars.
They will also work with charities, and the team will trial practical interventions at a community level to help reduce household emissions alongside industry partners to shape sustainable workplace practices.
The centre’s director, Professor Lorraine Whitmarsh of Cardiff University, said: ‘While there is now international momentum on action to tackle climate change, it is clear that critical targets, such as keeping global temperature rise to well within 2 degrees Celsius relative to pre-industrial levels, will be missed without fundamental transformations across all parts of society.
‘At the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations we recognise that climate change is an emergency that requires action on a far greater scale than has been seen so far. We will address the fundamental question of how we can live differently and better, in ways that meet the need for these systemic, deep and rapid emission reductions.’
First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, added: ‘Achieving a low-carbon future is only possible if we all play our part. As a government we recognise the enormity of the challenge, but we will not shirk from it. Today I’m launching Prosperity for All: A Low Carbon Wales, which sets out how the Welsh Government plans to reduce carbon emissions.
‘I’m delighted that alongside this, Cardiff University will lead the establishment of this new research centre. We’ve worked closely with researchers at Cardiff and its other partner organisation to shape the projects planned by the Centre.’