Professor Ian Bateman OBE

Business School academic to take part in Annual Science Lecture panel

Environmental economist Professor Ian Bateman OBE will be part of an expert panel discussion this week at the Natural History Museum’s Annual Science Lecture 2021.

The event, which will take place online on 11 March, will see Mark Carney, the former Governor of the Bank of England and current UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance, deliver the keynote speech, in which he will discuss how we can rebuild nature, enhance biodiversity and restore the delicate balance of our planetary systems.

Professor Bateman, Director of the Land, Environment, Economics and Policy Institute (LEEP) at the University of Exeter Business School, will be debating and analysing the ideas presented in in Mr Carney’s keynote speech, from how to achieve net zero carbon emissions to who should be responsible for making change happen – governments, industry or individuals?

The panel will be chaired by the Museum’s Executive Director for Science, Dr Tim Littlewood, and will see Professor Bateman joined by fellow environmental economist Kate Raworth, senior Research Associate at Oxford University's Environmental Change Institute, and Professor Andy Purvis, who founded and leads the Museum’s PREDICTS project, which has produced the biggest global database of how local ecological communities have been affected by humans.

It promises to be an evening of lively discussion and analysis, with the audience encouraged to join the debate and submit questions to the panellists.

Professor Bateman, a member of the Business School’s Economics department as well as Principal Investigator for the The South West Partnership for Environmental and Economic Prosperity (SWEEP), is widely regarded as among the leading academics in his field.

He is a member of the UK’s Natural Capital Committee, has acted as an adviser or consultant to numerous government bodies including Defra, DfT, DoH, NICE and OECD and is a Fellow of the British Academy, the Royal Society of Arts and the Royal Society of Biology.

Professor Bateman said: “I am very pleased to have been invited to explore and debate some of the radical changes needed if we are to save our natural environment and deliver a green recovery.

“Research at the LEEP Institute challenges the idea that there is a choice between environmental sustainability and economic viability; you cannot degrade the environment forever and hope to sustain the economy and wellbeing. In fact investing in the environment is investing in the economy. Green recovery policies generate more jobs at less cost and with much wider benefits than almost any other investment option. And these are sustainable jobs that literally don’t cost the earth.

“I look forward to putting these ideas forward at this exciting event.”

The event is part of the Museum’s year-long season of activity focusing on human impact on the planet, Our Broken Planet: How We Got Here and Ways to Fix It.

Dr Doug Gurr, Director of the Natural History Museum, said: “We are delighted to host this thought-provoking and timely lecture from Mark Carney. Exploring the radical shifts we might need to make in thought and action if we are to halt biodiversity loss and climate change, his speech is no doubt likely to provoke lively debate and analysis from our expert panel and audience watching.”

Date: 9 March 2021

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