UNSW lecture to discuss how climate change can lead to economic boom

| February 27, 2019

By investing in and implementing local solutions to tackle climate change issues, rather than importing technologies, Australia could generate economic development.

According to Anita Lawrence Chair in High Performance Architecture at UNSW Built Environment, Scientia Professor Mat Santamouris, Australia could become a world leader in climate change.

Professor Santamouris, who has 20-years’ experience investigating urban overheating around the world, will present his world-leading research into urban heat mitigation studies of cities at the Annual Paul Reid Lecture on 6 March, part of the Utzon Lecture Series hosted by UNSW Built Environment.

The lecture, ‘Cooling the Cities – advances in science and design for the mitigation of urban heat’, will be a provocative and timely analysis, with the world set to experience more prolonged heatwaves in future due to a changing climate.

Professor Santamouris says that investing in local solutions to tackle climate change issues like urban overheating, rather than importing technologies, can generate economic development.

Currently, 400 cities worldwide are impacted by urban overheating, the most documented phenomenon of climate change.

“Australia produces insulation, Australia produces double-glazing glass, Australia produces lighting and many other technologies – let us use these technologies here, and we will have an industrial boom,” Professor Santamouris says.

“By giving preference to these technologies with high added value to the area … we will generate local wealth [because of industrial activity], but more importantly, we will be able to export these products to help less developed countries.”

Professor Santamouris estimates that 50-degree days will be a common occurrence in 2050.

“If we are not proactive and you follow business as usual, in 2050 … the energy consumption will be tremendous, the cost of living will be extreme … the living conditions will be terrible. The low-income population cannot afford this.”

Professor Santamouris says it’s important to plan for the future now, before the impacts of climate change become more pronounced.

“Either we are moving with full speed into a wall, or we can plan our future.”

“If we do not plan our future, there is no future.” 

What: Annual Paul Reid Lecture in Urban Design | Utzon Lecture Series: Cooling the Cities – advances in science and design for the mitigation of urban heat, by Scientia Professor Mat Santamouris

When: Wednesday, 6 March 2019, 7 pm (registration 6:30 pm)

Where: Leighton Hall, John Niland Scientia Building, UNSW Sydney

Register for the lecture

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