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The Focus-Abengoa Foundation opens a new edition of the Energy Transition and Climate Change School

09/06/2015

The School is taking place at the Hospital de los Venerables in Seville, the headquarters of the Focus-Abengoa Foundation, on 9th, 10th and 11th June.
Dimitri Zenghelis gives the opening lecture entitled “Climate change and innovation”.

Seville, 9 June 2015 – The Focus-Abengoa Foundation today opened a new edition of the Energy Transition and Climate Change School. The event was officiated by Josep Borrell Fontelles, Director of the School, Vice-chairman of the Focus-Abengoa Foundation, Director of the Energy Transition and Climate Change Forum and member of Abengoa’s International Advisory Board; Anabel Morillo, Director General of the Focus-Abengoa Foundation, and Dimitri Zenghelis, co-head of policy at the Grantham Research Institute of the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Dimitri Zenghelis, who is also lead economist of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, was tasked with giving the opening lecture entitled “Climate change and innovation in an economy conditioned by the past and undergoing constant change”. In his talk, he explained that transitioning away from fossil fuels would require deep-rooted changes to the economic and energy system, going on to say that innovation –both technological and in social behaviour– is a key factor in this transition.

Over the three days of the School, economic and climate change experts will be dealing with this topic in their talks to further develop this message. On Wednesday, José Manuel Moreno Rodríguez, professor of ecology at the University of Castilla-La Mancha, will examine the meticulous nature of the work carried out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to disseminate new scientific information about climate change and its importance so that governments reach a consensus.

He will be followed by Pablo del Río, a tenured scientist and head of the Environmental Economics Group at the Spanish Higher Council for Scientific Research, who will give an economic explanation about the need for urgent action to slow down the potential consequences of climate change. Afterwards, José Ignacio García (SJ), Director of the Jesuit European Social Centre, will look at the issue from a moral standpoint, showing how climate change will mostly affect the poorest populations, highlighting the need to act for social justice.

During the afternoon, Nancy Tuchman, founding director of the Institute of Environmental Sustainability at Loyola Chicago University, will explain the sustainable initiatives carried out at her university, such as converting its waste into biofuels, as a means of promoting environmental awareness among its students.

The day will end with a round table session with Cristina Narbona, a member of the Global Ocean Commission and former Minister of Environment, and Javier Gregori, an environmental activist and writer, who together will focus on the evolution in public awareness about the dangers of climate change and its coverage in the media, as well as the need for environmental policies to appropriately manage this common problem.

Thursday will begin with a talk by Hermann-Josef Wagner, professor of energy systems and energy economics and Director of the Institute of Energy Technology at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB), who will examine Germany’s case and the development of renewable energy.

He will be followed by Cote Romero, Director of Ecooo and state coordinator of the Platform for a New Energy Model, who will talk on the subject of “Conquering energy sovereignty” and explain how the fossil fuel and nuclear industries have managed to effectively control energy policy and public opinion through the media, both vital issues for their survival. Lastly, Guillaume Duval, editor-in-chief of Alternatives Economiques, will analyse the new energy transition law approved in France this year.

The School is part of the Energy Transition and Climate Change Forum of the Focus-Abengoa Foundation and seeks to analyse the positions of different countries ahead of this year’s summit in Paris. This edition will discuss the need for change, the barriers to becoming a low-carbon economy and how to make the most of the opportunities that may arise from the greatest economic transformation since the Industrial Revolution. This edition will also examine climate change from an ethical, social justice and legal perspective, with special emphasis on the energy transition as part of the solution.

Entry to the lectures of the Energy Transition and Climate Change School is free while spaces are available.

The Focus-Abengoa Foundation

The Focus-Abengoa Foundation was created in 1982 as a result of the cultural work begun in 1972 by Abengoa with the publication of the works Temas Sevillanos e Iconografía de Sevilla (Themes of Seville and Iconography of Seville). A collection of documents, books and engravings on the Kingdom of Seville and by Sevillian authors was created during the same period. This initial cultural work showed Abengoa’s directors the importance of the company’s involvement in activities that directly benefit society, beyond the firm’s core technology work, which led to the creation of the Seville Cultural Fund Foundation. Following the acquisition of Velázquez’s Santa Rufina by the Foundation in 2007, the Hospital de los Venerables, a 17th century monument and the headquarters of the Focus-Abengoa Foundation in Seville, has housed the Diego Velázquez Research Centre, a leading institution for studying and disseminating the Baroque era and the Sevillian period of this universally renowned artist.Attention to this crucial moment of the Golden Age is completed with the legacy of Professor Alfonso E. Pérez Sánchez, received by the Foundation in 2011. Consisting of his library, photo library, archive and collection of artworks, its cataloging is enabling to create a library specializing in Baroque art and culture, http://focus.abengoa.es/

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