On Tuesday 14th March the Third Form had a lecture from Old Fettesian and hugely experienced climate change expert Martin Lees (CE 1955-1960). Martin’s talk was a keynote address to support the week long Third Form interdisciplinary learning project – Are we doing enough to tackle Climate Change?
Martin is a true expert in sustainability and climate change having been working with governments across the globe on these critical issues for the last 27 years. Martin has an enviable CV. He is Chair of OECD IIASA Task Force on Systems Thinking, Anticipation and Resilience and Rector Emeritus at the UN University for Peace. He was a High-level Adviser to the President of COP20; Moderator of the Gorbachev Task Force on Climate Change and was previously UN Assistant Secretary General for Science and Technology for Development. Martin has a degree in Mechanical Science from Cambridge University and was educated at Fettes College. At Fettes Martin was in College East, he was Head of House, he excelled on the hockey pitch and achieved the mile record, he was also in the choir and the orchestra and was RSM in the CCF.
The talk covered the following broad areas:
- How do we know the climate is changing?
- What are the causes of climate change, how have we got to this point?
- What is humanity doing about climate change?
- Where are we on the key measures (Paris agreement of 2015).
- What are the obstacles? Why haven’t we made quicker progress / achieved the targets?
- Looking ahead, what does humanity need to do?
The Third Form found the talk really helpful and made many notes throughout. Many students took the opportunity to ask lots of interesting questions before Martin concluded his talk with these remarks.
- We need to cut emissions faster.
- Strengthen international cooperation to reach genuine agreements.
- Provide more resources to the developing countries to tackle the problem.
- Stop subsidising the wrong things.
- Mobilise coalitions of people to generate solutions.
We are very grateful to Martin Lees for visiting Fettes to deliver this highly informative keynote address.
Alastair Armstrong, Director of Teaching & Learning said:
“Martin’s insightful and inspirational address was a superb way to start our week long inter-disciplinary project on climate change. Drawing on his own experiences in working with governments and businesses over the past thirty years, he was able to assess the progress, or lack of it, we have made in attempting to combat climate change. Our students left with a distinct sense that global co-operation and a genuine collective will to commit to renewable energies and cut emissions was required and that this needed to happen now. They will now integrate Martin’s ideas into their dissertation along with the experiments and ideas that they are carrying out in all of their lessons this week to tackle the question, ‘Are we doing enough to tackle climate change?’.