Sir David MacKay’s Global Calculator

Professor Sir David MacKay, the former Chief Scientific Advisor to the Department of Energy and Climate Change who died earlier this year, was a true visionary. In December 2015 we helped organise a lecture at the House of Lords where he offered an extraordinary and insightful tour of his work at DECC, explaining why good energy policy is difficult and how we can improve international negotiations on climate change action. It was one of his last public appearances.

We continue to be involved in securing his legacy, and convened a meeting to discuss the continued funding of his Global Calculator. This brilliantly simple, but incredibly challenging tool, allows people to experiment with different ways of reducing emissions, and get a real sense of the trade-offs required. We brought together a group of leading climate science researchers, modellers, engineers and experts in energy policy on 24th May 2016 at the Institute of Physics to begin a discussion about continuation plans for the Global Calculator, a model of the world’s energy, land and food systems which allows you to explore the trade-offs and ‘do the maths’ for tackling climate change. The future of the calculator is far from certain but we are working with former DECC officials to help ensure a continuation of the work that Sir David was doing with the Global Calculator.

Published: 17 November 2016