After presenting at an official side event during the COP21 climate talks, Brunel’s Dean of the College of Engineering, Design and the Physical Sciences, Professor Stefaan Simons, welcomed the historic agreement made by attending countries.
In his role as chair of the Institution of Chemical Engineering’s Energy Centre, he said: "The reaffirmation of the 2.0 degree target is welcome, but the route map still remains unclear. Nuclear, carbon, capture and storage (CCS), renewables and energy storage remain in the mix, but in the absence of clear-cut technology pathways it is difficult to see how real progress on decarbonisation can be achieved.
“The inclusion of the 1.5 degree aspiration in the agreement is a real game changer. Peak emission scenarios suggest that this limit will already be breached. Business-as-usual is no longer an option, the only solution is a step-change in our approach to fossil fuels - starting right now.
“To achieve the 1.5 degree limit, CCS deployment must be progressed as an urgent priority and this will require proactive support from governments around the world.
“At the same time, we must redouble the R&D effort in order to understand the integrated low-carbon energy systems that are needed in a post fossil fuel era.”