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Paul Allen

Paul has lived with and worked with renewable energy technologies for over 30 years. His background and training is as an electrical and electronic engineer. Paul joined the Centre for Alternative Technology in 1988, helping develop a wide range of renewable energy systems including solar medical systems for use overseas. Paul has led the ground-breaking Zero Carbon Britain research for over 12 years; liaising directly with Government, business, public sector and the arts.

Key Skills:
30 years’ experience initiating ‘ahead of the curve’ research projects
Strong technical and practical experience
Public Speaker – from UNFCCC COP conferences to local summits

Recent positions:
Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellow (2013)
Wales Science Advisory Council (2010-14)
Climate Change Commission for Wales (2007-2015)

Wicked Problems need wicked solutions

Building on the groundwork laid by Centre for Alternative Technology’s Zero Carbon Britain project over the last 14 years, this talk helps us understand how the climate emergency is a wicked problem, one which gets worse if we don’t act and is deeply engrained in the ways we live our lives.
Thankfully, our human response embodies some ‘wicked solutions’ that can also accelerate change. Many of the solutions we need also contain an emerging array of feedbacks, which accelerate both the scale and speed of their deployment. Also, when the shift to these new technologies is combined with a ‘just transition’, the process begins to engage more and more people. But perhaps the most powerful element of this ‘wicked solution’ is that delivering a zero carbon future also holds the potential to be one of the most exciting opportunities in human history, offering us the chance to simultaneously resolve many other problems. The talk introduces the Centre for Alternative Technology’s most recent report Rising to the Climate Emergency, which offers a positive and technically feasible future scenario that aims to stimulate debate, foster all-party political commitment and catalyse action across all parts of society. To find out more, visit