Public Release: 

What's fueling climate change?

McGill hosts public symposium on climate change and energy needs

McGill University

How do we reconcile growing energy needs with climate change? Is nuclear energy the solution? As Montreal prepares to host the first meeting of the parties to the Kyoto Protocol next month, the question of how to fuel our increasing energy needs is very much on the public agenda.

McGill University is pleased to announce the launch of the Lorne Trottier Public Science Symposium Series scheduled to be held November 24 in Montreal just prior to the Conference on the Climate Change Convention. The inaugural symposium, sponsored by Lorne Trottier, (B.Eng.70, M. Eng 73), President of Matrox Electronic Systems Ltd., offers the general public the opportunity to hear about the key issues at stake and to debate proposed solutions.

Top scientists speak

Four of the world's leading experts in the field of climate change and energy will address questions of concern to families, policy makers, and environmental groups.

Dr. Amory Lovins, Founder and CEO, Rocky Mountain Institute

  • Dr. Lovins argues that focusing on energy efficiency will not only protect the Earth's climate, it will make businesses and consumers richer. Many energy-efficient products, such as homes and factories that use less power and lightweight vehicles, cost no more than inefficient ones used currently. With efficiency improvements and competitive renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, Lovins believes the US can phase out oil use by 2050.

Dr. Nebojsa Nakicenovic, Professor of Energy Economics, University of Vienna/IIASA

  • Dr. Nakicenovic contends that technological options currently operational or in pilot stage today are sufficient to stabilize CO2 levels over the next 100 years, at values which are still higher than current levels. He is lead author of a chapter in the authoritative publication "Climate Change 2001: Mitigation" published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an organization founded by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Program in 1988.

Dr. Rom Duffey, Chief Scientist, Atomic Energy Canada Ltd.

  • Dr. Duffey will address fission/fusion as a potential energy source for the future citing examples such as the international multi-billion dollar ITER fusion project based in France, an experimental step between today's study of nuclear physics and tomorrow's electricity-producing fusion power plants.

Dr. Martin Hoffert, Professor of Physics, New York University

  • Dr. Hoffert questions whether currently operational technological options can supply the anticipated global energy needs and at the same time stabilize CO2 levels in the face of climate change in the coming decades. He is the lead author of an article published in 2002 in the prestigious journal Science on this topic.


About the symposium series

The Lorne Trottier Public Science Symposium Series, funded by the Trottier Family Foundation, honours the hi-tech businessman and philanthropist's wish to hold a public forum to inform, inspire debate and raise public awareness on contemporary issues confronting society. The series revives the 19th century tradition of public debate on issues of concern to society and sets it in the 21st century by creating an open forum with top scientific experts. The symposium is being organized by McGill's Global Environmental and Climate Change Centre (

About McGill University

McGill University is Canada's leading research-intensive university and has earned an international reputation for scholarly achievement and scientific discovery. Founded in 1821, McGill has 21 faculties and professional schools, which offer more than 300 programs from the undergraduate to the doctoral level. McGill attracts renowned professors and researchers from around the world and top students from more than 150 countries, creating one of the most dynamic and diverse education environments in North America. There are approximately 23,000 undergraduate students and 7,000 graduate students. It is one of two Canadian members of the American Association of Universities. McGill's two campuses are located in Montreal, Canada.

The speakers for the Lorne Trottier Public Science Symposium are available for advance interviews.

Information: Bonnie Brayton, Symposium Coordinator
Global Environmental & Climate Change Centre McGill University
Telephone: 514-398-3458
Fax: 514-398-3759 Email:

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