SCEBE lecturer gives powerful climate talk at ‘Rebuilding Pakistan’ fundraiser
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Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) Department of Civil Engineering and Environmental Management Lecturer Dr Charlie Russell gave a powerful climate change talk to over 350 people at a ‘Rebuilding Pakistan’ fundraiser.
He was joined by two other speakers Scottish Labour Party Leader Anas Sarwar and President of the Alkhidmat Foundation Pakistan Muhammad Abdus Shakoor at the Normandy Hotel in Renfrew on October 18.
The evening raised over £250,000 to provide essential supplies, including ambulances, mobile hospitals and water filtration vehicles for badly affected areas in Pakistan hit by recent floods.
Dr Russell, who is based in the School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment (SCEBE), is the Programme Leader for the BSc in Environmental Management and is supervising a number of PhD students working across a range of environmental issues, including climate justice.
His talk was about how and why the climate is changing so quickly in Pakistan and showed data about temperature and rainfall escalation in the country which has been significantly greater over the last 30 years.
Dr Russell, who is also part of the University’s Mary Robinson Centre for Climate Justice, explained that the risk of flooding and drought extremes will become even more frequent in the coming years and that Pakistan must prepare to adapt to flooding and build resilience.
He said, “I was delighted to be able to help raise funds to rebuild Pakistan and to be asked to give a talk about the effects of climate change on the country.
“I was contacted by one of the event’s organisers, Dr Nadeem Bhatti, a personal friend, who knows that I am the Programme Leader for BSc Environmental Management and that I established and ran the MSc in Climate Justice for five years.
“He is very familiar with my experience in the International Climate Change Negotiations. Dr Bhatti is a GP in Partick who is a leader in making a difference with a range of humanitarian projects in Pakistan.
“The upcoming COP27 in Egypt is another opportunity to raise the importance of the loss and damage and financial support to the world’s most vulnerable nations to the effects of climate change.
“Pakistan is among the 20 most vulnerable and the recent floods have meant 33 million people have been displaced from their homes.
“During my talk, I said the immediate action needs to be to attend to those most severely impacted by the disaster, but it is critical to build resilience and infrastructure in the country and that the international community is held to this at the next UN Climate Summit.”
Dr Russell said conference organisers were delighted he was able to attend the event and give his support.
He added, “It was also great to meet several GCU graduates who were delighted that GCU is showing leadership and educational development in the climate change and climate justice areas. Helping out at events like this is what the University for the Common Good is all about.”
The Department of Civil Engineering and Environmental Management is committed to delivering quality education and research that is aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).