Coventry Peace Lecture by Sir David King

Sir David King

A rare opportunity to hear the UK’s ex Chief Scientific Adviser and Special Representative for Climate Change share his insight and wisdom.

Some people claim that Covid19 is the world’s biggest threat since the end of World War II. It has galvanised governments into action because it is an immediate and obvious danger. But, within a couple of years, there will be a vaccine for the virus, most people will have acquired immunity and society will return to normal, poorer and perhaps no wiser.

For, many scientists would argue, there is a much greater threat facing the world today which is going to have far more devastating consequences than Covid19 if not tackled with equal urgency. Climate change is probably the greatest threat to peace facing the world, but so far governments have offered no proportionate response.

Thursday 12th November 2020,  6.30pm at Coventry Cathedral or online. Book at 

Professor Sir David King is uniquely qualified to give an authoritative insight into the threat of climate change and what governments and their citizens need do to deal with it. Sir David was Tony Blair and Gordon Brown’s chief scientific adviser. At that time, he was outspoken on the subject of climate change, saying “I see climate change as the greatest challenge facing Britain and the world in the 21st century” and “climate change is the most severe problem we are facing today – more serious even than the threat of terrorism”.

He then served as the permanent Special Representative for Climate Change under David Cameron and Theresa May, including for Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, playing an active part in framing and securing the Paris agreement.

Sir David is clear that all nations must draw up a plan to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change. But they have failed to do so and today, while governments are promising to invest a total of over a trillion dollars to counter the effects of the Covid19 pandemic, there are estimates that they will need to spend a hundred times as much over the next thirty years merely to replace all fossil fuel power stations with clean generation.

The talk is scheduled to be held in Coventry Cathedral on Thursday 12 November, two days before the 80th anniversary of the bombing of the city. The doors will open at 18:30.

Should Covid19 still be preventing mass gatherings by then, the talk will be delivered over the internet and you will still be able to ask Sir David questions.

The talk is likely to be very popular and you are advised to book your seats at

Sir David has published over 500 papers on science and policy, for which he has received numerous awards, and holds 22 Honorary Degrees from universities around the world. Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1991, a Foreign Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2002. Sir David was knighted in 2003 and made an Officer of the French Legion of Honour in 2009 for work which has contributed to responding to the climate and energy challenge.

The Lord Mayor’s Peace Lecture is organised annually by Coventry Lord Mayor’s Committee for Peace and Reconciliation. Recent speakers have included Jonathon Porritt, Michael Morpurgo, Paul Oestreicher, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and, last year, Baroness Shami Chakrabarti.

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