Universal Well-Being Within Planetary Boundaries – Jan 26, 2021 – Dr. Julia Steinberger

WEBINAR: The Ultimate Engineering Challenge: Universal Well-Being Within Planetary Boundaries

Speaker: Dr. Julia Steinberger, University of Leeds

When: Tuesday, 26 January 2021 | 12:30 – 1:30 PM
Registration: Free, please register here

Presented as part of Sustainable, Resilient and Equitable Re-Start, an online, bi-weekly seminar series focused on how we can work towards more sustainable, resilient, and equitable restart following the pandemic. All events in the series can be seen here.

Join Julia Steinberger for a presentation on several streams of research within the “Living Well Within Limits” project, which investigates the energy requirements of well-being, from quantitative, participatory, and provisioning systems perspectives.

Steinberger will communicate individual and cross-cutting findings from the project and their implications for the engineering research community. In particular, the most recent results on the international distribution of energy footprints by country, consumption category, and income classes, as well as modelling the minimum energy demand that would provide decent living standards for everyone on earth by 2050.

The presentation will illustrate how achieving low-carbon well-being, both from the beneficiary (“consumer”) and supply-chain (producer) sides, involves strong distributional and political elements. Simply researching this area from a technical, social, or economic lens is insufficient to draw out the reasons for poor outcomes and most promising avenues for positive change, instead requiring active engagement of the research community.

About the presenter

Professor Julia Steinberger researches and teaches in the interdisciplinary areas of Ecological Economics and Industrial Ecology. Her research examines the connections between resource use (energy and materials, greenhouse gas emissions) and societal performance (economic activity and human wellbeing). She is interested in quantifying the current and historical linkages between resource use and socioeconomic parameters, and identifying alternative development pathways to guide the necessary transition to a low carbon society.


The Department of Mechanical Engineering co-presents this speaker series as part of the UBC Sustainability Initiative, in partnership with UVic Civil Engineering, and supported by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions.