International Student Summit

This report talks about: All the experiences I had in London, how much information I got, and what are the reactions I had. I’ll try to put pictures and I hope you will like it.

I would like to thank the British Council, the Natural History Museum and everyone who was involved in this summit and made it work even with a single signature.


Getting the Visa: I thank the British Council once again for doing all the paper work. All I had to do was to give them the requirement papers and the visa was ready in about five days.

The members of the conference from Libya:

There should have been three people; me, another person and an adult but only the adult and I went there. The other person skipped the conference in the last minute for personal reasons.

Getting on the plane and arrival:

The trip was very comfortable and the plane landed safely. Then we collected our bags and took the 40£ that the British Council gave us and went to the Imperial College

We met Jakira and Eleanor who took us to the Sherfield Building and that is where we had dinner.

I checked in into the Imperial College’s building after dinner. I took my room key and met Jakira and Eleanor again and they took us to the Alexander Fleming Building where we set house rules and made sure that everyone was in agreement not to break them.

We played some icebreaker games that gave me the chance to get to know others and where everybody was from.

We split up into six groups and I guess I was the lucky one because my group was the best or that is what I think. In my group there were the Canadians and Libyans; all girls but me. Then we all went back to the Beit hall and went to our beds.

Day One of Student Summit:

First thing in morning we met with Eleanor and went to have breakfast. When breakfast ended we took a walk to the Natural History Museum.
They handed us the Quiz Dom handsets.
And this is how the Quiz Dom handsets look like:

We headed to our seats and this how it worked. The question appears on the screen and we answer with yes or no or we choose A B C D E F.

The First speaker was Mr. Tom Burke.

Mr. Tom said:
“Don’t be under forty”
He said this because all of the people who are under 40 years old are going to be suffering and we are the ones who are going to face all the disasters starting from earthquakes to the massive destructive hurricanes. I felt he was right because our mother earth is really suffering and humans are 100% responsible for what is going on. We are responsible for Global warming and our co2 footprint and we do have the sufficient technology to stop it or at least to prevent it from happening anymore. Yet we do not use it.

Break time.

The Second speaker was Professor Mike Hulme.
“Climate change: implication for the future, choice for the present”.

The Professor did talk about something seemed really interesting to me because we do not have it in Libya. He talked about the Thames barrier that was built in the United Kingdom to prevent the seawater from invading the land. Due to rising sea levels, there was a discussion in the public about raising the barrier. But he said that we should deal with the problem instead of going around it and of course the main reason for this problem is global warming.

“How high are we going to keep building higher Thams barrier?” he said.

The third speaker was Dr. Jeremy Leggett who talked about “the Climate change meets peak oil: the numbers game of the century”.

A summary of Dr. Jeremy Leggett talk is that our business and particularly our oil industry are making mother earth suffer. He said that governments are not making the big steps towards a cleaner environment because the temperature already is higher than the average 2 degrees Celsius.


The fourth speaker was Dr. Jillian Anable and he talked about “Driving to the limit: the effects of transport on climate change”

Dr. Jillian Anable made clear that the car is primary mode of transport for 6% of the world’s population but the transport sector is growing really fast all over the world. The more cars being sold, the more co2 emitted into the globe. Even worse is that although all cars have the same function as transport vehicles, they have varying fuel usage so that even driving the same distance, one car can emit more co2 than another.
Here’s a really good example that made me go like WOW.

The fifth speaker was Dr. Dave Reay and he talked about “Tackling climate change in the urban jungle”.

Dr. Dave made a really good point when he pointed the accusatory finger at cities. He said “Cities are now responsible for three-quarters of all greenhouse gas emissions released into the atmosphere by humankind… Yes we may be sliding deeper into a human-made climate abyss, but our cities can provide the ladder out of the hole we’ve got ourselves into.” He meant that it was possible within cities to come up with urban-centric solutions to tackle the very pollution they emit.

Short break.

Then all the speakers sat together and it was our turn to ask some questions. We asked some really good questions I don’t have the time to write all of them but I can say what I asked.

Ok you already said that scientists invented cars that use hydrogen instead of gas why don’t we see any of these cars on the market or why don’t we even see any hydrogen stations?

Since it’s still a new technology (the hydrogen cars), when do you think they are going to officially be used all over the world?

Summit closes for the day. And return to the Imperial College.

After that we played games and had something to eat in the map room at the Royal Geographical Society.

Evening ends

Day Two of Student Summit:

Review of the last day.
Dr. Bob Bloomfield introduces the first speaker Mr. Colin Butfield speaking of the WWF. Mr. Colin Butfield talked about how we could live in peace with our mother earth.
“(One planet living)”

Mr. Butfield made his argument with points on diminishing resources and animals in the wild due to our over-consumption in urban areas. Lets put this one in point form and you can be the judge:

Only 250 tigers left in India.
Only 350 tigers left in Bangladesh.
27% of co2 emissions come from our houses.
55% of timber used in our homes.
The United Kingdom is the third largest importer of illegal timber in the world.
More than 50% of the global population lives in he cities now.
Cities take up to 2% of the planet space.

Break Time.

The second speaker was Dr. Mark Spencer and he talked about “Urban plants: their importance in a changing world”.

The main idea was that if plants were used in the right way they can be our allies. They can provide shade and soothe the atmosphere.
Due to global warming many types of plants has been excessively spreading through cities.

London Rocket is sort of a plan that is invading London because of global warming. Thousands of types of grass are being affected by global warming.

By examining trends in plant growth, we have an idea of the effect of global warming on our environment.

The third speaker was Dr. Tim Sparks and he talked about “Dear diary: everyone can contribute to monitoring the effects of climate change”.

This is a summary of what Dr. Tim Spark said:

• Very little data would exist without volunteers acting independently or as part of networks.

• Historical data is valuable in examining temperature response, but much data lies scattered and in obscurity.

• Our ambition is to preserve and make available historic data for comparison with a continuing phonological network.

• Current data shows a large shift towards early timings in plant and animal cycles.

• Continued monitoring is necessary to identify change and potential problems with life cycles, competition and the food chain.

Then our group visited the Ice station Antarctica at the Natural History Museum.

London’s green spaces: improving peoples access to nature By Shirley Mitchell.

The thing that really took my attention over here is that 42% of London’s citizens said that London isn’t a green city.

Short break.

Then it was Question time and I asked:

I asked Mr. Colin Butfield. Are their any volunteers working on the WWF? If so how can anyone become a part of it?

He said they do have volunteers working with them and he asked me where am I from. I told him that I’m from Libya. He said that they don’t have offices in Libya but they are doing some work over there and he took my E-mail address and said he would see what he could do.

Summit closes for the day.
Depart on foot and went to high street Kensington.
Shopping ends we met Eleanor outside of the McDonald.
Depart by coach to a pizza restaurant.
Dinner ends.
Depart on foot to London eye for embarkation.
We returned by coach back to the Bait hall
Lights off time to bed.

Day three of student summit.

We met Eleanor and went to have breakfast.
Breakfast ends.
Arrive to the NHM.
Review of the last day.
The first speaker was Mr. Ken Livingstone The mayor of London and he was talking about “Climate change: the challenge of the 21st century”.

Something the mayor of London said really amazed me:
“We don’t need new technology. We have what we need. We simply need the political will and we can reduce our carbon footprint by
He was 100% right. The mayor of London made really clear points. He said that London is the only city that has increased in population by 10% but seen no increase in the carbon emissions.
He also mentioned that there should be a small carbon taxes on air travel and this will produce for sure the air travel carbon footprint.

Break time.

The Second speaker was Mr. Peter Head, Director of ARUP “The development of low carbon green cities”.

Mr. Peter Head was talking about the first eco-city (dongtan) and he said that it is one of six and the first phase of development is due to be completed in 2010.
The eco-city will have a lower footprint than any other city thanks to its perfect designing.
China hopes that eco-cities will help to remove humanity from the industrial age to the ecological age within the 50 next years.

The third speaker was Ms. Brenda Boardman; Head of lower carbon Futures team at Environmental change Institute, Oxford University “Personal carbon allowances”.

The idea was to give each person a specific amount of carbon that they can use whichever way they want and this amount is written on there carbon cards but some questions need to be asked first. How much should individuals be allowed? Should all individuals be given the same amount? Are children different in their carbon needs from adults?

If this happened then it will produce the country’s carbon footprint.
Those carbon cards should look like this.


The fourth speaker was Ms. Tatiana Bosteels, London Climate Change Agency “moving towards a low carbon London”

The fifth speaker was Mr. Adrian Hewitt, Merton borough Council “the power of local government to combat climate change”.

Short break.

Questions time and I asked the mayor of London before he leaves.

Are those hydrogen buses going to be used all over Europe and will it ever going to be possible to make any sort of law that will force the other countries to use them?

The answer was that those buses will be used in London in the next two years also in Europe very soon but we will not be able to force other countries to use them.

Although since we are the first who invented those buses then this will create an international market and will be open for sail all over the world.

Summit closes.

After that we made our way to the hydrogen buses in front of the Natural History Museum and it took us in a tour on over London and put us back into the Imperial college.

Evening ends.
Lights off and time to sleep.

Last day we had breakfast hugs and goodbyes then checkout and it was time to go to the airport.

And finely…

Because a green city is a dream that comes in the minds of all those who cares about environment..

And it’s a dream I hope that I could bring it to realty to make my city greener..
So it can survive from the other problems that other cities are already having.

I wish to be like a green hand that is digging over here and there.

I wish to be the mind that tells the people what to do to make they’re cities greener.

I wish that I could do all that while I’m provided with all the knowledge that the British council could provide me with either working inside or outside of Libya.