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Geological Society announces its 2022 theme – the Year of Sustainability

22 April 2020

The Geological Society of London is pleased to announce its themed year for 2022 – the Year of Sustainability. Throughout the year, the Society will explore the role geologists have to play in delivering the energy transition and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through a variety of research conferences, lectures and education and outreach activities.

“One of the great challenges of our time is to move our mindset from exploring and exploiting our planet to exploring and sustaining life on it. To this end, the UK Government and many of the UK’s major industries have set aggressive targets to achieve net zero carbon emissions.

“This pivot away from a carbon based society presents many opportunities for the Earth sciences: from mitigating climate change impacts to exploring for geothermal energy and the key energy transition metals such as copper, cobalt and the rare earth minerals, as well as enabling the secure and economic storage of carbon and radioactive waste,” says President-designate Mike Daly.

Joel Gill, the incoming Secretary of Foreign and External Affairs and Executive Director of Geology for Global Development, said: “The responsible management and extraction of natural resources such as minerals and water, together with an improved understanding of natural hazards, are major components of meeting many of the SDGs. The Year of Sustainability will allow the Society to bring together scientists, community leaders and policy makers to ensure that economic development is underpinned by environmental stewardship and empowered communities.”

The Society’s thematic year programme aims to raise the profile of geoscience, promote public engagement and provide exciting and informative themes around which to frame our education, outreach, publications and conference programmes.

“GSL has long argued that geologists hold the skills and knowledge needed to ensure that the world can meet targets for reducing carbon emissions and fully support a growing population whilst protecting the natural environment,” says Alicia Newton, Director of Science and Communications. “We are looking forward to showing students, educators, communities and policy makers just how much geology has to contribute to ensuring the future wellbeing of people and the planet.”

Notes for editors

  1. To find out more about our themed years, visit our themed years hub.
  2. Read more about geology and sustainability in our policy briefing notes and via our decarbonisation hub.
  3. The Geological Society of London, founded 1807, is a learned and professional body of over 12,000 Earth scientists with a remit to investigate, interpret, discuss, inform and advise on the nature and processes of the Earth, their practical importance to humanity, and, in the interests of the public, to promote professional excellence. The Society offers advice to Parliament and Government, at individual and corporate levels. Registered Charity No. 210161.