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Wednesday 4 March 2020

The UK has set a goal to become carbon neutral by 2050. That’s ambitious and challenging, but it’s not enough.

This is the central message of a new, international award-winning film by a Solent University producer and an academic from the Universities of Southampton and Exeter.

The Race is On: Secrets and Solutions of the Climate Crisis highlights the key issues of the global climate crisis and the solutions, and won the Science Communication Award in the 13th Athens International Science Film Festival.

The film - by Paul Maple, a film and digital producer at Solent University, and Dr James G Dyke, a Visiting Academic from Geography and Environmental Science at the University of Southampton and Programme Director of the MSc Global Sustainability Solutions at the University of Exeter - brings together world-leading experts and change-makers from around the UK to explain this epic story and inspire hope.

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“The main theme is that we have 16 years - at current rates of pollution - until we have burnt enough fossil fuels for irreversible climate breakdown,” explains Paul. “But we also have all the solutions we need right now to create a sustainable future.”

The Solent University MA graduate continues: “When I found out we had such a short window to save our biosphere I was horrified, but action is the best antidote for dismay. I am nobody. But I can use my film making skills to raise awareness of what's really happening behind the headlines, and how to take effective actions.

“I needed to make this film because our children deserve a better future than the one we are on track to deliver for them. With contributions from experts and change-makers, we tell how humanity can rise to the challenge and ensure a flourishing future.” 

The Race is On tells this epic story through the words of four world-leading experts, Dr Gavin Schmidt from NASA, Kate Raworth from Oxford University, Professor Kevin Anderson from Tyndall Centre, and Paul Allen from Zero Carbon Britain.

From climate facts and basic assumptions, to upgrading political and economic systems, and enhancing cities and communities - The Race is On covers them all.

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“Climate change is a broad and highly complex topic,” Paul continues. “But I wanted to make a film that is understandable for a general audience to follow. I had to make the film relevant to people's everyday lives,” says Paul, who is now studying for a PHD at Solent University.

The film took two years to complete, funded through crowdfunding and donations.

“We’ve been getting really good responses from around the globe and stimulating debate, which is really important,” adds Paul.

“Time is running out, but this is still a race we can win – if we all play our part.”