In Memory of Seb Carney

by Asher Minns


I am very sad to be writing this to mark the passing of Sebastian Carney, an early member of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. Seb undertook his PhD at the University of Manchester, which if memory serves me correctly, he did in record time.

Seb was an emissions counter extraordinaire and made an enormous contribution to the Tyndall Centre intellectually and socially. If your City is counting its carbon, I can trace back those techniques to Seb, in addition to all the engagement that he did with city decision-makers, showing them how to count their carbon emissions using their own data and expertise.

Seb’s PhD developed GRIP – the Greenhouse Gas Regional Inventory Process, championed through his company Carbon Captured Ltd. GRIP co-produced emissions scenarios and trajectories for 14 European Metropolitan Regions, and Sacramento, California.

His GRIP methodology went on to be evaluated in 2009 by the Joint Research Centre of the EU (European Union) and was subsequently recommended by the Covenant of Mayors (CoM) office as best practice methodology to all its signing cities. Seb’s work also won an award for ‘Outstanding Performance’ from the Royal Town Planning Institute. Four years after completing his PhD, Seb presented his EU work at the 2010 American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting in San Diego.

Following his outstanding contributions to the public understanding of emission reductions, Seb went on to provide advice to Governments and legislators tackling climate change, picking up an LLM law degree, with Distinction, of course, along the way, as well as advising the private sector on the governance of environmental and social responsibility.

In his most recent venture, Seb set up Confident Futures with a colleague, quickly attracting significant support. We can say that Seb, our friend and colleague, achieved more positive change in his 45 years than many manage in a long life. His friends at the Tyndall Centre miss him dearly.

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