Charcoal power

Climate Change and Non-fossil Fuels: Charcoal, Deforestation, and Urbanisation in East Africa – Webinar with Professor Adam Branch

Date & timeWednesday, 10 November 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Booking closing date Wednesday, 10 November 12:00pm

*Booking for this event has now closed. To enquire about late bookings, please email*

This November we look forward to hosting an online webinar where Trinity Hall Philomathia Fellow and Professor of International Politics and Director of the Centre of African Studies, Professor Adam Branch will discuss his recent work.

About the event

When we think about climate change, we tend to have a certain image in mind: massive fossil fuel use driving CO2 emissions, leading to unprecedented climatic disruption. But what about parts of the world where this model does not fit? In East Africa, fossil fuel emissions are negligible; instead, the principal energy source is woodfuel, and, in urban areas, charcoal. Rapid urbanization is leading to increasing charcoal demand, putting growing pressure on the region’s forests where it is produced. This is raising concerns for charcoal’s impact on climate change as carbon sinks are lost and emissions rise. So what is the solution? Does charcoal – and woodfuel more broadly – need to be displaced in large-scale energy transitions to renewables, especially hydro and wind? Can charcoal itself be made sustainable? Or is charcoal really a problem for global climate change at all, or are the environmental and social harms of charcoal more local and regional than global?

The webinar will start at 5.30pm.


Adam Branch is Professor of International Politics and Director of the Centre of African Studies at Cambridge, and Philomathia Fellow at Trinity Hall. He received his PhD in political science from Columbia University and his BA from Harvard University. Prior to joining Cambridge, he was Senior Research Fellow at the Makerere Institute of Social Research in Kampala. Adam’s research examines the politics of global justice, in particular peacebuilding, international criminal law, and now sustainable energy and climate change adaptation, all with a regional focus on East Africa. He is author of two books, Displacing Human Rights and Africa Uprising: Popular Protest and Political Change. His research has been funded by the AHRC, GCRF, and the British Academy, and he is a series editor for African Arguments.

How to register

Online: Booking has now closed.

By email: Contact with your name and how you heard about the event. If you are an alumnus/alumna of the College, please include your matriculation year.

Please register no later than midday on Wednesday 10 November.

You will receive the joining instructions by 2.30pm (BST) on Wednesday which will include the link to Zoom. If you have not received the link by this date and time, please check your spam box before contacting


If you have any queries, please contact Liz Pentlow on

A donation to support our students

There is no charge to attend the webinar, however we would be incredibly grateful if you would consider donating what you may have spent on a drink on a night out to our student support funds. Donations help students facing unexpected financial challenges, particularly following the pandemic. No gift is too small as collectively we can make a huge difference to our students. Thank you.

During a period when so much has been uncertain and stressful, it has been so helpful to have had financial support. It has made it possible for me to really focus on my studies. Thank you so much!” Trinity Hall undergraduate

When you complete the booking form, please consider donating the cost of a drink from the Aula Bar:

£2.00 Cappuccino | £3.80 Trinity Hall Ale | £2.50 Pint of Lager

£3.00 Gin | £6.90 Bottle of wine | £18.20 a round of all the above