Preparing people and organisations for a climate uncertain future


The Walker Institute is the University of Reading’s Interdisciplinary Climate Research Institute, and one of eight ‘My Climate Risk’ Regional Hubs under the World Climate Research Programme.

We carry out global interdisciplinary research, innovation and capacity building to advance knowledge and deliver a better understanding of future climate, its impacts, and consequences on people’s lives.

Our vision is a world in which all people, organisations, meteorological agencies, and governments are better able to cope with the changing and often unpredictable demands of the climate and environment, turning challenges into opportunities.

Our focus is on Africa, Asia, and the Americas, but our knowledge, skills and approach are globally applicable.

World Climate Research Programme ‘My Climate Risk’ regional hub

As one of eight Regional Hubs appointed under the recently established World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) ‘My Climate Risk’ Lighthouse Activity.  Walker’s interdisciplinary research focus, supporting the development of climate resilient societies aligns closely with the WCRP’s ‘My Climate Risk’ Lighthouse Activity goals:

  • Fundamental understanding of the climate system
  • Prediction of the near-term evolution of the climate system
  • Long-term response of the climate system
  • Bridging climate science and society

Together with the Walker Institute and the other seven Regional Hubs across the world, the initiative aims to develop and mainstream a ‘bottom-up’ approach to regional climate risk, starting with the requirements of decision-makers.

Walker Institute - University of Reading

Climate Futures - Norwegian Research Centre (NORCE)

Himalayan University Consortium (ICIMOD)

Ateneo de Manila University

Australian Bureau of Meteorology

University of Cape Town

National Scientific and Technical Research Council

University of Manitoba

Recent Projects

A Global Network of Collaborators

The Walker Institute team is a talented group of experienced research scientists. But we know that there are specialists who have dedicated their life’s work to developing a deep understanding of a specific topic or region. We also know that, for the people whose livelihoods we are trying to help protect, this is their life’s work and nobody understands it, and the local conditions that affect it, better than they do.

That’s why the Walker Institute has formed a global community of research partners that includes not only specialist scientific and developmental organisations, but also the very people whose livelihoods we are all working to help strengthen.


“The work of the Walker Institute is really crucial and truly motivating. The fact that they have chosen not to stay in an ivory tower, but actually say, “What is it that people are asking for? What is it that people need”, and then taking the steps to make sure that their knowledge and their work meets those demands, is an enormous step forward.”

Theo Sowa

CEO, African Women’s Development Fund


“I found the project to be very comprehensive, involving all relevant stakeholders, and bringing them together under one roof, which helped in understanding the mandates of the various institutions, academia, agencies and organisations regarding ground water.  It has given me a proper understanding of groundwater and the risks associated with it if proper policies and laws are not put in place and adhered to.  The country as a whole stands to gain a lot from the BRAVE project.”

Charlotte Norman

Director: Climate Change Adaptation & Disaster Risk Reduction, Ghana (2020)


“The expert advice from the Walker’s team was instrumental in shaping the discussion which culminated into the development of the inaugural Africa Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2018. Working with the Walker’s team has been an enriching experience for me and my team. I am impressed by their level of professionalism and commitment to disaster risk management efforts in Africa.”


Gatkuoth Kai Bol

Department for Rural Economy and Agriculture, African Union Commission, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Hannah & Hannah

For the Lorna Young Foundation, partnering with the Walker Institute on the  BRAVE and NIMFRU projects has provided and invaluable opportunity to adapt out RFRMER’s Voice Radio methodology to benefit climate vulnerable communities….  Thanks to the impact that we have achieved through these collaborations, the Lorna Young Foundation has been able to leverage further funding from donors such as UK Aid Direct to take Farmers’ Voice Radio to the next level and launch it as an ‘open source concept’, potentially benefiting millions of smallholder farmers around the world.    

…working with the Walker Institute has been a great pleasure.  The team are extremely approachable, professional and highly responsive and adaptable….whilst also maintaining academic rigour to their research projects.  “

Hannah Clark and Hannah Davis

Famer Radio Development Managers, Lorna Young Foundation, UK

Latest Updates

Chloe Brimicombe in BBC News

Chloe Brimicombe on BBC News.

Celebrating Earth Day with a poem from our own Business Director, Pen Cabot

As we come together for Earth Day, there remain significant gaps between the science of climate change and our grasp of what it means for us and our Planet. Poetry, a form of communication familiar to us all, provides a unique avenue for sharing knowledge, insights and sometimes complex information in an accessible way. Our own Pen Cabot was inspired by Earth Day and wrote the poem ‘Futility of despair’.

Walker Update

Welcome to the Walker Update, bringing you up to speed with the latest developments from the Walker Institute and the wider climate science field. We’ve been busy with projects, building collaborative relationships and communicating our research – read on to find out more!

Walker Update

Welcome to the Walker Update, bringing you up to speed with the latest developments from the Walker Institute and the wider climate science field. We’ve been busy with projects, building collaborative relationships and communicating our research – read on to find out more!

Taste the Feeling: a climate change conference sponsored by Coca Cola – COP CAS student blog

A post-COP27 blog from Nerea Ferrando Jorge’s experience on attending COP27.

Was COP27 another ice sheet that just melted? – COP CAS student blog

A post-COP27 blog from Dannielle Roche on her experience attending the Climate Conference.

Should Africa stall its growth as we push for net zero by 2050? – COP CAS student blog

By Oluwafemi Olasunkanmi Royal Aliu History made it clear that the developed worlds of today started and sustained their growth with coal and are the largest contributors of global fossil fuel emission to the atmosphere. When you walk through the cities of America and...

From Blue Planet to Dirty Planet: It’s about time we clean up! – COP CAS student blog

By Chris Pesso The climate crisis is closely linked to the water crisis. With temperatures fluctuating throughout the world, we have experienced extreme droughts in Somalia, Kenya, Djibouti, and Ethiopia to severe floods in Pakistan. The need to address climate change...

Has COP27 paved the way for a sustainable future, or secured our descent into climate disaster? – COP CAS student blog

By Kerry Stewart The final negotiations in COP27 are taking place at this moment. In a series of small huddles in a seminar room in Sharm El-Sheikh, delegates debate the final sticking points of the COP27 agreement. But what has been agreed so far, and what is still...

The need for a push from ‘Power, Profit and Patriarchy’ to ‘People, Planet and Prosperity’ – COP CAS student blog

By Shahrina Rahman and Chris Pesso “Too few women are participating in COP27 climate negotiations, charities, activists and politicians have warned”. (Esme Stallard, BBC News Climate and Science). The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) agreed to a...

COP27 closed, case still open – COP CAS student blog

By Philippa Oppenheimer As COP27 draws to a close, it’s time to review the progress made and how we move forward from the conference. Parties have concluded negotiations on several technical documents such as the Paris Agreement Committee's report on implementation...

Climate success stories: It’s not all doom and gloom – COP CAS student blog

By Daisy O'Neill, Rana Ozturk, and Laura Reeves The feeling of climate anxiety is a growing phenomenon. With an increasing concern for the average global temperature reaching 1.5 ˚C above pre-industrial levels, many people worry that we are achieving too little too...

Have we been here before? Loss and Damage: a time travel – COP CAS student blog

By Fiona Spuler, Thea Stevens, Catherine Toolan, Alex Moores.  A little over a week into the conference, progress on loss and damage has been discouraging. Robert Muthami, a negotiator from Kenya, updated us on current discussions in the negotiation rooms. It seems...

Fostering hope through climate empowerment – COP CAS student blog

Yesterday was Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) and Civil Society Day at COP27 and accordingly, we heard from several speakers who shared their view of what makes for effective civil climate action within the sphere of international climate negotiations, and outside of it in wider society.

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