COP Climate Action Studio 2022 (COPCAS)


The sixth COPCAS took place during COP27 between the 7th and 18th of November 2022 which was hosted in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. This year, 23 PhD students took part in this COPCAS from the SCENARIO and FoodBioSystems Doctoral Training Partnerships and the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, University of Reading.

COP Climate Action Studio team of 2022


During COP27 itself, an updated, and dedicated space was made available for the COP CAS course in the Walker Institute, with face-to-face support from one member of the Walker Team during each session. Every weekday during COP27, the Climate Action Studio was open from 08:00 am until 17:00 pm. Support was also provided from the Walker ‘on the ground’ team who helped to identify interesting individuals for interview, facilitate the interviews, as well as provide a real-time link with events happening during the conference.

During this time, the students in Reading engaged remotely with COP, watching sessions via the official COP27 platform, conducting interviews, and discussing the issues they encountered on the day. They were also encouraged to write blog articles for topics which interested them. These blog posts were proof-read by the Walker Team, and then posted on the Walker Website, helping students develop their writing skills and improving their exposure. Students were also encouraged to write tweets for the Walker twitter account @WalkerInst. All the blogs were also shared with the University of Reading press office and publicised from the official media platforms. Students also created short video updates at the end of every day, which were also shared with the wider University community.


One of the most valuable activities that the students had the opportunity to do was to speak to a wide range of people attending the conference via MS Teams calls. These were often people who they would not have access to, from policy and practice contexts, but also people who are activists, and those currently experiencing the impacts of climate change. This was incredibly important in giving them exposure to different disciplines, sectors, perspectives, and ideas, as well as giving them contextual understanding of the fundamental reasons behind their research. A good mix of people from different backgrounds were interviewed, often sparking some very interesting discussions between the team outside of the interviews. The interviews were set up by the ‘on-the-ground’ team, and by the students themselves in the studio.

These interviews were extremely engaging activities and moved from traditional ‘interviews’ to discussions and dialogue on a range of research-policy-practice topics, as well as experiences of climate change. As we have found in previous years, the students were keen to explore issues outside of their research areas, and the discussions highlighted a clear interest in climate action. You can find the interviews below:

  • Interview with Ben Cooke, a writer with the Sunday Times.
  • Interview with Kevin Mtai, a Co-founder KEAN (Kenyan Environmental Action Network), Africa Regional Coordinator at Earth Uprising Campaigner Food at COP.
  • Interview with Dr Mike Morecroft, Principal Specialist, Climate Change at Natural England; Coordinating Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
  • Interview with Mark Harvey, CEO of Resurgence: global social enterprise leader in inclusive urban climate resilience.
  • Interview with Quinn Runkle, Director of Education at SOS-UK.
  • Interview with Thomas Andre, Director of Operations at REN21, the renewable energy policy network for the 21st century.
  • Interview with Gareth Phillips, Climate and Environmental Finance Expert, specializing in Adaptation, Mitigation, Forestry and Land use – African Development Bank Group.
  • Interview with Robert Muthami, Programme Coordinator at Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung. Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Interview with Andrew Harper, Special Advisor to the High Commissioner for Climate Action, the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR.

You can read all student blogs in our News section.

Danni Roche and Nerea Ferrando Jorge who visited Sharm El-Sheikh and attended COP27 in person created the video below:

Have a look at our student video blogs in our Walker Academy webpage.

We are looking forward to our students attending COP28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates next December.