The University of Reading is an official Observer of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP) process, having participated in almost a decade of the global climate conference and negotiating platform. This status was obtained and maintained by the Walker Institute and underpins our direct research in support of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which we are heavily involved in (particularly WGI on The Physical Science – with most lead authors of any single institution in the world) at UoR.
From 6 to 18 November 2022, Heads of State, ministers and negotiators, along with climate activists, mayors, civil society representatives and CEOs met in the Egyptian coastal city of Sharm el-Sheikh for the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The COP came together to review the implementation of the UNFCCC, which had the ultimate goal of limiting human impact on our climate system.
The University of Reading’s involvement was led by the Walker Institute, the University’s Interdisciplinary Climate Research Institute, and one of eight ‘My Climate Risk’ Regional Hubs under the World Climate Research Programme.
At COP the principal role of the UoR at COP27 is as an official observer, accredited by the UNFCCC and advising those involved in the negotiations. University of Reading delegates supported UK Government representatives, providing impartial scientific and technical advice.
Additionally, by running an exhibit space, attending events and engaging with government, academic, private, community and NGO delegates, University of Reading representatives sought research partnerships and funding opportunities, and built awareness of UoR’s high quality climate research. Representatives participated in activities in the Blue Zone, a space that brings together delegations from some 200 Parties, alongside observer organisations to share their stories at panel discussions, side events, exhibits, and cultural events.
This year at COP27 the University of Reading shared the Exhibition stand No 35 with Exeter University. Earlier this year in a competition led by the Walker Institute two students, Laura Reeves and Chris Wyver both PhD students in Sustainable Land Management, won the right to present their research in our exhibition space.
During COP27 the Walker Academy ran the COP Climate Action Studio (COPCAS). COPCAS enables doctoral students to remotely participate in the annual UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) Conference of Parties in real time. It enables doctoral students to remotely engage and virtually immerse themselves in COP – the most significant yearly event in the climate policy calendar. As well as hosting international negotiations for climate policy, it is also the venue for a range of policy, practice and research discussions around climate change, and for activists and lobby groups to gain public attention.
This programme is a partnership between the SCENARIO Doctoral Training Centre and the Walker Institute, and is open to SCENARIO Doctoral students, as well as Postgraduate students at the University of Reading.
Student blogs are uploaded in the Walker Institute webpage and were shared with the wider University community.