Friday, May 14, 2021

Week-long conference brings together leading scientists, government ministers and experts from around the world to set the agenda ahead of the United Nations Climate Change conference.

This week more than 500 researchers from over 80 UK and Italian universities will be joining colleagues from 40 countries around the world to contribute to Climate Exp0. Organised by the COP26 Universities Network in partnership with UKRI – the conference aims to raise ambition for tangible outcomes from the UN COP26 Climate Change Conference  jointly hosted by the UK and Italy at Glasgow, Scotland in November 2021.

At a critical juncture in the COP26 pre-meetings and negotiations – six months prior to the conference itself – Climate Exp0 will showcase the latest thinking and most relevant UK and international research around five key themes: Adaptation and ResilienceFinanceGreen RecoveryMitigation Solutions and Nature-based Solutions.

Online, free, and open to all, it’s an opportunity to connect policy, academic and student audiences across the globe, and harness the power of virtual collaboration to help advance a resilient, zero-carbon world. It will feature a range of speakers – from policymakers and academics, to practitioners and students. Researchers from a range of organisations, including the Walker Institute and the wider University of Reading, will be showcasing the work that they are doing to address the variety of challenges that climate change presents.

Highlights of the event include:


Opening of conference

The Rt Hon Alok Sharma, President of COP26 and Minister Roberto Cingolani, Minister for Ecological Transition, Italy

Climate risk. Opening session setting out the threat we face (09:30 – 10:30).

Dr Emily Shuckburgh Cambridge University; Albert Klein Tank, MET Office and Tim Benton, Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House.


Nature-based solutions and the opportunities they offer (09:00 – 09:30)

Zac Goldsmith, Minister of State for Pacific and the Environment and Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency, UK


Policies for delivering COP26 mitigation objectives (16:30 – 17:15)

Manuel Pulgar Vidal, Global Head of Climate and Energy at WWF, Former Ministry of Environment of Peru, COP20 President, Jim Watson, Professor of Energy Policy, University College London (UCL) Institute for Sustainable Resources and Jacob Werksman, Principal Advisor, DG-CLIMA, European Commission, Brussels, Belgium


Adaptation and resilience challenges in the COP26 meeting (09:30 – 10:30)

Minister Maria Cristina Messa, Ministry of University and Research and The Rt Hon Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth, UK


Ask a Climate Change expert: How can we save our planet? (17:15 – 18:30)

Tamsin Edwards, Reader in Climate Change, Kings College London, Lord Deben, Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change and Brighton Kaoma, Global Director of UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network-Youth Initiative.

The conference is a partnership with ‘Rete delle Universita’ per lo sviluppo Sostenibile (Italian University Network for Sustainable Development), sponsored by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), and with support from UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021 in Partnership with Italy and Cambridge University Press.

About the COP26 Universities Network

The COP26 Universities Network is a growing group of more than 55 UK-based universities and research centres working together to raise ambition for tangible outcomes from the UN COP26 Climate Change Conference, to be held in Glasgow, Scotland in November 2021. The Network will create lasting partnerships and legacies that reach beyond this single event.

The Network’s mission is to ensure that the UK academic sector plays its role in delivering a successful COP26, getting all players on track to deliver a zero-carbon, resilient world. They aim to do so by easing access to evidence and academic expertise for COP26 for government, NGOs, and other actors, and by taking action.