With the COP26 climate summit officially kicking off in Glasgow this coming Sunday, we welcome you to this special COP edition of the Walker Update. Read on for a run-down of the Walker Institute’s COP26 activities, both in Glasgow and elsewhere.

University of Reading at COP26

Ten representatives of the University of Reading will be attending COP26 in-person, led by Walker Institute director Prof Ros Cornforth. We will be participating mainly in events in the UN-controlled ‘Blue Zone’, which brings together delegations from 197 Parties, alongside observer organisations that will share their stories at panel discussions, side events, exhibits, and cultural events.

You can find a full list of the events that the Walker Institute is taking part in, along with the wide array of partners involved, in this recent blog post.

Walker and Microsoft team up at COP26 and beyond

For one such event, we will be joining forces with Microsoft to lead a panel discussion on how technology can help improve climate adaptation and resilience. This is part of our growing collaboration with Microsoft, announced in our previous update.

In this session, panellists from Walker, Microsoft, the UN, OECD, Himalayan University Consortium, ICIMOD and the Djibouti Government will explore the gaps and barriers that currently limit the urgent action required to limit and adapt to climate change. They will also consider the impact that this has on communities, and identify critical areas where emerging knowledge and technology could improve adaptation and resilience globally.

On the topic of working with Microsoft, we would love to see you at our launch event to celebrate our collaboration. Save the date: 24th Nov 15:00-16:30 at the University of Reading ICMA Centre & online. You can find full details and reserve your place on Eventbrite HERE.

COP Climate Action Studio

We are delighted to be running the COP Climate Action Studio(COPCAS), in which students from the SCENARIO doctoral training centre will be reporting on events as they unfold at COP26, both in-person in Glasgow and from “the studio” in Reading.

We have already held two pre-COP workshops (click for full details of Workshop 1 and Workshop 2) and look forward to the start of the live reporting next week! Keep an eye on the WalkerInstitute blog and Twitter account for articles, insights and interviews from this vital climate summit.

What happened across the world this week?

Please click on this link to access the Global Hazards Weekly Bulletin produced by Prof Virginia Murray and her team at PHE, and archived by Prof Richard Allan. It contains a weekly summary of global hazards, including recent developments of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The previous bulletin can be found here.


The importance of the COP26 climate summit cannot be overstated. We are sure that you join us in hoping to see substantive action and real progress at this vital moment for the future of Earth’s climate.

The Walker Institute Team