Welcome to the Walker Update, bringing you up to speed with our latest news.


COP Climate Action Studio Workshops

Logo for the COP Climate Action Studio

With only days to go until COP28, the Walker Institute is again running the COP Climate Action Studio. PhD students from the University of Reading, University of Surrey, and Brunel University will be attending COP28 remotely from the Walker Academy Studio, and linking with their COPCAS colleagues on the ground in Dubai. They will be watching sessions via the official COP28 platform, conducting interviews, and discussing the issues they encountered on the day. Daily updates will be posted on the Walker Institute website.



WCRP Open Science Conference

Picture of the Open Science Conference talkThe Walker Institute community was well represented at the 2nd Open Science Conference of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), together with over 1200 climate scientists. The conference was hosted by the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) on behalf of the Government of Rwanda from October 23rd  – 27th.  Posters and Presentations were brought by our Leadership Team, Prof. Rosalind Cornforth and  Prof. Ted Sed Shepherd, joined by our Early Career Researchers, Dr. Elena Saggioro and Fiona Spuler, along with research colleagues from across Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East.  The Walker team participated in presentations and conversations on topics ranging from food insecurity to climate risk assessment, climate storylines, causal networks, climate modelling and many more. Prof. Ted Shepherd is co-chair of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) Lighthouse Activity,  My Climate Risk (MCR)  and the Walker Institute is one of the founder global regional MCR hubs.  Read more.

Sightsavers Meeting to Launch Climate Health in Africa Integrated Risk Research project

picture taken during the meeting between Sightsavers and Walker institute staff. In readiness for the start of the  Climate Health in Africa Integrated Risk Research (CHAIRR) project, the Walker Institute delivered an introduction to Climate Change to the Sightsavers Research Team on 31st October at the Sightsavers headquarters in Haywards Heath. After a summary of the ICECCAP methodology in assessing and communicating risk, the CHAIRR project was discussed and opportunities for future collaboration between Sightsavers and the Walker Institute highlighted. Malawi has been chosen as the initial country for the analysis of how climate change is affecting the reach and severity of a number of neglected tropical diseases. This work will lay the foundation for future climate health risk assessment work with Sightsavers, across the continent.  

Adaptation Gap Report

page cover of the Adaptation Gap Report. We are excited to have contributed to the Adaptation Gap Report  | UNEP – UN Environment Programme.  The report outlines what is most urgently needed to support adaptation to climate  change in three key areas: finance, planning, and implementation. Read more on Walker Institute’s case study on Transboundary Adaptation: Local and Regional Benefits in the Middle East by Dr Elena Saggioro, Dr Celia Petty, Prof. Rosalind Cornforth , Dr Elizabeth Sellwood and Prof. Anne Verhoef in the report here: AGR23_case_study_06.pdf (unep.org).



My Climate Risk Interdisciplinary Reading Group (MCRIRG)

Picture of books on a shelfDr. Neil McCulloch, Director of The Policy Practice, presented on the complexities of fossil fuel subsidies during the second MCRIRG meeting held on 13th November 2023.  He highlighted their hidden nature and adverse effects, leading to energy overuse and pollution. Emphasizing the need for a “serious, political, and brave” approach, Dr. McCulloch advocated for international mechanisms to support subsidy reforms, driven by domestic agendas and effective communication. At the next MCRIRG meeting, on 11th December, we are looking forward to a stimulating talk by Dr Richard Selby, the Head of Portfolio for NTD Research at Sightsavers, who will be sharing a paper that has influenced his work on the potential influence of climate change on neglected tropical diseases (NTDs)




Henley-on-Thames Town Council Climate Change Training

Picture of Henley on ThamesDr Cathie Wells, a research fellow at the Walker Institute, recently delivered a workshop training to members of the Henley Town Council and representatives of the local Greener Henley group at Henley Town Hall. The scientific basis of climate change, emission scenarios, the current state of the climate and Net Zero were only few of the topics covered. You can read more about the training here. Henley-on-Thames Town Council Climate Change Training – The Walker Institute (reading.ac.uk).

What happened across the world this week?

Prof Virginia Murray and her team at Public Health England have produced the weekly Global Hazards Weekly Bulletin, archived by Prof Richard Allan.

All the best! 

The Walker Institute Team