The Countdown to COP26

July 23, 2021

With only 100 days to go, the countdown to COP26 is on. Our GW4 institutions and wider networks are  involved in a range of activities and events in the run-up to the conference and around the COP itself.

All four GW4 universities are part of the COP26 Universities Network –  a growing group of over 80 UK-based universities and research centres. The Network’s mission is to create lasting partnerships and legacies that reach beyond this single event. Working together the Network is aiming to raise ambition for tangible outcomes from the UN COP26 Climate Change Conference, taking place in Glasgow in November 2021.

The Network seeks to ensure that the UK academic sector, including universities, play their role in delivering a successful COP26, getting all players on track to deliver a zero-carbon, resilient world. They aim to drive change and make a real positive difference by easing access to evidence and academic expertise for COP26 for government, NGOs, and others.

GW4 researchers have contributed to the Network in numbers ways, from joining their database of climate change experts, leading on strategic briefing notes and taking part in the Climate Exp0 Conference as part of a GW4 research panel session themed around Nature Based Solutions.

GW4 is home to globally recognised research strengths, world-leading facilities and assets relating to climate. Our region is home to more climate-related expertise than any other region worldwide and the Reuters 2021 list of the world’s top climate scientists includes researchers from our GW4 institutions.

Dr Joanna Jenkinson, GW4 Director, said: “I’m delighted to see all four of our GW4 universities signed up to the COP26 Universities Network. Our researchers have already been instrumental in identifying climate change tipping points. To build on our complementary critical mass of climate expertise we have recently launched the GW4 Climate Alliance. We are also busy developing a whole systems transformational programme focused on accelerating to net zero that will enable just transitions towards sustainable and socially inclusive mobility.”

The GW4 Climate Alliance provides an umbrella for collaborative, long-term, inter-disciplinary research effort across our four partner institutions. The complex challenge of climate change can only be tackled with an interdisciplinary approach and the Alliance’s goal is to understand the impact on socio-economic systems, reconfigure systems and develop transformational solutions. GW4 researchers can join the GW4 Climate Alliance and an external launch is planned for October 2021, with further activities in the run up to and post COP26.

Find out more about our universities COP26 activities: