Glasgow’s leaders and researchers have been instrumental in providing expertise and insight, playing a leading role in the country’s plans to tackle the climate crisis.

Informing Policy

Sir Jim McDonald, Principal & Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde is co-chair, alongside First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, of the Scottish Government Energy Advisory Board. The board makes direct input to UK Government energy activity.

Professor Keith Bell, of the University’s Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, was appointed a member of the UK’s Committee on Climate Change in 2019 and previously served on an International Expert Commission convened by the Government of the Republic of Ireland to advise on electricity network development.

In addition, Strathclyde is home to the Centre for Energy Policy, led by Professor Karen Turner, which has the remit of challenging and informing policy analysis and decision-making in Scotland and around the globe.

World Forum attracts major names in climate change

Some of the biggest players on the world stage of climate change will be speaking at the second World Forum on Climate Justice, to be held at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) in September.

Princess Esméralda of Belgium, human rights’ campaigner and environmental activist; Kumi Naidoo, former executive director of Greenpeace International and Secretary General of Amnesty International; and Nigel Topping, UK Government Champion for UN climate talks, are just three of the major names attending to discuss climate recovery in the wake of COVID-19 and the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26).

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Shaping post-COVID-19 reconstruction in Africa

The experiences of people in Sub-Saharan Africa during the pandemic have been recorded by GCU researchers with the aim of changing future government and NGO thinking. The 4 month project will explore the impact of COVID-19 by compiling case studies from Kenya, South Africa, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Gabon and Morocco. 

More specifically, the study focused on the way the pandemic has affected the implementation of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of the Paris Agreement, a global pact aimed at alleviating the impact of climate change while building the resilience of countries and communities. The gathered data will now be used to inform and develop recommendations to policy makers on how best to shape post-COVID-19 reconstruction on the continent, as well as inform climate conversations ahead of COP 26. 

Critical insights into climate justice

Glasgow Caledonian University’s (GCU) Centre for Climate Justice, conducts research on climate justice with the goal of promoting conversations on the societal impacts of climate change, gaining deeper insights of climate inequality and changing the narrative on climate action.

The Centre believes the poorest and most vulnerable people in society are bearing the biggest burden of climate change, while being the least likely to have contributed to it. They are also less likely to
be able to adapt to its impacts! The Centre takes a global lead in the delivery of action research which will improve policy, development and critical insights into climate justice.

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Meeting zero carbon targets

GCU’s leading climate-change academic, Prof. Tahseen Jafry, is to provide evidence to a Scottish Government-formed assembly on how the country can best meet its zero carbon targets.  

Prof. Jafry will form part of an evidence group at Scotland’s Climate Assembly – a select group who are broadly representative of the Scottish population. The members will take on the task of learning about, discussing and making recommendations on how to best tackle climate change, and will report to the Scottish Parliament on the outcomes of their deliberations in 2021.

Equitable finance

GCU have launched an initiative that calls on world governments and civil society to make a long-term commitment to support equitable finance for those living in climate-hit regions.

The platform aims to call for governments and civil society in the developed world, and those who can afford it, to make a long-term commitment to provide a sustainable source of finance, addressing the impact of the greenhouse gas emissions caused by the goods and services they buy. Around the world, communities are experiencing the effects of climate change in different ways and we must build resilience in a manner that is fair, inclusive, equitable and just.   

First session of Citizens’ Assembly to discuss climate change in Glasgow

The first session of a citizens’ assembly, which has been set up to discuss the climate emergency, will took place in Glasgow.

The assembly, which was facilitated by market research company Ipsos MORI in conjunction with Glasgow City Council, involved a randomly selected representative group of 50 residents from across the city.

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University of Strathclyde to host Conference of Youth in run-up to COP26

The University of Strathclyde is set to welcome the world’s largest annual youth gathering on climate change to its campus later this year.

Strathclyde is the official host for the UN Climate Change Conference of Youth (COY16), which will be held at the University’s city-centre campus in partnership with its student association.

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Centre for Sustainable Development

Strathclyde University is home to the Centre for Sustainable Development which has a mission to create an integrated and equitable approach to teaching, research, and innovation. It aims to co-create solutions with global partners across academia, civil society, and the public and private sectors to create real world impact and tackle the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including around carbon emissions and climate change targets. 

University of Glasgow Centre for Sustainable Solutions

The Centre for Sustainable Solutions launched in April 2020 to enable individuals, communities and organisations to act towards a sustainable future through education, research and partnership. it supports interdisciplinary, cross-campus and cross-sectoral solutions to climate change.

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School pupils respond to college climate competition

Hundreds of school pupils across Scotland have taken part in an eco jewellery competition which tasked over 300 young people to design a pendant that reflects the global climate emergency.

The City of Glasgow College competition challenged school pupils to harness their imagination and creativity, and use the impact of climate change as the basis for their ideas.

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Cove Park

Cove Park’s is an international artists residency centre located on an outstanding rural site on Scotland’s west coast. Its unique programme of residencies respond to the diversity of contemporary practice in all the art forms, providing the time, space and freedom required to develop new work within a supportive and inspiring context.

  • Cove Park won British Council Future by Design open call which has enabled an ambitious collaboration between Scotland and Ghana in the lead up to COP26.
  • The project brings together Ghanaian-Filipino agrowaste designer Mae-ling Lokko and Scottish architect Tom Morton to collaboratively design and build a hybrid, eco-sustainable and accessible ‘open landscape classroom’. The aim is to create a showcase for COP26 to highlight emerging approaches to sustainable and generative construction and look at how bio-composite materials and co-creative design can be a step-change in addressing our common global challenges.
  • They will work in collaboration with a multidisciplinary cohort of young people from across Scotland – including students from the Mackintosh School of Architecture in Glasgow – and an Entrepreneurship Centre in Ghana. Together they will co-design and co-programme spaces that are conducive to knowledge exchange around the impacts of climate change on water – an urgent issue in both countries.

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