UUK lays out details of climate emergency conference

Universities UK has published the agenda for its virtual conference on climate change, set to take place at the end of the month

Universities UK has published the agenda for its forthcoming virtual conference on climate change.

Universities and the climate emergency: action following COP26 will be held on 26-27 January, aiming to set down how the higher education sector can best help allay the climate crisis.

The government’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, has been invited to deliver the keynote address, with other speakers slated to include Friends of the Earth’s senior sustainability analyst, Clare Oxborrow; chair of the COP26 Universities Network, Alyssa Gilbert; and Professor Sir Ian Boyd, former chief scientific adviser at the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

“In the wake of COP26, it is more evident than ever before that the world needs to take radical action to tackle the climate crisis,” say conference organisers.

“Universities have long been leaders in climate research, providing us with both a clear picture of the challenge as well as technological solutions to mitigate climate change.

“But what further steps can we take? How can universities decarbonise their campuses in the short term while building credible and ambitions plans to tackle Scope 3 emissions in the long term? And how can we work with government effectively to ensure that the sector gets the support it needs to achieve this?”

Read more: Urgent government funding is needed to scale up university-industry research partnerships to find net-zero solutions

The conference aims to deliver practical, step-by-step answers to these and similar questions, with topics to be discussed including:

  • Debrief from COP26 – where does higher education go from here?
  • Climate literacy and education: embedding into the curriculum
  • Making the business case: achieving buy-in and securing funding
  • Working together with local communities

The online event will be co-chaired by the president of Universities UK, Professor Steve West, and Professor Judith Petts, chair of the organisation’s climate task and finish group.

“Anyone interested in the climate crisis is welcome,” say organisers, “whether you are directly working on sustainability at your institution, or you want to get to grips with what can be done; we all need to be engaged.”

For further information click here, or email events@universitiesuk.ac.uk.

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