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Kate Lonsdale


Kate Lonsdale 

Job title: 

UK Climate Resilience Champion  

Area of work and why it is important: 

I am currently one of two UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Champions for the Strategic Priority funded UK Climate Resilience Programme.  This role includes consulting with academics and practitioners to understand research and innovation gaps and opportunities to shape and ensure the success of the £19m research programme. The programme focuses on better understanding climate risks, how we govern and manage them in organisations and as a society.  I am particularly interested working with target audiences (e.g. government departments and agencies) to ensure the relevant and usability of the research. 

What will you be doing at COP26? 

On Monday 1st November and Tuesday 2nd November I will be at the UKRI exhibition stand at the Green Zone at COP, interacting with delegates, discussing relevant UKRI programmes and the importance of science and innovation in address the urgent changing climate. 

On 10th November, I am on the panel of an event in the IPCC-WMO-UKMO Pavilion on ‘Building climate resilience in a low carbon world’.  This event will demonstrate how two research programmes – the Strategic Priorities Fund UK Climate Resilience Programme and the Future Climate For Africa – in different contexts – the UK and Africa – have worked with research users, funders and policy makers at all stages of the research cycle to enhance the usefulness and usability of scientific research. The event aims to provide critical reflections and useful lessons for applied climate resilience research for researchers, funders and users of research in policy and practice in the global south and north. 

There may be other events and initiatives I will be involved with – these are the most definite.  

What are your hopes for the COP26 negotiations?:  

That the negotiations get beyond ‘blah, blah, blah’ and that something really shifts and feels positive with real energy behind it.  I would love there to be a sense of agency and a more tangible vision to give people hope that a better world is possible.  That the future is not all about grimness, loss and privation but that a fairer, simpler world is good and works for everyone.   

Any tips for readers about climate action? 

Beware of burnout and despair.  Take time to breathe, have a laugh and connect with others.   

Anything else you want us to know? 

I’m cycling to COP26 in Glasgow … from Leeds!