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COP26 Fellowship for second Leeds researcher

Press release

A Leeds researcher has been awarded a Fellowship in Agriculture and Climate Change to engage with the international climate negotiations in the run up to and beyond COP26.

Dr Stephen Whitfield, Associate Professor of Climate Change and Food Security in the School of Earth and Environment, will be working to support the negotiations through the provision, synthesis, and translation of expert research.

This COP26 Fellowship, which is the second to be awarded to a researcher at the University of Leeds, will focus specifically on agriculture and climate change.

Agricultural transformation is so important for climate change mitigation and adaptation

Dr Stephen Whitfield, COP26 Fellow

Agricultural systems will play a key role in future climate action and will form a significant point of discussion at COP26 in Glasgow later this year.

Stephen has extensive experience in food systems transformation. He is an Associate Director of the Global Food and Environment Institute and currently leads a strand of the GCRF-AFRICAP Programme (Agricultural and Food-system Resilience: Increasing Capacity and Advising Policy).

His fellowship will focus on equity and justice in the transformation of agricultural systems. Working with key stakeholders, Stephen will highlight recommendations for embedding equitable and just governance within these processes of radical change.

He said: “Agricultural transformation is so important for climate change mitigation and adaptation, and through the fellowship I’m going to be focusing on the challenging questions of how transformation can be equitable and just.

“I’m excited to take that discussion to COP and see where it goes.”

As part of his application, Stephen produced a short video explaining the project that you can watch below.


The fellowship will be embedded into the activities of the COP26 universities network and is awarded through the Grantham Institute, Imperial College London.
Earlier this year, Harriet Thew became one of four initial COP26 Fellows with her project YES TO NetZero.

Find out more about COP26 activities from the University of Leeds.