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University of Leeds collaborates on international climate conference

Press release

Climate Exp0 is a week-long conference bringing together leading scientists, government ministers and experts from around the world to set the agenda ahead of the United Nations climate change negotiations later this year. 

From 17 to 21 May 2021, more than 500 researchers from over 80 UK and Italian universities will be joining colleagues from 40 countries around the world to contribute to Climate Exp0. Organised by the COP26 Universities Network and partners, the conference aims to raise ambition for tangible outcomes from the UN COP26 Climate Change Conference  jointly hosted by the UK and Italy at Glasgow, Scotland in November 2021. The University of Leeds is a founding member of the COP26 Universities Network and has been part of the Climate Exp0 planning team.

At a critical juncture in the COP26 pre-meetings and negotiations – six months prior to the conference itself – Climate Exp0 will showcase the latest thinking and most relevant UK and international research around five key themes: Adaptation and Resilience; Finance; Green Recovery; Mitigation Solutions and Nature-based Solutions.

Online, free, and open to all, it’s an opportunity to connect policy, academic and student audiences across the globe, and harness the power of virtual collaboration to help advance a resilient, zero-carbon world. It will feature a range of speakers – from policymakers and academics, to practitioners and students.

Several Leeds researchers feature in the programme. They include Tim Benton, Professor of Population Ecology in the School of Biology and Research Director at the Royal Society, who will be joining other experts early in the conference proceedings for a detailed discussion about climate risk.

Priestley Centre Director, Professor Piers Forster, will discuss the CONSTRAIN project as part of a panel exploring economy-wide impacts of green recovery.

Climate Resilience Champion Dr Kate Lonsdale will chair a session exploring enablers and barriers to the practice of adaptation, whilst Professor Jillian Anable from the Institute of Transport Studies will chair a panel on green transportation.

The full programme and registration is available online.

The conference is a partnership with ‘Rete delle Universita’ per lo sviluppo Sostenibile (Italian University Network for Sustainable Development), sponsored by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), and with support from UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021 in Partnership with Italy and Cambridge University Press.

Alyssa Gilbert, Chair of the COP26 universities network, said: “Climate change keeps accelerating and we need to act now. As the complexity of the problems that humanity has to face increases, we need to rely more and more on research and innovation to guide decisions and identify the most effective solutions. Climate Exp0 has been a unique international experience, and will provide ideas on how we could move fast towards a zero-net emission and sustainable future.”

About the COP26 Universities Network

The COP26 Universities Network is a growing group of more than 70 UK-based universities and research centres working together to raise ambition for tangible outcomes from the UN COP26 Climate Change Conference, to be held in Glasgow, Scotland in November 2021. The Network will create lasting partnerships and legacies that reach beyond this single event.

The Network’s mission is to ensure that the UK academic sector plays its role in delivering a successful COP26, getting all players on track to deliver a zero-carbon, resilient world. They aim to do so by easing access to evidence and academic expertise for COP26 for government, NGOs, and other actors, and by taking action.