Climate change is one of the biggest threats facing our planet. In the past few years, we have seen its devastating impact across the world, from wildfires and extreme weather, to loss of biodiversity and saying goodbye to Canada’s last intact ice sheet.

The most recent crisis, COVID-19, is also rooted in our relationship with the natural world, and has revealed just how interconnected we all are, how problems on the other side of the globe are also our problems, and that it is only through working together that we can make a difference.

We are at a critical point in our fight against climate change; this decade must be the decade of action. And we need your support.


Our researchers here at UEA were among the first to prove that the world is warming – and we are creating a practical action plan to tackle our climate emergency.

We understand that the most effective way forward is to share knowledge, collaborate and work towards shared goals. So we are gathering a team of experts from across different fields to do just that.

Together, we will establish an Observatory for Climate Recovery, directed by a world-leading climate scientist, where we will exploit the huge amounts of data needed to understand climatic trends and take action. Our experts will focus on gathering, tracking and analysing data – whether from container ships, submarine explorations, satellites or the phones in our pockets. Building on the existing expertise in the UEA Tyndall Centre, we’ll look at ways that human behaviour can be adapted where possible, and mitigated where not.

We will create a brand new Ecosystems Research Centre. The health of our planet is very much dependent on the health of our ecosystems. Water, land, trees – they all play an important role in storing carbon and the better we can understand the pressures they face the better chance we have of counteracting their decline.

We will develop a new platform to challenge fake news, where we translate peer reviewed data to permit informed decision-making: Science Brief will collate evidence and data on climate science, and other scientific challenges, which will then be translated by an outstanding team of analysts and science communicators. 

Finally, we will focus on the place where climate change is manifesting itself most dramatically: in the Arctic, through the UEA Arctic Initiative. Over the past 40 years, the sea-ice cover in summer has shrunk by more than half, with climate models predicting that the remaining half could disappear by 2050 unless CO2 emissions rapidly reduce. Melting glaciers and subsequent sea level rises put millions of lives, communities, economies and infrastructure at risk. To get closer to study ice loss mechanisms, we are using autonomous vehicles. But exploring the polar regions is complex, dangerous and expensive. To overcome this challenge, we have developed an ingenious alternative: the Roland von Glasow Air-Sea-Ice Chamber, a specialist sea ice laboratory built on our campus, to replicate the conditions in polar regions. This will enable us to understand – and potentially mitigate – the risks of rising sea levels and help us conserve unique arctic ecosystems.


To support and deliver these new activities we will need to fund two new Professorial Chairs, several senior scientists and a number of new PhD studentships. We are therefore aiming to raise £8 million over the next five years to make UEA’s Climate Change Action Plan a reality.

Our target is ambitious, but if we are to make a difference to climate change we need to recognise the scale of the work needed and rise to the challenge.

To make this achievable we are urgently inviting partnerships, donations and sponsorship from alumni, philanthropists, charities, trusts and corporations from all over the world. 

To discuss our ambitious plans or to make a gift to support our action plan, please get in touch at

You can also make a donation online today.  

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Watch UEA's Climate of Change video