We are at the beginning of a critical decade in the fight against climate change. 

UEA academics were among the first to sound the alarm and for more than 50 years our researchers have come together from different fields to understand humankind’s impact on our climate and its ecosystems. 

Now we’re seeking to empower young people and the wider community to speak up and share their concerns and ideas for the future. And in the build-up to COP26, we’ll be working with young people, leading academics from across UEA and the wider public to draw attention to grassroots solutions, explore the key issues, and help answer the most urgent questions.  

Are you with us? 


What is COP26? 

COP (which stands for Conference of the Parties) is an annual global climate event, organised by the United Nations and attended by political leaders from around the world. It can lead to real change. The Paris Agreement, a binding international treaty to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, was adopted at COP21 in 2015. 

This year’s event is the 26th meeting, hence COP26. It takes place in November 2021 in Glasgow. 

Why is this year so important? 

In early 2020, the WMO issued a report stating, “time is fast running out for us to avert the worst impacts of climate disruption”. And although our researchers charted a dip in emissions due to lockdown in 2020, emissions are on the rise again and the level of CO2 in the atmosphere continues to increase.

Originally intended to take place in November 2020, but postponed due to the COVID pandemic, COP26 is now more important than ever. Time is running out for binding commitments to take effect. 

One year on, and with one of the world’s leading carbon emitters signed back up to the Paris Agreement, the world will be watching when COP finally takes place later this year.

What’s UEA’s involvement?

As UEA Vice-Chancellor Professor David Richardson writes: “So much of the evidence informing the actions of grassroots campaigners and international initiatives like the Paris Agreement is supported by our science.”

We were there at the start and our climate research has contributed more extensively than any other university in the world to the work of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. 

UEA continues to be a global leader in climate science, collaborating with leading  international institutions to highlight key issues and provide answers.

This year, the University’s leading academics will be attending COP26 and their science will continue to inform global decision-making. 

How can I get involved?

You can nominate a project for a Sustainability Award. Become a ‘Climate Star’. Take part in forthcoming UEA events and Q&As with our climate scientists. Share your ideas and solutions with the UEA community. 

Tell us what you're doing to help tackle climate change by using the hashtag #ClimateofChange.

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