UEA has an enviable reputation for the range, scope, high quality and longevity of its climate research.

ClimateUEA marks a new chapter in the university’s remarkable climate history, and in support of the UN Climate Change Conference, COP26 in Glasgow, the theme played a crucial role in developing and sharing new climate-related research in support of the negotiations.

UEA COP26 Showcase Events

Dr Rupert Read, UEA Associate Professor of Philosophy and co-editor of ‘Deep Adaptation’, joined panelists Brian Wright and Dale Walkonen in Glasgow at COP26 to argue that Transformative and Deep Adaptation is what we need. The session highlighted that incremental/defensive adaptation should only occur within the overarching frame of seeking to transform our systems based on the ethics of unity, where we are all in this together, and to prepare for the worst.

Learn more: https://www.facingfuture.earth/transforming-our-lives-in-the-face-of-crisis

Event Location: Scottish Event Campus (SEC), PC2 - Durdle Door in the East Lomond Suite, Glasgow.

The Transitions Art-Science Climate Change Project originated in Norwich with Prof Trevor Davis (Emeritus Professor, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, School of Environmental Sciences), and artist Gennadiy Ivanov. It is now part of the Global Water Futures research programme which is directed by Professor John Pomeroy of the University of Saskatchewan.

The Transitions exhibition ‘Cold Regions Warming’ was shown throughout the first “Leaders Day” on November 1 in the high-level Blue Zone at COP26. It had a prominent position in front of the Science Pavilion (organised by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the World Meteorological Organisation, and the UK Met Office). It was immediately adjacent to the Cryosphere Pavilion and the Water Pavilion. In the evening, a presentation was featured at the party opening of the Cryosphere Pavilion, introduced by the Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences at UNESCO.

Dr Rachel Carmenta, Lecturer in Climate Change and International Development (Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research & School of International Development), organised this hybrid session in the UN Peat Pavilion, Blue Zone, Hall 4, SEC. She joined fellow panelists Dicky Pelupessy, Prof Dominick Spracklen, Willy Daeli and Agiel Prakoso to discuss how we assess the mental health effects and people’s perception of the causes of the 2019 haze crisis in Indonesia.

Watch Dr Rupert Read, UEA Associate Professor of Philosophy, as he engages with four youth activists: Ecem Albayrak, Alicia Amancio, Meera Dasgupta and Luisa Neubauer on their goals, activities, and concerns regarding the climate crisis.

Event Location: Scottish Event Campus (SEC), PC2 - Durdle Door in the East Lomond Suite, Glasgow


As energy transformation accelerates, it is critical to keep track of how they lead to changes in country and global CO2 emissions and their partitioning in the environment.

As one of the senior members of the Global Carbon Budget team, UEA’s Professor Corinne Le Quéré (FRS and Royal Society Research Professor of Climate Change Science) along with Dr Matthew Jones, Research Fellow (School of Environmental Sciences and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research) were at the Blue Zone UN/IPCC Science Pavilion and Green Zone COP26 Universities Network Stand to provide in-person updates on the Global Carbon Budget.

The video below shows Prof Le Quéré speaking at the 2021 Global Carbon Budget launch in the Met Office COP26 Science Pavilion.


Watch Day 4, Session 5 in UNFCCC Pavillion, Blue Zone, where UEA’s Charlie Wilson Professor in Energy and Climate Change (School of Environmental Sciences and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research) talks about accelerating the uptake of the next generation of climate solutions and a 21st century innovation ecosystem.

Alongside fellow panelists Xavier Troussard, Ganesh Das, Marco Duso, Riyong Kim and Anthony Hobley, Prof Wilson discussed climate innovation opportunities in the 4th industrial revolution. Find out more about the 21st century climate innovation assessment.

(Video time code - 6:41:17)


As part of the International Peatland Society (IPS) Session, ‘Peatland Partnerships in Climate Change Mitigation and Nature Recovery’, Dr Rachel Carmenta presented on the Society Pillar. Dr Carmenta stated: ‘Peat fires incur great damages to human health and wellbeing, release disproportionate carbon emissions and harm the economy. Yet their governance has proven an intractable challenge. Research suggests that a humanitarian narrative might be a powerful catalyst for transformative change towards fire free futures, uniting stakeholders with little else in common’.

Explore the Virtual Peatland Pavilion, recorded IPS sessions appear in ‘Dome 6’.

Humming for Change is a public participation campaign co-developed by the British Embassy in Colombia and Professor Federica Di Palma, Professorial Fellow of Biodiversity in UEA’s School of Biological Sciences, Director of the BRIDGE Colombia and GROW Colombia’s Principal Investigator.

The video was showcased at COP26 featuring school-aged children in Colombia articulating their own emotional connection to their natural world and recording their concerns and hopes through their own words and pictures on ‘Living Maps’. To provide young people with a platform in the global negotiations, British Ambassador Colin Martin-Reynolds presented the Living Maps at the UNCCC at COP26, alongside young Colombian eco-activist Francisco Vera.

By highlighting young people’s concerns and demonstrating awareness and responsibility for our climate and wildlife, the project provided clear mandates to decision makers to take strong action. Ten policy recommendations were drawn up to advance progress towards UN Sustainable Development Goals in Colombia.


Dr Rachel Carmenta presented a hybrid session as part of a Global Landscapes Forum at Bute Hall. The session highlighted experiences in Integrated Landscapes Approaches (ILA) implementation and reflected on the challenges related to facilitating long-term and more meaningful landscape-scale initiatives that are adaptable, flexible and more effective. Moving from “project” to “process” has been mooted as the means of ensuring more effective and more equitable means of engagement at the landscape-scale to reflect the temporal complexity of such initiatives.

During the session, Dr Carmenta and fellow panelists Samuel Adeyanju, Eric Bayala, Natalia Estrada-Carmona, James Reed, Dr Mirjam Ros-Tonen, Freddie Siangulube and Prof Terence Sunderland, drew on recent CIFOR-ICRAF and partner’s experience to highlight some of the challenges associated with integrated landscape approaches, also showcasing the tools and techniques that can be applied to overcome such challenges. In particular, Dr Carmenta spoke on 'Measuring what matters: capturing human well-being impacts of integrated landscape approaches'. The discussion also demonstrated the requirement for integrated approaches to more explicitly address issues related to power, gender, equity and conflict, and emphasised the need for such approaches to recognise the value of process indicators over outcome objectives.

(Video time code - 1:00:00)


UEA’s Professor Heike Schroeder, Professor Emma Gilberthorpe, Dr Iokine Rodríguez and Dr Neil Dawson held a showcase of the INDIS project at the COP26 Universities Network Stand in the Green Zone (Glasgow Science Centre).

Through the INDIS project, indigenous organisations from 3 countries (Uganda, Papua New Guinea, and Bolivia) have been reflecting since 2018 on their own way of life and their turbulent experiences with environmental, economic and social policies, to present their visions for just and environmentally sensitive futures.

Context: Indigenous knowledge has the potential to inspire innovations to contribute towards national and international targets for climate mitigation, adaptation, and sustainable development. However, this knowledge is often invisible or ignored in national and international policy making. Furthermore, Indigenous Peoples themselves often have little opportunities to articulate and share this knowledge in a way that can impact policy making circles and strengthen their own visions of a sustainable future.

This in-person session at Glasgow Film Theatre explored how climate action is used by Morocco to entrench its illegal occupation and bolster its green credentials, and how the Sahrawi people are systematically excluded from international climate finance and governance mechanisms, increasing their vulnerability, and inhibiting their ability to adapt.

Alongside Simon Anderson, Oubi Bouchraya Bachir, Sid Breika, Mohamed Ould Cherif, Asriya Taleb, Joanna Allan, UEA’s Dr Nick Brooks contributed to the session that examined the Sahrawi vision for climate action, and the centrality of self-determination for tackling climate injustice.

Watch the video below for COP26 coverage of iNDC launch and the issues it addresses.


Learn more on climate colonialism in North Africa via Dr Brooks’ website.

Invited by the CEO of EIT Climate-KIC and EIT Climate-KIC Foundation, UEA’s Professor Federica Di Palma participated in Day 9’s Session 7 panel discussion for the UNFCCC Global Innovation Hub entitled: ‘Planet as Shelter: planet as environmental regeneration for environmental regeneration’.  Watch Prof Di Palma join fellow panelists Eva Gladek and Bernard Bath in discussion on the topic of biodiversity.

(Video time code - 7:50:39)


UEA’s Professor Charlie Wilson presented ‘Digitalization: the lever of transformation’ as part of the Energy Demand Changes Induced by Technological and Social Innovations (EDITS) side-event at COP26 in the Japan Pavilion, Blue Zone.

This presentation was part of the wider EDITS event series highlighting the frontiers in energy and material demand knowledge, the role of digitalisation, innovation and equity efforts in a deep social, economic and technological transformation of energy demand. Prof Wilson’s recent work, alongside the EDITS networks, was showcased and the opportunity was given to explore how a demand-side transition can contribute to rapid and successful climate change mitigation towards a 1.5°C pathway.


UEA’s Professor Heike Schroeder, Professor Emma Gilberthorpe, Dr Iokine Rodríguez and Dr Neil Dawson facilitated a discussion on ‘Raising Indigenous Voices’ at the IASS Potsdam Pavilion, between 2.30-4.00pm UK time.

Showcasing the work from the INDIS project, the conversation explored indigenous visions for more just, inclusive and sustainable development focusing on Indigenous communities from three countries: Uganda, Papua New Guinea and Bolivia. Since 2018, these communities have been reflecting on their own way of life and their turbulent experiences with environmental, economic and social policies, to present their own visions for just and environmentally sensitive futures.

As the INDIS project team, UEA’s Professor Heike Schroeder, Professor Emma Gilberthorpe, Dr Iokine Rodríguez and Dr Neil Dawson co-chaired the virtual panel discussion at the Indigenous Peoples Pavilion.

This event brought together Indigenous speakers across Bolivia, Papua New Guinea and Uganda. Speakers included: Mirna Inturias, Anacleto Peña, Xiaoyue Li, Vu Thi Hien, Kittisak R., Adrien Tofighi, Carla Lanyon Garrido, Simon and Lucy KDF, Nicolás Avellaneda, Betty Villca, Zuli Burneo, Jacob Omar Jeronimo

Professor Federica Di Palma, Professorial Fellow of Biodiversity in UEA’s School of Biological Sciences, Director of the BRIDGE Colombia and GROW Colombia’s Principal Investigator led a digital panel discussion on how Colombian megadiversity holds the key to a more sustainable future. Part of the Festival of Discovery, the panel also included Colin Martin-Reynolds (British Ambassador to Colombia), Felipe Garcia and Juliet Rose. Discussion focused on why Colombia is important to the rest of the world, the challenges faced, how these are being addressed and whether COP26 has met expectations in the drive towards meaningful change in one of the world’s most biodiverse countries.


Media Enquiries

The list of UEA academics who attended COP26 are available as climate change experts for media work. In addition, we have a large pool of world class researchers working on climate-related themes open to opportunities. Please connect with colleagues directly, or get in touch with Cat Bartman, News and Media Manager.

For all other post-COP26 enquiries, please contact Dr Natalie Porter, ClimateUEA Executive Officer at climate@uea.ac.uk.