COP26 begins

Reading time: 2 minutes
Members of the University community are participating in more than 70 events at the United Nations climate change summit, which began in Glasgow on 31 October.

It brings together 197 nations and territories in efforts to speed up action towards meeting the Paris Agreement goals.

Edinburgh scheme

On the eve of COP26, the University launched the Edinburgh Earth Initiative, an ambitious framework to help find solutions to the impacts of climate change.

Drawing on the University’s expertise across numerous disciplines, the initiative focuses on the future of energy, sustainable lands and seas, health in a warmer world and socially just transitions.

It will act as a focal point for the University’s world-leading teaching and research on climate, and will have an emphasis on supporting global partnerships to deliver climate solutions.

Ocean protection

On Sunday 31 October, the first day of COP26, the University hosted a launch event for a new declaration by the Because the Ocean Initiative, which aims to help minimise the effects of climate change in the ocean.

Compassionate thinking

The University will co-host a day of discussion and debate with Stanford Univeristy on Friday 5 November focusing on the role of compassion in the global response to climate change.

Professors Liz Grant, Dave Reay and Shannon Vallor join a high-profile list of speakers at Realising a Compassionate Planet, which also features journalist Allan Little and renowned conservationist Dr Jane Goodall.

Africa links

On Saturday 6 October, leading UK and African experts from government, higher education, industry and intergovernmental bodies will explore visions of how to deliver on goals set out at COP26 and building towards COP27, which takes place in Africa, by developing the skills and knowledge to support the green transition to a more sustainable, equitable and prosperous future.

Green careers

An event examining the importance of education, training and employment in delivering a resilient and equitable transition to net zero will take place in the COP26 Green Zone on Sunday 7 November.

Green Career Pathways will feature a keynote presentation by the Rt Hon Michelle Donelan MP, Minister of State for Higher and Further Education, on the role of education and skills in UK and global climate action.

An expert panel chaired by Professor Dave Reay will explore the challenges and opportunities of green career pathways, before taking questions from in-person and online audience members.


These are just a few examples of the many interventions, involving our students and staff.  Full details of COP26-related events taking place on the University campus and beyond are available here:

Find out more about COP26 and the University of Edinburgh

Photography: ipopba/Getty Images