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COP26 event schedule

The University of Reading has always played an active role at the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties, and 2021 was no different.

We were represented in Glasgow for the entirety of COP26: hosting education events and knowledge-sharing activities, speaking about a range of issues and launching our own initiatives. You can find out about all of our activities via the links on this page. Our academics shared their knowledge and expertise, and there was a delegation of students attending as part of the Climate Action Studio (COP CAS).


Wednesday 27 October 2021

13:00-14:00 – Climate Resilience Heritage Summit – Hosted by Historic Environment Scotland - Online

Members of the Walker Institute to discuss climate hazards, risks and adaptation in this interactive, online workshop.

Thursday 28 October 2021

14:00-15:00 – Pre-COP26: UN Data Strategy Knowledge Sharing Event

Representatives of the Walker Institute spoke out about community engagement and how to re-balance power dynamics through innovative, knowledge-sharing approaches.

Monday 1 November 2021

16:30-17:30 – Recovering Historic Data to Inform Climate Services

Professor Ed Hawkins, who designed the Global Warming Stripes, spoke at this event about the citizen science projects he has coordinated to rescue and digitise global historical terrestrial and marine instrumental weather data. This event demonstrated the value of historical data to climate services and aimed to inspire more nations to participate in this global effort.

All day until Friday 12 November - Space4Climate

The Space4Climate team ran events at their stand including Youth Takeover Days (Friday 5 November-Friday 12 November) and case studies from guest presenters including the UK Space Agency, Airbus and more.

All day until Friday 5 November – Mathematics of the Climate Crisis – International Centre for Mathematical Sciences, Edinburgh

Professor Valerio Lucarini from the Centre for Maths of Planet Earth, and Rosalind Conforth from the Walker Institute ran this advanced training school.

All day until Friday 12 November – Careers in Climate Change

The University's Department of Meteorology offered this virtual Careers Fair, organised by the STEM Learning and STEM Ambassadors programme.

Wednesday 3 November 2021

All day – Launch event for new National Climate Science Partnership – Science Pavilion

Researchers from the six Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) centres and the Met Office launched this exciting new project. Speakers included Professor Rowan Sutton, Director of Climate Research at the National Centre for Atmospheric Science, based at the University of Reading.

Friday 5 November 2021

10:00-11:30Culture: The Missing Link

Professor Ed Hawkins joined a panel of artists, activists, and environmental experts for this In-Conversation event about the vital role that arts and culture must play in climate transformation.

Saturday 6 November 2021

09:00-17:00 – Ask big questions about climate change – Royal Society

Professor Hannah Cloke, Dr Jess Neumann and Maureen Wanzala, from the Department of Geography and Environmental Science, answered questions about the impact of climate change on forecasting and flooding. This was followed by a virtual Q&A.

14:00-15:00 - Space4Climate: Monitoring the Lungs of the World from Space

Briony Turner from Space4Climate along with colleagues from the UK and European Space Agencies, NCEO and others explored the role of forests in moderating carbon.

Monday 8 November 2021

All day – Climate Education Action Plan launch – Online

Following our Climate Education Summit in September 2021, the emergent Climate Education Action Plan was launched with our partners and was the focus of our virtual exhibit in the Blue Zone at COP26. The Action Plan was for broader climate education in schools and colleges, for young people aged eight to 18, informed by diverse voices and co-owned, co-led and contributed to by different groups and young people. 

11:30-13:00 – How can technology help improve climate adaptation and resilience? – UK Pavilion

The Walker Institute and Microsoft explored the gaps and blockers that exist within technology, the impact these have on communities and climate equity, and identified the critical areas where emerging knowledge could improve adaptation and resilience globally. 

17:00-18:00 – What has the environment ever done for us?

This event explored what happened at COP26, the critical issues being tackled, and what obstacles are standing in the way. A guest interview was held with Rosalind Cornforth, Director of the Walker Institute.

Tuesday 9 November 2021

08:30-10:00 - Unprecedented, widespread and rapid: Is climate change being adequately accounted for in early warning early action?

Dr Liz Stephens, Associate Professor in Climate Risks and Resilience at the University of Reading, joined a panel discussion on the humanitarian impact of extreme weather events, both now and in the future.

10:00-11:00 – Safety Nets and Special Protection – WHO Health Pavilion

Professor Elizabeth Robinson, from the Grantham Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, discussed her work on the impact of climate change on food security and child health.

13:00-14:30 – Launch of New Pan-African Centre for Adaptation, Energy and Resilience – African Pavilion

Professor Rosalind Cornforth, Director of the Walker Institute, joinied a panel hosted by the African Union Development Agency to discuss adaptation and resilience of countries on the frontline of climate change.

17:30-18:30 – Adaptation beyond the EU: Perspectives for Stronger Cooperation with Africa – EU Pavilion

This panel-led event discussed the European Climate Change Adaptation (ECCA)'s new strategy for 2021. This strategy was focused on the internal and external dimensions of partner countries, particularly in Africa.

Wednesday 10 November 2021

11:30-12:45 – 1.5C: Where are we now? Where are we headed? What are the risks?

Experts from the Walker Institute will join colleagues from the Met Office and others to discuss life on a warming planet. 

Thursday 11 November 2021

Launch of the Climate Neutrality Knowledge Hub.
We're green in all sorts of ways
People & Planet University League
1st in the People & Planet University League 2023
The Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education 2021
Queens Anniversary Prize for climate research and action
Times Higher Education Awards 2023
Winner of Outstanding Contribution to Environmental Leadership