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Reading science will be represented at the COP27 global climate change conference in Egypt this month. The Walker Institute leads the University’s involvement.

The Walker Institute is Reading’s Interdisciplinary Climate Research Institute and one of eight ‘My Climate Risk’ Regional Hubs under the World Climate Research Programme. It has led the University’s involvement in COP for almost a decade. As an accredited official Observer, the University will send a small team of senior scientists and PhD students to the conference.

If you would like to keep up-to-date with what’s happening at COP27, we will have a delegation of students observing as part of a Climate Action Studio. A team of students will be sharing their first-hand experiences of the conference online and via social media throughout the fortnight. 

COP27 logo

Showcasing our research strength

The Walker Institute will be showcasing Reading’s strength in climate change research during the conference at Exhibition stand No.35. Shared with colleagues from the University of Exeter, the stand will champion Reading’s diverse work in climate resilience, adaptation and mitigation. It will also provide a space for two PhD students in Sustainable Land Management to present their research, titled ‘Climate induced phenological shifts in flowering: Implications for crop production, pollination and agroecosystem function’.

A platform for climate action

The Walker Academy is running the COP Climate Action Studio, which provides 18 doctoral students to remotely participate in the conference in real time. A partnership between the SCENARIO Doctoral Training Centre and Walker Institute, it provides students the opportunity to work in small groups to attend sessions remotely, to interview key participants at COP and within the University, writing blogs and social media posts about their thoughts and experiences of COP throughout the conference. 

Keep up to date with what’s going on via the Climate Action Studio.

Launching a new global partnership

Director of the Walker Institute, Dr. Rosalind Cornforth will be delivering the opening keynote speech at a COP27 Side Event titled ‘IPCC AR6 Conclusions on Water Security and Launch of the Expanded Water Tracker for National Climate Planning’. Taking place on Saturday 12 November at 16:45 EET (UTC+2), the event sees the IPCC’s AR6 Working Group 2 launch a new global partnership, providing an overview of the climate risks to water security including drought, floods and human vulnerability and demonstrating how a new Water Tracker tool addresses these systemic issues, with examples of climate resilient water management from pilot countries including Nepal, Palestine and Nigeria. The event will be introduced by Lord Zac Goldsmith, Minister of State and the FCDO of the UK.

The event will be live-streamed direct from Sharm El-Sheikh. 

An interactive learning environment

Two PhD students from the Department of Environmental Land Management, Laura Reeves and Chris Wyver, accompanied by Associate Professor, Dr. Deepa Senapathi, will be attending the conference to present their work on the impact of climate change on fruit flowering times. The interactive exhibit will give users the chance to see changes to phenological flowering times of apple and pear cultivar since 1960. They will then show emissions and temperature scenarios, and the implications for pests and pollinators. 

Find out more about the interactive learning environment project.

Opportunities for learning and collaboration

Colleagues from Walker will be attending a reception hosted by DAI on 11 November, the eve of Adaptation Day. Those present will be working on WCIS and early warning, connecting back to the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in Bali in May. Colleagues from Reading will also be attending a closed-door roundtable discussion on adaptation and climate resilience, hosted by Meta on 8 November. 

Creating a COP27 learning legacy

What really happened at COP27? That is the focus of a post-COP event hosted by the Walker Institute on Thursday 1 December at 14:30 in the Meadow Suite in Park House. A panel of experts and conference attendees will discuss the implications of COP27 for the fight against climate change. 

Find out more about attending this event. 

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