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World-leading climate research from the University of Reading is set to be showcased at the COP28 global climate change conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Represented by the Walker Institute, University delegates will participate in research activities, host climate events, and provide expert advice to policymakers from 30 November to 12 December 2023.

The University will be involved with a small on-site delegation, with dozens of other delegates joining remotely in event and fringe meetings – including Professor Robert Van de Noort, University of Reading Vice-Chancellor.

Professor Rosalind Cornforth, Director of the Walker Institute, said: " COP28, the 2023 climate COP, is a defining moment for the world. We must come together – scientists, policymakers, and communities – and accelerate action on climate change, ensuring adaptation finance flows to developing countries. Failure to do so is not an option.

Such agreements made at COP must be informed by strong evidence, so we are proud to be at the forefront of providing the latest climate research and pioneering transdisciplinary approaches bringing climate and livelihoods research together to address the adaptation gaps. Our aim is to enable meaningful policy action on climate risk and adaptation that help communities worldwide build resilience to climate change. Our work at COP28 will focus on sharing evidence-based metrics to rapidly advance the implementation of adaptation plans."

Starting conversations about climate

The team of delegates, both in-person and remotely, will present research on climate adaptation, achieving net zero, transport and climate education. PhD researchers and others will also participate remotely through Walker's COP Climate Action Studio (COPCAS), from the University of Reading and link COP policy discussions with researchers worldwide. You can get involved with COPCAS by emailing academy@walker.ac.uk.

Delegates from Space4Climate, a University of Reading-based organisation representing the UK’s academic, private and policy community that gathers and uses climate data from space, will also be at COP. The group will have a stand in the Space Pavilion and will be hosting events highlighting the capability of UK space-based technology to protect and restore the natural world. 

Expert support

The Walker Institute carries out global research to advance understanding of future climate, its impacts, and consequences on people’s lives. The Institute has led the University's COP involvement for almost a decade, making the University of Reading an official Observer of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP) process. As an accredited official observer, the University representatives will provide impartial scientific advice to UK Government negotiators and explore potential research partnerships and funding opportunities.

Further information on our presence at COP28 special update from the Walker Institute.

Side events involving University representatives

 Date Title  Description 
Throughout COP28  COP Climate Action Studio

The Walker Institute’s Climate Action Studio returns for COP. After being deployed at during previous COPs, the Studio will be set up once again at the University of Reading.

Several postgraduate research students will be able to remotely participate in COP28 in real time by conducting interviews and viewing events at the Climate Action Studio. This programme is run in partnership with the University’s SCENARIO Doctoral Training Centre. Participating students will report and blog on COP28 events as they unfold.

Thursday 30 November – 

10 December

Space Pavilion, in the Technology & Innovation Hub 2, in the Green Zone 10:00-18:00. Visit the Space4Climate stand to explore the new Space4Climate App on the PufferTouch. It features 30 datasets and 36 case studies from our members, showing UK climate products, applications and services.
Sunday 3 December Addressing Climate Risk: Cooperation on Transboundary Climate Adaptation in the Mena Region The Walker Institute will be supporting the UN Environment Programme in their side event in COP28, Addressing Climate Risk: Cooperation on Transboundary Climate Adaptation in the Mena Region. Transboundary considerations of climate adaptation strategies are only just gaining traction and limited information is available on both the risks and opportunities in the region. This event will initiate a discussion for stakeholders in the region to identify promising practices and ways to enhance cooperation around transboundary adaptation and prospects for development, stability, and peace. 16:30-18:00 GST. More information to be posted on the Walker Institute website.
Sunday 3 December The Reaching the Last Mile Forum: Pledging Moment
The Walker Institute will be joining Sightsavers in supporting this event under the framework of the new collaborative project Climate Health in Africa Integrated Risk Research (CHAIRR). This project aims to provide a comprehensive, fine resolution picture of climate effects that will have a bearing on the epidemiology of NTDs.
Sunday 3 December TRUTHS climate satellite mission event. With Space4Climate & UK Space Agency. Space Pavilion Side Event theatre, in the Technology & Innovation Hub 2, in the Green Zone 17:30-18:30. Join us for an overview of the benefits of TRUTHS and an update on latest developments and breaking news on the next stage of the mission.
Monday 4 December Space Pavilion Side Event theatre: Monitoring Methane from Space: Towards an Internationally Recognised Standard, led by UK Space Agency.
14:30-16:00. Measuring methane with the same ruler… Many public and private organisations must now report on methane emissions as part of efforts to tackle climate change. The ability to measure methane from space is rapidly evolving. With 10 of the 15 future methane missions coming from private companies, there is a need for common agreed processes and standards for analysing the data. Join space agency officials, leading scientists and satellite providers in discussing current activities and the way forward on internationally recognised methane standards for effective climate action. No invitation needed, just come along.
Wednesday 6 December
Later Is Too Late: Tipping the Balance from Negative to Positive
The Walker Institute and University of Reading are joining the University of Exeter and the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) in a live multimedia side event during COP28 in Dubai: Later Is Too Late: Tipping the Balance from Negative to Positive. While we are nearing dangerous tipping points in nature, we are also activating positive social, economic, political and technological tipping points around the world. Progress is happening faster than many realize, and COP28 is a time for courageous leadership to harness exponential momentum and get us back on course. Later is too late! The side event will be hosted in the Al Hur Stage, Action Arena 1, Global Climate Action Area, COP28 Blue Zone, Dubai, UAE on 6 December, 17:00-18:30 (GMT+4). Read further information.
Wednesday 6 December Space Pavilion Side Event theatre, in the Technology & Innovation Hub 2, in the Green Zone. ‘Role of long-term, trustworthy climate data from space in a record-breaking year, now and in the future’. 11:00-12:00. Join Space4Climate for this discussion, chaired by Beth Greenaway, S4C Chair & head of EO and Climate at UK Space Agency. No invitation needed, just come along.
Thursday 7 December Transport and the Environment – panel event chaired by Professor Paul Williams
Professor Paul Williams will be chairing a panel discussion organised by the Institute of Physics on 7 December 2023 in Dubai. The panel, including four speakers, will focus on Transport and the Environment: “Can we achieve a sustainable transport system?”
Sunday 10 December The power of space to protect and restore our natural world – Space4Climate side event
16:00-17:00. Join Space4Climate, Defra and the UK Space Agency for this panel discussion, Co-chaired by Defra Chief Scientific Advisor Gideon Henderson, and Director of the GEO Secretariat, Yana Gevorgyan. S4C Vice Chair Donna Lyndsay, Strategic Market Lead at Ordnance Survey, will be on the panel, joined by Prof Heiko Balzter, of NCEO, Marco Lambertini, Special Envoy at WWF International, Convener of the Nature Positive Initiative, and Dr Grethel Aguilar, Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). RSVP to join.