Liverpool researchers at COP26

The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) launched yesterday in Glasgow and staff from the University of Liverpool will be attending the landmark summit to observe negotiations, contribute to discussions, present at events and promote the University’s research expertise.

The COP26 webpage contains information on our research and expert viewpoints which are helping to inform the negotiations and future policy.

Attendance at COP26

Ten researchers will be in Glasgow during the two-week event, including Professors Alessandro Tagliabue and Ric Williams from the School of Environmental Sciences and Professor Karl Whittle from the School of Engineering.

The University is an accredited Observer Organisation, offering members of the delegation access to the Conference’s Blue Zone, where negotiations and associated side events will take place.

University Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Impact Professor Anthony Hollander will be attending COP26 during the second week, when he will advocate Net Zero North, an N8 Research Partnership initiative to drive growth in the green economy in the North of England and beyond, by co-producing research and innovation to meet real-world challenges.

Dr Stephen Finnegan from the School of Architecture will host a roundtable discussion with the Director of Responsibility at KFC, focusing on collaboration to achieve a net zero carbon future and actions to tackle the climate emergency.

In addition, researchers will be presenting their work at a number of Blue Zone pavilions, including:

  • Professor Claire Mahaffey, The Changing Arctic Ocean: Impacts of Climate Change, Cryosphere Pavilion, 31 October
  • Professor Daniel Pope, Sustainable African Food Systems: Harnessing the Power of Earth, Wind, Energy, Digitalization and People, Africa Pavilion, 4 November
  • Professor Neil McDonald, Cultural Heritage, Resilience and the Built Environment, Resilience Hub, 9 November

Liverpool is a co-sponsor of North West Route To Net Zero, the region’s cross-sector contribution to COP26. Kate Thompson, a final year PhD student, will be representing the University at ‘Talking About My Generation’ , a panel discussion between the innovators of today and the next generation of young scientists, in the Green Zone’s Science Show Theatre. The University’s net zero materials innovation research will also be showcased at this event.


Responding to the global climate crisis through our research is the focus of the University’s Climate Futures Research Challenge. It brings together experts in a wide range of disciplines to explore impacts of climate change, develop solutions to environmental challenges and address knowledge gaps.

Research expertise spans climate science, emissions reduction, food sustainability, air quality impacts, new materials discovery, behaviour insights, risk communication, community engagement and the development of new sustainable technologies.

The `Climate Futures: Developing Net Zero Solutions Using Research and Innovation’  film showcases the different ways University research is responding to the global climate crisis.

COP26 Universities Network

The University is a member of the COP26 Universities Network, a consortium of more than 80 UK-based universities that aims to ensure that the HE sector plays its part in delivering a successful COP26.

The network has worked hard to ensure easier access to evidence and academic expertise relevant to COP26 for government, NGOs, and other actors, and through its own actions.

It has produced a number of briefings that address key issues on the negotiating table.  University ocean scientists co-authored a report highlighting the importance of the ocean matters in climate negotiations and suggesting positive actions nations can take.

Visit the official COP26 Universities Network website for more information.

University sustainability

The University is committed to embedding the UN Sustainable Development Goals across the institution, through research, teaching and learning, operations and community of staff, students and alumni.

It launched a new Sustainability Strategy in 2021 which creates a long-term vision for our shared future that encapsulates our desire to act as global leaders in environmental, social and corporate sustainability.

For more information, visit the University’s Sustainability website.