Sustainable Solutions Newsletter - 26 February 2021


I’ve had positive feedback on our first Centre for Sustainable Solutions email newsletter from the start of the month, so carrying on in the same simple, lo-fi way for now. I missed the “fortnightly” ambition on this one, but let’s keep plugging on! It does mean there’s a lot of content here though, and some of the items are coming right up next week. 

Feel free to fire over items you’d like included, or, if you have a special sustainability-related item that needs its own email, am happy to do one-off mail-outs. This email list is open to UofG staff and students so please do invite people to join who may be interested. I can also use our Twitter and Yammer accounts to promote items, and circulate things to the UK-wide COP26 Universities Network as well. And I’d love to hear of any connections or successes that result from you discovering things via this newsletter! 

The headings to scan below are:

  • Events
    • COP26-related events
    • Other sustainability events
    • Past events – resources available
  • Funding opportunities
  • Student opportunities
  • Experts sought
  • Resources


COP26-related events:

Climate Exp0 - Call for Submissions deadline extended to 10 March 2021

Call for Submissions for Climate Exp0 has been extended to 10 March 2021. Climate Exp0 is the first virtual conference organised by the COP26 Universities Network and the Italian University Network for Sustainable Development (RUS), sponsored by UK Research and Innovation, with support from COP26 and Cambridge University Press. Taking place 17-21 May 2021, six months prior to COP26, Climate Exp0 will showcase the latest thinking and most relevant UK and international research around five key themes: Adaptation and Resilience; Finance; Green Recovery; Mitigation Solutions; and Nature-based Solutions. It will feature a range of speakers - from policymakers and academics, to practitioners and students. The Call for Submissions is open to researchers, students, industry, civil society, and policymakers and we are accepting abstracts for individual presentations and poster presentations across each theme.

COP26 On Campus – submit your proposal to hold an event by 15th March 2021

As COP26 comes to the city in November this year there is increasing interest from across the institution and beyond for space to host an event on-campus during these dates. As central space will be a premium we will have to take a more strategic approach to approving events during this time. See here for more information.

The Dear Green Bothy: A Cultural Hub and Civic Refuge – call for proposals, deadline 15th March 2021

To mark the arrival of COP26, and as part of a wider programme of events organised by the University, the College of Arts invites proposals for The Dear Green Bothy, a six-month programme of public activities and events designed to demonstrate the vital role played by the arts and humanities in understanding and addressing climate emergency. Please find further details and an application form attached. For informal enquiries please contact project leads Professor Mark Banks ( and Casi Dylan ( To learn more about the Arts Sustainability Working Group (ASWG) and its activities please contact Professor Minty Donald (

COP26 Universities Network International Group – seeking GCRF folks

The COP26 Universities international group is keen to explore how we can best bring together and leverage the Global Challenge Research Funding networks in support of COP26. We know that some of the hubs are already involved with in-region policy engagement on COP26, and it would be great to build on this activity. If you are involved with any of the GCRF hubs or other GCRF funded projects, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact Steve Davison on

COP26 Volunteer Programme – sign up now

The UK will host the international summit at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow on 1 – 12 November 2021 and Glasgow City Council is looking for a team of around 1000 friendly, outgoing and enthusiastic volunteers to support the staging of this globally significant event. Anyone interested in volunteering is invited to step forward and submit their application at Applications are open now until Wednesday, 31 March.

‘The Climate Papers’ - COP26 Universities Network podcast series

The COP26 Universities Network has launched a new series of podcasts focused on our briefing papers, exploring the topics they cover in greater depth through informal conversations with members of the network. The first episode discusses the briefing paper on a net zero emissions recovery from Covid-19 with two of the papers authors and can be found here. You can also subscribe to the podcast series here.

Other sustainability events:

A NEW VISION FOR LAND USE IN SCOTLAND: 6 CONVERSATIONS, 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd,29th March and 12th April 2021

Over the course of six weeks, nearly 50 of the best-informed speakers on all aspects of rural land use will engage in six “conversations” — each focused on a different aspect of how land is used and how it could be better used, in Scotland. The event is organised as a response to the climate emergency, the impossibility of Scotland meeting its net zero climate targets without radical change to its approach to land use, and the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Sustainable finance and the design of ESG securities – A UofG School of Law webinar, 2nd March 2021

Webinar on 2nd March 2021, 2:30 – 4:00pm. The speaker, Mr. Gustavo Grebler, is a partner at Grebler Advogados, Brazil. He also acted as legal head of a financial institution, is a fellow of the Max Planck Institute für Internationales und Privatrecht, and a legal scientist for the Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe - SAFE, now Leibniz Institut. “Aside from laudable ethical values, sustainable finance is really about mitigating negative externalities and placing economic costs on the shoulders of the agents who created them. So far, such costs have been partially regarded as non-excludables, i.e. devolving on the social group given the impracticability of their allocation onto individual members. Producers are responsible for 100% of the manufacturing process output, subdivided into products, waste and second-order environmental impact, and bear less than 100% of the costs. Taxpayers, as a class, take no part in the manufacturing and bear whatever part of the cost not picked up by producers.”

Cultural Adaptations Conference, 2-5 March 2021

With more cities, regions and nations declaring a state of climate emergency, how can cultural organisations and creativity adapt? This unique, international conference explores how cities and regions across Europe can creatively adapt to climate change impacts and the adaptation challenges faced by our arts and cultural sector.

Met Office Climate Data Challenge, 16th & 17th March 2021 (pre-event, 2nd March 2021)

The Met Office and partners are hosting a virtual hackathon aimed at finding new ways to use data to help towards tackling climate change challenges and developing sustainable opportunities. Themes are: Marine & coastal; Nature-based solutions; Developing countries/sustainable development.

Connecting Nature Summit Series - Innovation Summit, 23-25 March 2021

Connecting Nature is a nature–based solutions project in the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Innovation Action Programme, with 30 project partners from industry, local authorities, local communities, NGO’s and research in 16 countries, and hubs in Brazil, China, Korea & The Caucasus (Georgia and Armenia). They are hosting an Innovation Summit in March, which will share the learning from the community of cities involved in Connecting Nature and introduce the innovative tools and methods being developed through the project. The Summit is virtual but will still be culturally rooted in Glasgow and Scotland. Glasgow is a Front-Runner City along with the cities of Genk (Belgium) and Poznan (Poland). It will showcase exemplar projects from across Europe with a focus on Glasgow and Scotland. It will demonstrate methods being developed collaboratively by Connecting Nature partners to realise the co-benefits of nature in cities.

Celebrating Sustainability Excellence Virtually - Green Gown Awards UK & Ireland, in association with UKRI, 24th March 2021

The Winners of the UK and Ireland Green Gown Awards, held in association with UKRI, will be revealed at a Virtual Awards Ceremony on Wednesday 24th March at 4pm. More information here.

Past events – resources available:

Centre for Sustainable Solutions / Policy Scotland / Glasgow City Council Green Recovery Dialogues

Glasgow City Council and the University of Glasgow’s Centre for Sustainable Solutions, together with Policy Scotland, partnered on a series of three Green Recovery Dialogues intended to progress a just and sustainable recovery from COVID-19. The Dialogues, which took place in November/December 2020, will enable better-informed partnership working for achieving the City’s and the University’s ambitious Carbon Neutrality (Net Zero) targets of 2030. The Dialogues welcomed those who have the expertise to brainstorm solutions for implementing business models, policy measures, and other impactful activities in three thematic areas: Dialogue 1. Implementing Green Futures – Increasing urban green space and implementing nature-based solutions; Dialogue 2. Raising Ambition on Net Zero – providing low carbon energy and housing solutions; Dialogue 3. Rethinking Consumption – achieving sustainable recovery through green and/or circular economy. Participant videos available now!

Dr Kat Duffy - #DoBetterResearch podcast on ethnographic approaches and sustainable fashion research - New #DoBetterResearch #Podcast! #Ethnography, Dr Kat Duffy from UofG Adam Smith Business School exploring @saveyrwardrobe & #sustainablefashion. Listen on: Spotify ; Apple ; Google

A Circular Fashion Ecosystem project, A Conversation – London Fashion Week, 19-23 February 2021.

Adam Smith Business School experts in circular economy and eco-fashion, Prof Deirdre Shaw and Dr Kat Duffy, are consultants on a newly launched British Fashion Council project: Circular Fashion Ecosystem. The launch conversation event video is available for viewing now!

IES - Climate action & sustainable development: Synergies and trade-offs

Earlier this month, IES (Institution of Environmental Sciences) held a discussion event on the ways we can ensure that ambitious climate action fits within the wider vision of sustainability. The event started with a presentation by Professor Chris Rapley CBE, Professor of Climate Science at University College London. You can read more about the event and the discussions which took place among participants on the IES website, where you can also view a recording of Professor Rapley’s presentation.

Scotland’s Flood Risk Management Conference 2021: FRM and Green Recovery

This week-long event in February covered such topics as science and policy updates; land, place-making and planning; inclusive resilience: strengthening communities and reducing inequity and more. Presentations are now available to view online.

Funding opportunities

RSE COP26 International Climate Change Network Grant - call closes on 3rd March 2021

Bit tight but thought I’d include it: The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE), with the support of the Scottish Funding Council, is pleased to invite applications for the RSE COP26 International Climate Change Network Grants. The Grants are to address climate change impacts ahead of Scotland’s hosting of COP26 while fostering international collaboration in a post-Brexit world. Fund deadline March 3, 2021 12:00 pm. Fund value £10,000 per project. Fund duration 3-6 months. For pre-existing networks only with a focus on specific geographical regions in the global south, island states.

LEAP-RE Call for AU-EU Collaborative Research and Innovation projects on Renewable Energy – initial deadline 1st April 2021

The Long-term Europe-Africa Partnership on Renewable Energy (LEAP-RE) programme co-funded by the European Commission under Horizon 2020 aims to increase the use of renewable energy via a well-balanced set of research, demonstration, and technology transfer projects in both continents. Deadline for mandatory pre-proposal submission is 1st April 2021. See for details, and get in touch with Mary Ryan at GCID if you want to know more about finding partners and applying:

Student opportunities

The Climate Hot Seat – Scottish political hustings event for young people, 9th April 2021.

Young people (ages 11-25) will have the opportunity to hold political leaders in Scotland to account over climate issues in a live hustings event scheduled for April. The 'Climate Hot Seat' has been organised by young climate activists from across Scotland and will see party leaders in Scotland quizzed on environmental issues in a live, online event format. The deadline for submitting questions is 9am on Friday 26th March 2021.

The World + 3° - student-led journal looking for contributions – deadline 10th June 2021

UofG student Izzy Thomas-Horton is working in a small team with one other Glasgow student and two students from UCL on producing a one-off student-led sustainability journal called “The World + 3°”: This journal asks for submissions considering solutions to the consequences of a world after a 3° temperature increase. They say: “The hope of this journal is to help refocus the lens, moving from panic and scepticism to solutions. We want to set our generation an important task; to reimagine the future so we can all start to build it.” Follow the afore-mentioned link for more information, and take note, they are getting great science based responses but they’d love to see some arts, humanities, and social science based submissions too!

Experts sought

British Embassy – Poland event seeking climate science experts

The British Embassy in Warsaw is developing a Climate Science Outreach project, taking place on 12th and 16th March 2021 in collaboration with the Polish Institute for Sustainable Development (ISD) as part of their engagement around COP26.  The Embassy is looking for a UK climate science expert to deliver an online keynote lecture on 12th on the subject “What do extreme weather events tell us about climate change, and what does it mean to you?”. They are also looking for academics and science influencers (including sociologists, psychologists, NGOs, climate science communicators) to take part in a closed online discussion on climate science communication with Polish scientists and activists on 16th March. To express your interest or find out more, please contact Małgorzata Kiełmińska (

British High Commission in Singapore – seeking adaptation and resilience experts

The British High Commission in Singapore are interested in hearing from anyone who is interested in working with Singapore partners on a policy briefing focused on adaptation and resilience. Please contact Dr Jade Chung, Science and Innovation Officer at the British High Commission ( for more info.

Speakers sought for U3A Science Group in Helensburgh

Prof. Peter H. Holmes OBE, BVMS, PhD, FRCVS, FRSE, Professor Emeritus from the University of Glasgow and former VP of Research, runs a science group at the Helensburgh branch of the U3A. He is on the look-out for speakers on sustainable solutions, which is a growing topic of interest, for his programme of talks for the autumn. He can be contacted at


UofG Civic Engagement – new resource includes Centre for Sustainable Solutions

The University of Glasgow was founded for the benefit of the city and its people. We work with companies and organisations throughout the city to co-design solutions to create real, lasting impact and opportunity in Glasgow and beyond. Our staff and students are engaged in strong, enduring research and community partnerships to improve health, boost the economy, build a better future and celebrate the achievements of those living in Glasgow. Glasgow: our city, our partner. Article on the Centre’s civic engagement activities here.


Dr Daan Schraven (TU Delft); Professor Simon Joss (University of Glasgow Professor of Urban Futures (Urban Studies)); and Professor Martin de Jong (Erasmus University Rotterdam), produced a report in February 2021 called ‘Past, present, future: engagement with sustainable urban development through 35 city labels in the scientific literature 1990-2019’, which advises cities to make essential connections between different aspects of sustainable development, based on a multi-dimensional mapping which relates e.g. ‘liveable’ to ‘ecological’ and ‘creative’ to ‘smart’ urban development. See UofG news item for more information.

Connecting Nature Enterprise Platform

Are you interested in nature-based solutions and nature-based enterprise? One of the Centre for Sustainable Solutions’ collaborators, Gillian Dick (Spatial Planning Manager – Research & Development) from Glasgow City Council Neighbourhoods, Regeneration and Sustainability shared this with us, as the Council have recently added their details to this platform. The Connecting Nature Enterprise Platform is a stand-alone innovation developed in the Connecting Nature project. It is a sustainable platform which will continue after the Connecting Nature project ends in May 2022. “To support the development of this new sustainable economic sector, Connecting Nature has developed this global platform which directly connects market demand (cities and private sector ‘buyers’ of nature-based solutions) with supply (innovative enterprises supplying sustainable nature-based solutions).”

Adaptation Gateway Knowledge Exchange

The Knowledge Exchange makes data, information, and learnings on climate change adaptation both accessible and actionable, with the aim of engaging policy-makers, professionals, experts, and other stakeholders. It connects areas of science, policy, and practice through dedicated elements—such as the Adaptation Gateway, which covers data, solutions and insights, Adaptation Communities, the State and Trends report series, and the Adaptation Action Agenda—brokering solutions to accelerate adaptation action from a local to a global scale. The Adaptation Gateway provides data visualization, systemized solutions, analyses, and insights on the state and trends of climate change resilience and adaptation.

IES Briefing paper: ‘The Sustainable Development Goals and Climate Change’

IES (Institution of Environmental Sciences) recently launched a briefing paper on the links between the SDGs and climate action, as well as areas of synergy as they pursue both agendas alongside one another. The briefing paper was made with the support of the COP26 Community of IES members. You can read more about the work of the COP26 Community on the Communities page of the IES website, and you can access the latest IES briefing paper here.

Farming for a Better Climate’s guide to climate change adaptation

Agriculture is on the frontline of Scotland’s changing climate. Careful land management, an understanding of the impacts and implementing climate change adaptation methods are essential to minimise risk and maximise any potential benefits. SAC Consulting, funded by the University Innovation Fund, from the Scottish Funding Council, have produced a climate change adaptation checklist for farm businesses. It considers various climate change adaptation measures to help determine the most suitable and effective methods for improving resilience to climate change on farms.

Climate of hope or doom and gloom? Testing the climate change hope vs. fear communications debate through online videos

“A growing body of research has explored whether evoking hope or fear about climate change is more effective at catalyzing attitude and behavior change among the public.” A useful paper for all of us involved in changing and encouraging hearts and minds.

Ettinger, J., Walton, P., Painter, J. et al. Climate of hope or doom and gloom? Testing the climate change hope vs. fear communications debate through online videos. Climatic Change 164, 19 (2021).

Strengthening adaptation-mitigation linkages for a low-carbon, climate-resilient future (OECD Environment Policy paper)

Designed for a wide readership, the OECD Environment Policy Papers distil many of today’s environment-related policy issues based on a wide range of OECD work. This policy paper provides an overview and a discussion of linkages between climate change adaptation and mitigation policies, shedding light on the synergies that can be achieved as well as the trade-offs that could arise between the two policy agendas, but also across other environmental or social policy objectives. It aims at inspiring reflections of fostering linkages, especially as part of countries’ ongoing discussions on designing green recovery measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.