About us

Who we are

The COP26 Universities Network is a growing group of over 80 UK-based universities and research centres working together to raise ambition for tangible outcomes from the UN COP26 Climate Change Conference, to be held in Glasgow, Scotland in November 2021. The Network will create lasting partnerships and legacies that reach beyond this single event.

Mission statement

The Network's mission is to ensure that the UK academic sector plays its role in delivering a successful COP26, getting all players on track to deliver a zero-carbon, resilient world. They aim to do so by easing access to evidence and academic expertise for COP26 for government, NGOs, and other actors, and by taking action.

Overview and aims

The UK is a global leader in action on climate change, with a considerable contribution towards this status coming from work undertaken in universities in terms of research, training, translation and innovation. 

In the build-up to the COP26 event at the end of 2021, following the example given from France in 2015, a series of publications, events and activities should take place to create momentum, engage public and business audiences, and provide support to the UK Government in its planning. To this end, UK universities stand ready to collaborate and mobilise our capacities on issues relevant to the meeting and its build-up. 

Our growing group has met regularly at the grassroots, academic level, since September 2019 to discuss and agree the plans for COP26. Our intention is to broaden the scope of this emerging community so that any university with a strong track record and/or ambition on climate change activities can be involved. We are currently growing organically but are planning active outreach to as many universities as possible. We have also connected with Italian higher education counterparts, so that plans are shared between academics in our two countries. 

We have also included the Met Office, Russell Group, Yorkshire Universities and the Royal Society in our discussions, and have met with the British Academy and UKRIIn addition, we are seeking to work with and through existing groups as far as possible, and have had constructive conversations with EAUC, who are running a climate commission for the universities and college sector; UPEN, a universities policy network; and the LGA, who have presented their climate change support programme.

Download the above information in PDF format

COP26 Universities Network Introduction