The Climate Action Unit provides skills and insights to help scientists and decision makers work together more effectively. The end goal of this work is to make climate risk information a more effective driver of the government policies and business decisions needed to curb climate change.
We help experts from different backgrounds develop a shared language to talk about climate risk. This is important because risk terminology can be understood very differently in science, policy and business communities.
We do this by:
- bringing scientists and decision makers together to work in a more integrated way; co-creating the research questions needed to support evidence-based decision making.
- helping researchers to present their findings using formats that decision makers are familiar with – for example, by offering ‘worst' rather than 'average-case' scenarios.
- tackling shortcomings in the way research is funded so that scientists can better answer the questions that matter to decision makers.
Our interventions are based on a deep understanding of how the human brain perceives and responds to risk.
Anxiety vs. apathy - the way we talk about climate risk affects how people respond - a Planet Pod podcast with Freya Roberts and Dr Liz Bentley (Royal Meteorological Society)
What is climate risk? A discussion - a Planet Pod podcast with Kris De Meyer, Alyssa Gilbert (Grantham Institute, Imperial College London), Emily Shuckburgh (University of Cambridge) and Craig Hutton (University of Southampton)
New Metrics for Communicating Climate Risk
The Climate Action Unit has recently begun a project to develop a structured, user-centred approach to designing metrics that better convey climate risk - based on lessons learned from the COVID crisis. After an initial kickoff session in July 2021, and a series of scoping workshops in September 2021, we are proceeding to design and audience-test a selection of candidate metrics.
Quadrature Climate Foundation
July 2021 - January 2023
- Phase one - kickoff report
National Trust Climate Risk Management and Adaptation
The Climate Action Unit is helping the National Trust to develop a robust and inclusive climate risk management and adaptation response. A pilot adaptation planning workshop has been delivered at a National Trust property in Northern Ireland. Further workshops and a training programme for National Trust staff are under development.
January 2022 onwards
UK-China Collaboration on Climate Change Risk Assessments
The Climate Action Unit collaborated in this FCDO-funded project with Chatham House, Oxford University and partner universities in China. We delivered a series of co-production workshops around the use of climate risk information in policy and the transition to renewable energy.
Chatham House, Oxford University & Tsinghua University
November 2019 to November 2021
Climate Risk Communication at COP26
The CAU delivered a series of workshops, talks and articles in the lead up to and during COP26. This included hosting a day of the Climate Risk Summit (online) from 29 September - 1 October 2021, producing a climate risk communications handbook and speaking at an event in the Science Zone at COP26.
September 2021 - November 2021
- Met Office Services & Science YouTube - COP26 talk - "Communicating risk: what works and what doesn't?"
- UCL Climate Action Unit YouTube - Climate Risk Summit 2021 workshop videos
- COP26 Universities blog - "How scientists can help decision-makers 'get' climate risk"
- Improving Science-Based Climate Policy for Flood Risk Management Training
The CAU delivered a three day training for early- and mid-career flood risk researchers to build their capacity to engage in co-production with policymakers. Following the training, the participants delivered an event to policymakers from the Environment Agency and other relevant government departments and policy organisations.
UCL Public Policy
- Science-Policy Co-Production Workshop on Climate Change Risk Assessments
The CAU team ran two science-policy co-production workshops on climate change risk assessments, to explore how to make them better drivers of climate mitigation policies. These workshops resulted in the flood risk training programme and the CAU team's involvement in the UK-China collaboration on climate change risk assessments.
BEIS, UCL Public Policy
February 2018 to June 2019