UCL News


UCL at COP27: latest updates and expert comment

18 November 2022

Climate experts from across UCL are at the COP27 UN climate summit in Sharm El-Sheikh as observers and delegation members, with teams of academics also monitoring and providing expert commentary from London.

COP27 plenary

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How school partnerships can help with climate learning

“We were constantly reminded [at COP27] ... that education is already being impacted by climate change at a global level, and this is disproportionately affecting women, children and girls," said Professor Nicola Walshe (UCL Centre for Climate Change & Sustainability Education). Read: Tes Magazine


Opinion: COP27 will be remembered as a failure – here’s what went wrong

Four UCL academics who attended COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt - Professors Mark Maslin, Richard Taylor (both UCL Geography) and Priti Parikh (UCL Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction) and Dr Simon Chin-Yee (UCL Political Science) - explain in The Conversation why many consider the agreement that was reached to combat climate disappointing, and the political and economic lessons learned for the next conference. Read: The Conversation

Opinion: The big takeaway from Cop27? These climate conferences just aren’t working

Professor Bill McGuire (UCL Earth Sciences) argues in The Guardian that after the limited progress made in COP27 towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions, it might be time to rethink how the countries of the world should work together to tackle the climate crisis. Read: The Guardian 

Opinion: COP27 flinched on phasing out ‘all fossil fuels’. What’s next?

After nations failed to agree at COP27 to reduce overall fossil fuel use, Dr Fergus Green (UCL Political Science) explains why such an agreement remains elusive, and what can still be done to reduce the extraction and burning of coal, oil and gas. Read: The Conversation

Climate damage fund trumps 1.5C push as COP27 summit nears end

Professor Simon Lewis (UCL Geography) said that increasing economic pressures and rising energy prices in the year between COP26 and COP27 have led countries to reduce their ambitions to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Read: Mail Online


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A clean way to explore the Arctic

“There is actually a way for people to use the Arctic, to explore the Arctic, to make the most of its resources… in a much more environmentally sustainable way than is happening right now,” said PhD candidate Robbie Mallett (UCL Earth Sciences). Read: TradeWinds

Opinion: Africa has vast gas reserves – here’s how to stop them adding to climate change

Writing in The Conversation, Dr Youba Sokona (UCL Science & Technology Studies) and Chukwumerije Okereke (Reading University) propose that global financial assistance be offered to support the development of Africa's renewable energy infrastructure and manage its gas reserves. Read: The Conversation


The 1.5C climate target is dead – to prevent total catastrophe, COP27 must admit it

Acknowledging that climate breakdown is unavoidable is key to making fossil-fuel companies and governments take action, writes Professor Bill McGuire (UCL Earth Sciences). Read: The Guardian 


Carbon emissions from fossil fuels will hit record high in 2022

“[The Global Carbon Project analysis] sends a clear message to the leaders at COP27 – the world needs to have significant cuts in global emissions in 2023 if we are to have any chance to keeping climate change to 1.5C,” said Professor Mark Maslin (UCL Geography). Read: The GuardianMore: iNewsRTE


Time for rich nations to face hard climate truths at COP27

"There seems no room for doubt that we have already pushed the [climate] system to the very edge of the envelope of natural rates of change, and possibly beyond it," writes Professor Tim Atkinson (UCL Earth Sciences). Read: The Guardian


Developing nations need support for impacts of climate change

"Support for [Least Developed Countries] and developing countries has been central to the COP debates but they urgently need a lot of support both financially and from other means,” said Dr Emmanuel Osuteye (UCL Bartlett Development Planning Unit). Read: Financial Times (£)

What 'Loss and Damage' means at COP27

“For many small island countries and developing nations, loss and damage is a euphemism for liability and compensation — one way to extract money and support from wealthy countries most responsible for climate change,” said Professor Lisa Vanhala (UCL Political Science). Read: Financial Times (£)

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What's a government to do about climate change?

Professor Mark Maslin (UCL Geography) explains what role the government should take to combat climate change and reduce carbon emissions. Listen: BBC 5 'Nicky Campbell' (from 58 mins 27 secs)

Report warns of a terminal loss of Arctic Sea ice during summers

“It’s a terminal diagnosis and now we have to live with consequences,” said PhD candidate Robbie Mallett (UCL Earth Sciences) on the State of the Cryosphere report released by a group of scientists at the start of COP27 in Egypt. Read: Guardian, More: Daily Mail 

Loss and damage negotiations emerge as an early sticking point at COP27

“The very legitimacy of this UN climate system is potentially up for play if an agreement [on loss and damage] isn’t reached this year,” said Professor Lisa Vanhala (UCL Political Science), commenting on the importance of payments for vulnerable nations. Watch: BBC Newsnight (from 4 mins 31 secs)

COP27: three reasons rich countries can no longer ignore calls to pay developing world for climate havoc

Writing for The Conversation, Professor Lisa Vanhala (UCL Political Science) explains the three reasons why loss and damage is finally on the COP27 agenda. Read: The Conversation

COP27 carbon calculator is developed to cut travel emissions from climate conference

A team of UCL researchers led by Professor Priti Parikh (UCL Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction) have developed an open-source calculator to allow those travelling to Egypt for COP27 to “measure, minimise and offset the carbon footprint” of their journey. Read: Dezeen

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Congo peatlands could emit billions of tonnes of carbon in drier climate

“Our study brings a brutal warning from the past. This is an important message for world leaders gathering at the Cop27 climate talks.” Professor Simon Lewis (UCL Geography) comments on his new study, which found that the Congo peatlands turned from a major store of carbon to a source of carbon dioxide emissions thousands of years ago due to a drying climate - and could do so again. Read: GuardianMore: Carbon BriefBBC World Service ‘Newshour’ (from 8 mins 54 secs)BBC Radio 4 ‘Inside Science’ (from 7 mins 56 secs)

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What goes in an IPCC Report?

Professor Mark Maslin (UCL Geography) describes the complex collaborative process behind the writing of the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change assessment reports. Listen: BBC World Service ‘CrowdScience’ (from 23 mins 16 secs)

About this page: The 27th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP27) is taking place in Sharm El-Sheikh from 6 to 18 November 2022. 

UCL researchers and academics are at the core of UK and global climate research and are giving their expert insights to media throughout and following on from the COP27 UN climate summit. 

We have a whole community of people working on climate change at UCL to look at the challenge from every possible angle, and as such, we play a critical role in influencing decision-makers to implement effective climate change policies. Explore our COP27 page to find out more about how UCL research is influencing the COP27 process.

Here at UCL in the Media, we feature the work of UCL colleagues who are providing critical advice and expert comment on climate change and the COP27 negotiations through TV, radio, print and online news sources.