UCL Public Policy


Climate Risk

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.

Climate Risk Infographic

Recent projects

UK-China Collaboration on Climate Change Risk Assessments

The CAU is delivering an FCDO-funded project, led by Chatham House and Tsinghua University, to improve how climate risk information feeds into policy making in the UK, China and internationally. Our task in the project is to deliver end-user engagement and co-production activities around the transition to renewable energy and the use of climate risk information in policy making.

Partner organisations:
Chatham House & Tsinghua University

November 2019 to March 2022

Further information:
CAU co-authored report: A new perspective on decarbonising the global energy system
Chatham House website

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.

Partner organisations:
UCL Public Policy

June 2018

Further information:

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.

Partner organisations:
BEIS, UCL Public Policy

February 2018 to June 2019

Further information: