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UCL Policy Commission on Communicating Climate Science II

The Commission aims to identify gaps in climate change communication and policy and create targeted interventions which result in significant impact

The UCL Communicating Climate Science Policy Commission (CCSPC) is an interdisciplinary body comprising experts from academia, policy, environment, business, media and the arts. It is chaired by Professor Chris Rapley (UCL Earth Sciences).

Phase two of the Commission continues to examine the challenges faced in communicating climate science effectively to policymakers and the public, and the role of climate scientists in communication.


Mission

The commission is an incubator of projects that aim to: 

  • Identify gaps in climate change communication and policy and create targeted interventions with significant impacts
  • Help break down communication barriers within and between professional communities and the wider public
  • Identify and work with ‘communities of practice’ to allow scaling of successful encounters

Vision

The Commission’s vision is to facilitate the creation of agency (the ability to make change) to increase the effectiveness, scale, and pace of actions addressing the climate crisis.

The Commission draws on selected insights from the social, behavioural and mind sciences, from the varied and extensive experience of its membership, from the ideas and insights of invited experts, and from ‘learning by doing’.

The figure below is a schematic of the climate science-society domain, which the Commission uses as a map to guide its interventions:

CCSPC schematic diagram
Current activity

CCSPC projects 2020-2021

  • Pathways to Net Zero
  • Net Zero Innovation programme
  • UK-China collaboration on climate change risk assessments
  • North Star Transition
  • Facilitator training
  • Delivering climate action in the community training
  • InSpire programme
In the news

Our Moment of Truth: The Social Contract Realized? - Editorial - Environmental Research Letters

Transforming the stories we tell about climate change: from 'issue' to 'action' - Paper - Environmental Research Letters

Tilting the Balance - Blog - UCL Public Policy

Reports

CCSPC II - Annual Report - 2019 to 2020

CCSPC II - Annual Report - 2018 to 2019

CCSPC I - Time for Change report

In 2014 the first UCL Policy Commission on Communicating Climate Science published its report 'Time for Change?' outlining five key recommendations for professional communities involved in climate science. In addition to the full report there is a policy briefing available here.

Completed projects

Media engagement: BBC1 “Climate Change – The Facts”

Chris Rapley was the science consultant for the BBC1 programme “Climate Change - The Facts” – aired in the UK in April 2019, and for the two-part version subsequently distributed worldwide. UCL’s Professor Mark Maslin featured prominently. Professor Rapley and the Series Producer, Serena Davies, are working on the development of several potential follow-up programmes. Professor Rapley is also providing advice to Nutopia, who have been commissioned by National Geographic Channel to produce a ten-part follow up to the award winning series “One Strange Rock”.

Workshop: Meaningful Action

In January 2019, the Commission brought together 30 people from a variety of professional backgrounds but with extensive experience of addressing climate change. The aim of the meeting was to uncover better answers to a question that concerned citizens increasingly ask: “What can I do about climate change?”

Training programme: Flood Risk Management

In this free residential training retreat UCL offered climate scientists a unique opportunity to develop understanding, tools and techniques to engage more effectively with policymakers. Over two-and-a-half-days the programme explored the process of co-production and iterative dialogue between climate scientists and those charged with reducing flood risks and addressed barriers to progress such as cultural differences in the perception of risk consider the need to take into account human psychology and values in developing effective public policy.

Workshop: Developing Better Climate Mitigation Policies

In February 2018, the Commission brought together 30 policymakers, climate researchers and research funders to explore how climate change risk assessments (CCRAs) can be made a more effective driver of climate change mitigation policies. The workshop mapped key challenges as well as opportunities for improvement.

Members of the Commission

Names and biographies for all the members of the CCSPC II can be found here.

This policy commission brings together members with a unique skill set and decades-long expertise in all aspects of climate change, from across academic disciplines, policy, business and the media.  

We are fortunate to be funded by the UCL Grand Challenge for Sustainable Cities and UCL Public Policy.