19 October 2021
With less than 2 weeks to go, there will be increasing media presence and outputs related to #COP26.
But what is COP26 and what role can you play? To learn more, download the guide: COP26 Explained.
Harper Adams University has played an active role contributing to a number of working papers and resources as a member of the COP26 Universities Network. Some of the recent contributions include:
Mainstreaming Climate Change Education in UK Higher Education Institutions - a report that calls for HEIs to fast track bold and rapid action to tackle the climate and ecological crisis at all levels of society. It concludes that there is a timely opportunity for HEIs to rethink how their respective institutions and systems of education can respond to the needs of students and staff, and the conditions of the wider world that we seek to understand and impact through research, training and teaching. The following suggestions present a starting point for capitalising on this opportunity by embedding climate change education into all university structures, and directing the talent within our institutions towards the creation of a resilient and zero-carbon future.
• Building internal capacity: All HEIs provide CPD on climate change, and paid training time, to their staff.
• Ensuring alignment and leadership: All HEIs produce an institutional strategy for their climate change education provision, to include its alignment with national and global climate targets and action, and its links to the ‘invisible curriculum’ of the institutions’ non-teaching operations.
• Partnerships for curriculum development: HEIs to partner with industry, central government, local government and third sector organisations to enable provision of CCE that takes full account of spatial and temporal demands and opportunities in the UK’s net-zero transition.
• Aligning assessment and outcomes: HEIs to work with funding and regulatory bodies, unions, professional and awards agencies to ensure staff capacity and graduate attributes fully align with the demands of addressing climate change.
Commenting on the recent repotr and its recommendations Professor Lee said: “This paper draws together the work from a range of institutions looking at what we can do to respond to the climate and ecological crisis. Those considerations need to be made both on a sector-wide basis – as we argue in the paper – and, naturally, through the work of each institution.
COP26 Innovation Showcase Website - a repository of innovative work going on at universities in the UK, showcasing the creativity and endeavour of researchers to develop new ways to reduce greenhouse emissions, adapt life to the changing climate, help us to better understand the nature of the climate and its impacts, and inform action. Under the theme of ‘living on land and sea’, you'll see an innovation showcase of the University's work on Net Zero farming. Prof. Michael Lee, Interim Vice Chancellor and project lead describes the project as "Farming which will deliver highly nutritious food whilst capturing carbon from the atmosphere through soil management and plant growth define net zero farming. Intercropping of maize and lucerne will reduce input costs and emissions through protecting soil, reducing tractor fuel use and provide two crops from where one previously grew. Such solutions are part of the Net Zero Farm being delivered at Harper Adams University".