University of Warwick: University of Warwick announces expert delegation to attend COP26

The University of Warwick has announced its delegation to attend the global climate conference, COP26, in Glasgow in November. The university is one of a limited number of institutions to have been granted official observer status by the UN-led conference, which is being hosted by the UK.

The delegates attending the conference reflect the University of Warwick’s strengths across sustainability, from political economy, to engineering, to life sciences. The invitation to send so many representatives is recognition of the contribution the University is making to deliver Net Zero in the UK and across the world.

This includes plans to create an Eco Park on University-owned land in Warwickshire, helping to accelerate the battery economy, hosting the UK’s first conference on Micromobility, and developing cutting edge Very Light Rail technology.

Professor Christine Ennew, Provost at the University of Warwick and Sustainability Lead, said: “It is a huge honour and responsibility to send so many delegates to what is one of the most important global conferences of our generation.

“Across the University, our staff and students have been working tirelessly to shape global policymaking, invent future transport solutions, and de-carbonise our own campus. Our delegation will seek to work closely with policymakers and business leaders attending COP26 to shape future policy and tackle the Climate Crisis across the world.

“As an institution which takes great pride in being based in the West Midlands, we will be representing our home region and sharing innovations and ideas which can support communities at home as well as abroad.”

The two-week conference begins on 31st October and runs until 12th November and will welcome leaders from across the world. It is hoped the conference will result in comprehensive, multi-national action to tackle Climate Change.

Margot James, Executive Chair of WMG who will be attending COP26, said: “The University of Warwick is a world leader in areas such as automotive and battery technology. Our work is critical to achieving Net Zero, so it is vital we make the most of our attendance to learn from, and influence, global policymakers, and business leaders.

“As well as representing our own institution, staff, and students, we will be representing all our partners and communities across the West Midlands as we work together to tackle climate change.”

Professor Caroline Kuzemko, Associate Professor of Politics and International Studies, who also will be attending COP26, said: “The central purpose of COP is to provide a forum for the world to come together and agree binding action and targets to tackle Climate Change. Previous COP meetings have made substantial progress, including the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015.

“We know that more needs to be done and will look to our political leaders at COP26 to agree bold new approaches which build on the existing environmental consensus. At the University of Warwick, we will support these efforts in any way possible, either through our research and innovation or on the ground at the conference itself.”

Professor Hendrik Schaefer, Professor of Microbiology, added: “The Climate Emergency is the single most important issue facing humanity. The consequences of the warming climate are already playing out before our eyes.

“COP26 is an important opportunity for negotiating solutions to this crisis and as scientists we need to focus on how we can contribute to deal with and communicate the urgency of climate change.”

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