About us

Our network enables collaboration across the UK academic sector to advance climate action nationally and internationally. We disseminate climate change research and analysis, conduct evidence-based public engagement, and share evidence for climate action with policymakers, including the UK Government.

Our Story

We were founded in 2019 as the COP26 Universities Network with a goal to ensure the academic sector played its role in delivering a successful UN COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November 2021. We carried out an extensive work programme in the lead up to the conference to create momentum, engage public and business audiences, and provide support to the UK Government.

We became the UK Universities Climate Network (UUCN) in March 2022 and are continuing our work to contribute to the creation of a resilient, net zero world. Our Secretariat is based at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and Environment at Imperial College London.

We are….

Collaborative: we enable the sharing of knowledge and best practices across disciplines and institutions

Expert: as a collective of academic experts, we are a leading and trusted voice for climate change research that informs policy

Grassroots: we are an inclusive community of researchers and professional staff from a range of disciplines and institutions

Innovative: by leveraging expertise across our diverse membership, we are able to develop unique evidence-based perspectives and insights

Our work areas

We have several ongoing strands of work, coordinated by a small steering committee. Our work areas include:

  • Engagement with policymakers
  • Public engagement
  • Climate risk
  • Education and skills transformation
  • Net zero universities
  • International partnerships

Our members

Our membership is made up of over 85 UK universities and research centres.

Meet our co-chairs

Alyssa Gilbert

Alyssa Gilbert

Grantham Institute - Imperial College London

Alyssa is the Director of Policy and Translation and the interim Director of Innovation at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment. Her work connects climate change research to key stakeholders and supports the development and scale up of innovative climate solutions.

Prior to joining the Grantham Institute, she worked at a specialist energy and climate consultancy for nearly 12 years on a range of climate change mitigation and adaptation topics. She has worked with the UK and many other national governments and at the international level. She has also been a member of the Natural Environment Council’s Advisory Network.

Prof Emily Shuckburgh

Prof Emily Shuckburgh

Cambridge Zero - University of Cambridge

Emily is a climate scientist and mathematician, a Fellow of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, an Associate Fellow of the Centre for Science and Policy, and a Fellow of the British Antarctic Survey. Emily is also Professor of Environmental Data Science at the Department of Computer Science and Technology.

She leads the UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training on the Application of AI to the study of Environmental Risks. A polar expert, Emily previously led a UK national research programme on the Southern Ocean and its role in climate. In 2016 she was awarded an OBE for services to science and the public communication of science. Emily is co-author with HRH The Prince of Wales and Tony Juniper of the Ladybird Book on Climate Change.

Latest news

Announcing our partnership with Innovation Zero 2024!

Announcing our partnership with Innovation Zero 2024!

The UUCN will be hosting a panel event at Innovation Zero 2024. Our panel will be focused on universities as hubs for climate innovation. It will provide insights into how UK universities are ... Read more

Blog: Reflections from the Higher Education Networks Roundtable at COP28

Blog: Reflections from the Higher Education Networks Roundtable at COP28

Ruth Jihyung Joo is a Knowledge Exchange Fellow at the University of Leeds. In this blog, she reflects on her experience attending a roundtable event for higher education networks at ... Read more

Blog: Climate change education and skills at COP28

Blog: Climate change education and skills at COP28

Dr Tess O’Hara is a Lecturer in Engineering Hydrogeology at Newcastle University. In this blog, she reflects on discussions at COP28 with Baroness Barran, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State ... Read more