Our work

We have several ongoing strands of work, coordinated by a small steering committee.

Through our activities, we aim to showcase the UK’s efforts on climate change to the international community, demonstrate the power of UK universities and world-leading science in innovation in contributing to the changes necessary, and exemplify how UK universities can work together on this important shared priority.

What we do

Sharing knowledge

Publish briefing papers on key climate change topics to inform policymaking and international climate negotiations, including COP26 and COP27.

Hold roundtables with government and other stakeholders to highlight the findings of our briefing notes

Communications and media

Promote our briefing notes and other material to key audiences

Provide access to academic experts for media from local to international level, and others through the database on our website

Engage with the media (TV, radio, social media, newspapers and magazines)

Partnerships and engagement 

Use our international reach (alumni, collaborators, institutional links) to support efforts overseas (working with the FCDO and British Council). 

Coordinate with the work of complementary partners (e.g. the Academies and learned bodies) 

Work closely with practitioners (e.g. in the adaptation space) to share lessons at the boundary of academic expertise and practice

Education and skills 

Work with education sector representatives, industry bodies, civil society organisation and government representatives to develop a long-term perspective on skills for a net zero, resilient UK, and contribute actively to the role of the higher education sector in that journey


Promote innovation, entrepreneurship, and showcase start-ups in the climate change space

Develop innovative opportunities to engage the broader UK public in climate solutions

Net zero universities 

Take action on our own campuses to move towards net zero

Use our educational remit to develop bespoke and relevant educational offerings to our students

Contribute to discussions about education and skills to tackle the climate challenge

Promote climate change and climate change–related science and research on the academic curriculum

Cities level engagement

Use our position as anchor institutions in our cities to engage and mobilise key city actors, stakeholders, and communities in delivering net zero emissions targets

Public engagement

Share best practice with the academic community on public engagement on climate change 

Coordinate, share, and instigate talks, panel meetings and events, including public events on our campuses. 

Expert subgroups

Identify subgroups of expertise to provide knowledge support for government on targeted scientific themes


We coordinate and publish briefing papers to share evidence on key climate change topics, written by more than 100 authors from across our member universities. 

Case studies

We highlight case studies of best practice in climate action from our member universities.

Our members

We are a group of over 85 UK universities and research centres.

Latest news

Member blog: Climate action is for all, not just the wealthy

Member blog: Climate action is for all, not just the wealthy

In this blog, Hettie Moorcroft, Sam Hampton & Lorraine Whitmarsh from the University of Bath discuss misconceptions around concern about climate change, income level, and ability to take ... Read more

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