Climate risk

A project to define and communicate climate-related risk

About the project

To highlight the latest evidence and better equip experts, we carried out a major work programme on climate risk and its communication.

In August 2021, we awarded seven fellowships to 10 academics and practitioners with expertise in this topic. Our work programme included hosting the Climate Risk Summit, which brought together key experts for an in-depth examination of climate risk topics. Building on this event, our fellows created several resources, including final report a handbook, and a toolkit on climate risk communication.


Communicating Climate Risk: a handbook

By Climate Risk fellow Freya Roberts, with Kris De Meyer and Lucy Hubble Rose (UCL Climate Action Unit)

This is a practical guide to communicating climate risk, designed for those working at the interface of climate science and policy. It explains insights from psychology and neuroscience on how our brains engage with the idea of climate risk, it highlights journalism hacks for writing about risk clearly, it shares lessons learned from the authors’ experience working with policymakers on climate risk, and it offers a set of useful questions to help other researchers ascertain what policymakers need from climate risk research.
Contact the authors on Twitter @UCL_CAU or email for further information.

Download it here: Communicating Climate Risk: a handbook

Communicating Climate Risk: a toolkit

By Climate Risk fellows Jo Walton and Polina Levontin (AU4DM)

This resource seeks to narrow the gap between climate science and climate action, by providing insights, recommendations, and tools for all forms of climate-related communication and decision-making, and identifies open problems. It draws together best practice on the effective communication of climate information from across STEM, social sciences, and arts and humanities. The Toolkit builds on previous work by AU4DM and partly emerges from conversations at and around the COP26 Universities Network Climate Risk Summit, as well as survey questions shared with its participants.

Download it here: Communicating Climate Risk: a toolkit

Climate Risk Decision-making: translation of decision support into policy

By Erik Mackie (University of Cambridge), Irena L.C. Connon (University of Stirling), Mark Workman (Imperial College London), Alyssa Gilbert (Imperial College London), Emily Shuckburgh (University of Cambridge)

Why are the plethora of climate risk assessments and decision support tools available to decision-makers not always translating into effective policy action on climate risk? What are the challenges, complexities and uncertainties associated with this translational process, and how can we improve the research translation pipeline in order to achieve more effective decision-making on climate policy? These are some of the key questions that this report aims to address, through a combination of a literature review, case study assessment and input from Policy Workshops with stakeholders.

Download it here: Climate Risk Decision-making: Translation of Decision Support into Policy


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. 

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