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UK’s COP26 Universities Network reports highlight climate change in the Southeast Asian region

UK’s #COP26 Universities Network and leading research centres in Singapore partner on policy reports highlighting climate change in the ASEAN region.

In the first collaboration of its kind, the UK’s COP26 Universities Network and leading research centres in Singapore have partnered on four reports that highlight climate change in the Southeast Asian region.

Bringing together researchers in the UK and Singapore, each report offers a greater understanding of the opportunities and challenges related to shifting towards a lower carbon and sustainable economy in ASEAN countries.

The four reports are aimed at supporting policy development and the UK’s international COP26 objectives in Singapore and across Southeast Asia, focusing on the following areas:

Adaptation and resilience: University of Glasgow (UK) and the Earth Observatory of Singapore

The ASEAN region is under increasing threat from natural hazards, some of which are exacerbated by climate change. The Adaptation and Resilience report presents the hazards, exposures and vulnerabilities that the region is experiencing, as well as strategies to reduce disaster risk at the sub-national and national levels and in transboundary contexts.

This report is led by Professor Fabrice Renaud (School of Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Glasgow, UK), Professor Benjamin P. Horton and Dr Lauriane Chardot (Earth Observatory of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore).

COP26 Universities Network-Singapore Policy Report: Adaptation and Resilience

PDF, 3.29MB, 30 pages

Green finance: Dr Raúl Rosales of Imperial College Business School (UK), independently via Imperial Consultants, and Singapore Green Finance Centre (SGFC)

The report examines the rationale for trading carbon credits and the role of institutional investors in developing Voluntary Carbon Markets (VCM) in the Southeast Asia region. This is of particular interest in Singapore as the country plans its position as a future regional carbon services and trading hub.

This report is led by Dr Raúl Rosales of Imperial College Business School (UK), independently via Imperial Consultants along with his co-authors Priya Bellino and Dr Marwa Elnahass (Newcastle University Business School), Dr Harald Heubaum (SOAS University of London), Philip Lim, Paul Lemaistre, Dr Kelly Siman (National University of Singapore), Professor Sofie Sjögersten (University of Nottingham), with the collaboration of the Singapore Green Finance Centre (SGFC) and industry contributors: AXA Investment Management, ClimateSeed, Air Carbon Exchange, Carbon TradeXChange, Sylvera, Soil Capital Carbon, and BNP Paribas.

COP26 Universities Network – Singapore Policy Report: Green Finance

PDF, 1.4MB, 37 pages

Nature-based climate solutions: University of Nottingham (UK) and National University Singapore (NUS) Centre for Nature-based Climate Solutions (CNCS)

Nature-based climate solutions (NbS) are widely available, scalable, and cost-effective mechanisms to sequester carbon and safeguard Southeast Asia’s large carbon stocks. In addition, NbS provide ample co-benefits such a reducing haze, protecting biodiversity and shorelines, ecosystem services, and can provide economic opportunities through carbon credits and small-scale economies.

This report is led by Dr Kelly Siman (National University of Singapore’s Centre for Nature-based Climate Solutions) and Professor Sofie Sjögersten (University of Nottingham).

COP26 Universities Network-Singapore Policy Reports: Nature-based Climate Solutions

PDF, 2.23MB, 36 pages

Energy transition: Newcastle University (UK) and the National University of Singapore (NUS) Energy Studies Institute and the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) – Yusof Ishak Institute

The report (to be published subsequently) explores the links between economic recovery from Covid-19, energy consumption and climate integration in ASEAN’s low-carbon and sustainable energy transition plans. The authors also provide an economic analysis and discuss employment and social justice concerns of the energy transition.

This report is led by Ms Sharon Seah, Senior Fellow (ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute), Professor Philip McGowan (Newcastle University) and Ms Melissa Low, Research Fellow (Energy Studies Institute, National University of Singapore), with their contributors; Ms Melinda Martinus (ISEAS-YII), Professor Atanu Ghoshray and Dr Marco Lorusso (Newcastle University), Dr Ryan Wong and Dr Lee Poh Onn (ISEAS-YII), Professor Emerita Lorraine Elliott (Australian National University), Dr Abidah Setiyowati (Technological University of Delft) and Dr Serina Rahman (ISEAS-YII).

About the COP26 Universities Network:

The COP26 Universities Network is a growing group of more than 80 UK-based universities and research institutes collaborating to raise ambition for tangible outcomes at the UN COP26 Climate Change Conference, to be held in Glasgow, Scotland in November 2021. The Network will create lasting partnerships and legacies that reach beyond this single event.

Mission statement

The Network’s mission is to ensure that the UK academic sector plays its role in delivering a successful COP26, getting all players on track to deliver a zero-carbon, resilient world. They aim to do so by easing access to evidence and academic expertise for COP26 for government, NGOs, and other actors, and by taking action.

Overview and aims

The UK is a global leader in action on climate change, with a considerable contribution towards this status coming from work undertaken in universities in terms of research, training, translation and innovation. 

In the build-up to the COP26 event at the end of 2021, following the example given from France in 2015, a series of publications, events and activities should take place to create momentum, engage public and business audiences, and provide support to the UK Government in its planning. To this end, UK universities stand ready to collaborate and mobilise our capacities on issues relevant to the meeting and its build-up. 

Our growing group has met regularly at the grassroots, academic level, since September 2019 to discuss and agree the plans for COP26. Our intention is to broaden the scope of this emerging community so that any university with a strong track record and/or ambition on climate change activities can be involved. We are currently growing organically but are planning active outreach to as many universities as possible. We have also connected with Italian higher education counterparts, so that plans are shared between academics in our two countries. 

We have also included the Met Office, Russell Group, Yorkshire Universities and the Royal Society in our discussions, and have met with the British Academy and UKRI. In addition, we are seeking to work with and through existing groups as far as possible, and have had constructive conversations with EAUC, who are running a climate commission for the universities and college sector; UPEN, a universities policy network; and the LGA, who have presented their climate change support programme.


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