During the crucial COP26 meeting taking place in Glasgow (31 October – 12 November 2021), the University of Sheffield will be presenting a range of activity, comment, events and expert insight around the talks. 

The University of Sheffield approaches sustainability as a partnership between academic expertise and student activism. As a registered observer and one of the few UK universities with access to the Blue Zone (the inner conference area) of COP, the University is proud to be able to offer the opportunity for some of our PhD students and postdoctoral researchers to attend the conference in person.

From school strikers to climate campaigners on campus, students and young people have raised the profile of climate action. Here at Sheffield they have been instrumental in our divestment from fossil fuel investments and switch to 100% renewable electricity on campus. Our students will now have the unique opportunity to attend COP and observe the process first hand and hold our leaders to account. 

During the talks, our observers will be contributing content for social media and our website to help translate the key messages from COP. Find out how previous students found the experience here and here

To tie in with the crucial conference, Sheffield will hold a number of talks and events for students, staff and local stakeholders to engage with. These include events discussing the role that a university can play in tackling the climate emergency, the unique research that the University of Sheffield can provide South Yorkshire and Climate Urbanism as a dynamic research area transforming the fabric of everyday life. 

Alongside University activities, academics from the University will be on hand to provide expert comment on the content of COP discussions. Sheffield is a leader for climate research from its Research Flagship institutes the Institute for Sustainable Food and Energy Institute, the Leverhulme Centre for Climate Change Mitigation to the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures.

Ahead of COP26, the University’s Academic Lead for Sustainability, Dr Rachael Rothman, has contributed expertise to the drafting of a briefing paper on the role of carbon offsetting alongside climate mitigation measures across the University sector. Read the full briefing here.

Sustainability is a key priority of the University of Sheffield. In November 2020, the University launched its five year sustainability strategy with a bold pledge for a carbon neutral campus by 2030 and to be carbon neutral across all activities by 2038.