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Understanding and engaging the public on climate change

Public engagement on climate change can take many different forms, and there is no single “best” approach. In the design and facilitation of public engagement it is worth considering carefully the different ‘starting points’ that different groups may have in terms of understanding and engagement on climate change.

This report, considering evidence up until the Covid pandemic, draws together what we know about Scots' attitudes to climate change and the merits of different ways to engage them on the issue.

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Woodland expansion in Scotland

Increasing woodland planting is a land use change that will help Scotland achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. 

An update to the Woodland Expansion Advisory Group's 2012 report finds that the estimated land suitable in principle for woodland creation in Scotland has risen 10% to 2.96 million hectares.

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Work with us

We have one open tender for a review of the balance of gas and electricity levies and the impact on low carbon and renewable heat deployment 
Closes 21 August 
Read more

CXC project survey:
Business working practices, travel & Covid-19 

This survey will provide Transport Scotland with a snapshot of employers’ experience of working from home / flexible working, business travel and commuting before the COVID-19 pandemic, during the lockdown (March-June), and in the longer term as we recover from the pandemic. 

The project will identify barriers and opportunities to sustainable working and travel practices.
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New UK climate risk research and website

The Committee on Climate Change has published six new pieces of research and launched a new climate risk website ahead of next year’s third UK Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA3) Evidence Report. The UK Climate Risk website will be the digital home of the CCRA3 report when it is published in July 2021 and will host all the independent analysis that makes it up. Content will be added as it becomes available. Over 130 organisations, including ClimateXChange, are contributing to CCRA3.

The new research – on subjects ranging from flood risk and water availability projections to infrastructure risk - will be used to inform the technical chapters of the Evidence Report which is being prepared by a consortium led by the University of Exeter and Met Office.

To receive regular news on UK Climate Risk, please register here.

Funding calls
  • The Automotive Transformation Fund is a long-term programme designed to enable the UK to build a comprehensive electrified vehicle supply chain. It has launched its first competition – for up to £10m in funding for feasibility studies into making it easier to scale up in the UK and building supply chains in the UK. Closes 19 August.
    Read more
  • The UK Space Agency has launched a new innovation programme with an initial £15 million in funding to tackle global issues including climate change through earth observation technologies. Closes 2 September.            
    Read more
  • UKRI is inviting proposals for interdisciplinary research and innovation consortia under the second wave of the Strategic Priorities Fund (SPF) Clean Air Programme. This round will focus on the indoor/outdoor air quality interface.              
    Read more

Job opportunities
UCL is seeking a senior research fellow in Cities, Climate and Innovation to work on a project in its Green Economy and Sustainable Growth research and policy engagement area. Closes 17 August. 
Read more.

LSE’s Grantham Research Institute is looking for a policy analyst to carry out policy-oriented analysis, particularly on sustainable growth, economic opportunities of Net Zero, and/or decarbonisation of hard to abate sectors. Closes 24 August.                
Read more.

The Judge Business School Cambridge is looking for a research associate in Energy and Climate Policy to support a new pan-European consortium focused on assessing carbon dioxide gas removal options such as CCS, afforestation and soil carbon sequestration. Closes 6 September.
Read more



Getting to net zero for cities and regions
12 August, free Carbon Trust webinar

FlyZero - Project overview
13 August, free Aerospace Technology Institute webinar

Centre for Climate Justice 2020 Public Engagement Programme
19 August and 30 September, free webinar series 

UK Climate Resilience Programme
9 September to 24 March 2021, free lunchtime webinar series

Covid-19 and Climate Diplomacy
10 September, free online workshop

CBI: Achieving Net Zero
14-15 September, online conference

Stranded assets and stranded liabilities
16 September, free Carbon Tracker webinar

New York Climate Week 2020
21-27 September, online conference

CBA14: Community-based Adaptation to Climate Change
22-24 September, online conference

Transform Europe: Energy & Carbon
28-29 September, Reuters free virtual conference

Urban Resilience in the Context of a Changing Climate
20-21 October, online conference



UK consultations
Smart meter coordinated consumer engagement
Open until 13 August

UK parliament committee inquiry ‘Greening the Post-Covid Recovery’ – call for evidence
Open until 14 August.

Creating a plan to decarbonise transport
Open until 21 August

Biological treatment of waste
Open until 21 August

Regulating CO2 emissions from HGVs
Open until 21 August

Regulating CO2 emission standards for new cars and vans
Open until 21 August

Energy-related products: call for evidence
Open until 4 September

Combined Heat and Power (CHP): the route to 2050 - call for evidence
Open until 4 September

River basin planning: Challenges and Choices
Extended until 24 September

Carbon Emissions Tax
Open until 29 September

EU consultations
Adapting to climate change – EU strategy
Open until 20 August

EU farm policy – evaluation of its impacts on habitats, landscapes and biodiversity
Open until 22 October

Ozone layer protection
Open until 9 November

New ECCI Co-Director

Dr Kate Crowley has been appointed Co-Director of ECCI, which hosts the CXC secretariat. Kate is an expert in climate change risk and resilience, and currently a lecturer at the University of Edinburgh’s School of Geosciences.

Read more about Kate's research
Read more about ECCI



Read our monthly report on energy and climate change research and policy developments

      Achieving net zero

Scotland has made significant cuts in emissions - overall they have nearly halved since 1990 - but progress varies markedly between sectors. In this blog, Prof Dave Reay, CXC's Policy Director, and Dan Barlow, CXC's Programme Manager, review progress and the recent estimates published by the Scottish Government.

The term 'net zero' has become hugely important in discussions on climate action, says Prof Reay in a second blog explaining why the concept is central to climate change efforts.

Read our blog

Cabinet Secretary sets out key principles for green recovery

Cabinet Secretary for Environment Climate Change and Land Use, Roseanna Cunningham MSP,   has written to the Scottish Parliament's ECCLR Committee setting out how a green recovery can deliver economic, social and environmental wellbeing and respond to the twin challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss.
Read the letter


EPSRC net-zero agriculture survey 

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is gathering views on the net-zero agriculture challenge, in order to understand how engineering and physical sciences research can support its attainment. It has launched a survey for relevant stakeholders including those from other sectors that intersect with agriculture or land use. The deadline is 4 September.
Read more

JHI growing media and peat survey 

The James Hutton Institute is conducting a survey into the use of peat in horticulture. To meet the 2045 net-zero carbon target the Scottish Government is committed to protecting and restoring Scottish peatland. We therefore need to understand the needs of the gardening and horticulture community for peat and alternative growing media.
Read more


Publications and websites 

State of the UK Climate
The Met Office has published its annual summary of the UK climate for 2019, finding it was the 12th warmest year since 1884 with four UK high temperature records. 
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Future Energy Scenarios 2020
In its annual overview of the UK energy sector and its future, National Grid says the UK can achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 but must act immediately and that hydrogen and carbon capture and storage are essential.
Read more

IEA: Role of CCUS
The International Energy Agency analyses the role of carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) in decarbonising the power generation sector. 
Read more

Transport infrastructure for CCUS
Zero Emissions Platform report looking at the challenges and opportunities for CO2 transport in Europe. 
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European power first half
Ember, the climate think-tank, has published a report on the European power sector in the first half, finding that renewables exceeded fossil fuel generation for the first time. 
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Sustainable recovery action plan
Briefing paper setting out the key areas where strong economic policies and institutions will be needed to foster investment for the post-COVID-19 recovery. 
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Low-carbon heat
UKERC has published a short report detailing its response to the BEIS consultation on future support for low-carbon heat. 
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Energy efficiency in buildings
Blog from researchers at Imperial College’s Energy Futures Lab assessing the UK government’s new grants to improve energy efficiency in homes and public buildings.
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IEA/UNEP report on cooling
Technology report on coordinating international action on energy-efficient, climate-friendly cooling and speeding up the transition to climate-friendly refrigerants.
Read more

CDR definition
Report from Zero Emission Platform arguing that Europe needs a definition of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) and how it will contribute to achieving climate goals.
Read more
Energy from waste
Energy from waste (EfW) has an important role in the UK’s net-zero transition, says a new MP-backed Policy Connect report. 
Read more


Webinar recordings

Climate change and wildfires
Carbon Brief webinar on whether climate change is making wildfires worse. Speakers including Dr Friederike Otto of Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute, discuss recent fires in Australia, Brazil, California and the UK.
Read more
UK Climate Resilience Programme
Recordings and slides from earlier lunchtime webinars in the series. Topics include: risk assessment; rainfall and sustainable drainage; climate change and food; and climate risk indicators. 
Read more
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