The GW4 Climate Alliance provides an umbrella for collaborative, long-term, inter-disciplinary research effort across the four partner institutions. The Alliance aims to tackle the climate crisis, supporting transformative change through interdisciplinary research, public engagement and outreach, education, and application that unites the community of skills represented within GW4 and beyond.
In May 2019, the UK Government became the first nation to declare a climate emergency. GW4 is the only regional alliance where all institutions have declared a climate emergency and announced aims and action plans to become carbon neutral by 2030. These declarations underpin our distinctiveness and confirm our combined strong and positive commitment to act on climate change as a partnership.
We are committed to foster a supportive culture of collaboration with the people driving climate research, working across different spheres of influence: universities, South West England and South Wales, and internationally. Tackling the global challenge of climate change will require the involvement and expertise across all disciplines, so we encourage all those with an interest to get in touch and join the Alliance.
Our approach integrates research across critical areas: water, health, mobility, energy, land use, and food. Our current focus is on the following themes:
A strength of the Alliance’s approach lies in integration and interaction across areas to develop “joined up” solutions to tackle climate change. Through this we identify opportunities for synergy, but also work towards solutions to resolve competing demands and priorities between areas.
We integrate social science perspectives from the outset to engage with communities and inform solutions. We co-create projects covering the full range of activities needed for social transformation, including economics, policy, communication, and improved forecasting using models of risk, foresight, and big data.
Our goal is to understand the impact of climate change on socio-economic systems, and work with our communities to reconfigure these systems and develop transformational solutions to climate change.
The COVID-19 pandemic has driven stronger ambitions for a green recovery. Organisations are calling on government to ‘build back better’ by aligning the recovery efforts from the impact of the COVID-19 crisis to climate science, to boost resilience and help accelerate action to tackle climate change. This reinforces the need to look to a systems approach to understand the impacts on climate change of these ‘green’ effectors to recovery.
The GW4 Accelerate to Net Zero transformational project brings together GW4 researchers, government, industry, and communities to better understand the challenges and priorities faced by different sectors in our region, and identify opportunities to collaborate on innovative solutions. GW4’s regional diversity provides a unique opportunity to explore and test equitable transitions to net zero. Applying a whole systems approach, the project will focus on key themes in which GW4 has internationally competitive and complementary strength across the universities – energy, transport, land use and food. As a living lab testbed for energy, transport, land use and food transitions the project will explore interdependences and opportunities that can be applied across the UK and beyond to accelerate to net zero.