University of Glasgow joins £5m collaboration to help UK prepare for climate change

The University of Glasgow will lead the Scotland spoke of a new £5 million hub which aims to deliver faster and more impactful action in the UK to help all four nations prepare better for the projected effects of climate change.

The new Maximising UK Adaptation to Climate Change (MACC) hub, led by King’s College London , is funded by UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) and the Department for Food and Rural Affairs.

It aims to inform a national climate change adaptation plan by addressing current barriers around public awareness, policy, legislation and climate data that might be hindering the UK’s ability to adapt to climate change.

Key to the Hub is the idea of ’transformational adaptation’ - any action taken to protect people’s way of life from climate change should drive positive change, especially for the poorest and most marginalised members of society who are usually also the most vulnerable to climate change impacts.

It will involve eight universities and five climate partnership organisations, all working in collaboration over the next three years. There will also be a specifically targeted £750,000 flexible fund to accelerate ’on the ground’ activities in partnership with local communities.

Hub activities will be implemented through regional centres, each leading on one of the key barriers to adaptation, with a Hub Secretariat and Policy Response Unit based at King’s College London and supported by King’s Policy Institute.

Professor Jaime Toney, director of the University of Glasgow’s Centre for Sustainable Solutions , will lead the University’s contribution to MACC.

The University, alongside Sniffer , knowledge brokers on climate resilience in Scotland, will deliver place-based activities in Scotland and lead on increasing understanding of systems complexity and developing systems thinking capabilities for transformative adaptation outcomes.

Professor Toney said: "The MACC hub presents and excellent opportunity to align key adaptation action across across the UK responding to key national challenges.

"At the Centre for Sustainable Solutions, we are helping the city of Glasgow adapt to the challenges of climate change through the £10.5m Glasgow as a Living Lab Accelerating Novel Transformation (GALLANT) research programme. The whole-system approach to urban environmental and wellbeing challenges we’re developing in GALLANT will help inform our contributions to the MACC hub and exchange learning across all four nations in the UK."

The hub is funded by UKRI as part of the Maximising UK adaptation to climate change programme. The programme has been co-designed by UKRI, Defra, the Met Office and the UK Government’s Climate Change Committee.

Dr Helen Adams of King’s College London will lead the MACC hub. She said: "Climate change will have huge impacts on our planet in the years to come and this hub will help us take the necessary steps to adapt to what lies ahead. By bringing together expertise from Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England, we can work together to ensure that the UK has a clear vision for the future and that we fully consider those who are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change."

A spokesperson for UKRI said: "This Hub is supported by funding from Building a Green Future, one of five UKRI-wide initiatives aiming to harness the full power of the UK’s research and innovation system to tackle large-scale, complex challenges. Working with others, we aim to accelerate the green economy by supporting research and innovation that delivers on national priorities and unlocks solutions essential to achieving net zero in the UK by 2050."