17 March 2021

The British Council and the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) are delighted to announce the launch of the ‘Commonwealth Futures Climate Research Cohort’. The Cohort brings together 26 rising-star researchers from 16 countries to accelerate climate action in the run-up to the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November 2021.

Joining forces under a shared commitment to diversity and inclusion, the ACU-British Council partnership will support the talented researchers to advocate on behalf of local concerns and deliver peer-led research-to-action projects responding to the needs of climate-vulnerable communities.

This unique cohort pools expertise in areas closely aligned with the COP26 UK Presidency’s thematic priorities, including climate adaptation and resilience, climate finance, agriculture, land and marine ecosystems, and energy transition. By facilitating international collaboration, the programme breaks down silos between disciplines and borders, enabling bright minds to work together in pursuit of a common goal.

The shared vision of the partnership is to ensure that university research continues to thrive, inspire action, and play an essential role in delivering impactful climate solutions.

Maddalaine Ansell, Director of Education, British Council said: "The British Council is delighted to be working closely with the ACU, supporting emerging research leaders to collaborate and use their voices and expertise to influence and inspire climate action. Science is crucial to this endeavour and the British Council is proud to work with young people committed to leading transformative change as the UK chairs COP26."

Dr Joanna Newman, MBE FRSA, Chief Executive and Secretary General of the ACU said: "With the UK-chaired COP26 over the horizon, we’re proud to be supporting a new generation of climate research leaders who will be critical allies for governments to deliver on their climate commitments and promote a just, green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. This timely programme builds on the successes of the ACU’s existing partnership with the British Council, to continue lifting the voices of young leaders through the Commonwealth Futures series."

This Research Cohort is one of many activities the British Council is delivering in the run up to COP26. Find out about our new programme ‘The Climate Connection’ here: https://www.britishcouncil.org/programmes/cop-26.

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