The Grantham Institute Outlook magazine provides an overview of the climate and environmental research underway at Imperial College London, encompassing both recent achievements and future plans. View past editions here.

Grantham Institute Outlook 2020-2021 

Read the magazine online below, or download the PDF here: Grantham Institute Outlook 2020-2021

Selection of pages from the magazine - a collage

Foreword and Intro

Foreword - Professor Sir Brian Hoskins

Headshot of Brian Hoskins - white man in a smart suitThe coronavirus pandemic has affected everyone in our community and our hearts go out to those who have lost loved ones or suffered the severe effects of the disease. The crisis has exemplified the power of coming together and working collaboratively to support our community. It has shown the importance of science and factual evidence and the need to prepare in advance for the future. As we begin to hope for the control of the pandemic, and we redefine our ways of living and working, now is the time to ensure that we are preparing appropriately for the future.

Worldwide, people are experiencing disruption and loss linked to climate change, environmental degradation and health and economic inequality. As we work through this global crisis, we must reinvigorate our ambitions for a greener, more equitable world. The work of the Grantham Institute, like that of our epidemiologists and virologists, provides science for governments and policymakers around the world. In these pages you will see highlights illustrating the excellent research carried out at the Grantham Institute along with a compelling vision for the world in 2050.

Global cooperation is vital to this important work and we are proud to lead initiatives like the COP26 Universities Network that engages our UK academic colleagues with the UN Climate Conference in Glasgow in November 2021. Our College Strategy 2020–2025, centred around our new Academic Strategy, has Transition to Zero Pollution as a priority. This will propel us into new integration of research, education and innovation across the College. We will soon launch our Sustainability Strategy, to connect our academic agenda to our College operations and activities in order to strengthen our commitment to leaving the planet in a better condition than the one we found it in.

Finally, I am glad to welcome Professor Ralf Toumi as the new Co-Director of the Grantham Institute. He will build upon the great leadership of Professor Joanna Haigh. Please enjoy this excellent publication.

- Professor Sir Brian Hoskins, Founding Director and Chair of the Grantham Institute

[Image credit: Imperial College London]

Introduction - Professor Martin Siegert, Co-Director of the Institute

Professor Martin SiegertNow, more than ever, our urgent message for those in power is to take decisive action to halt climate change. This unusual year has sailed by and, while the world changes, the Grantham Institute has been finding new ways to deliver research, teaching, innovation and evidence on climate change action.

Our work requires strong leadership from all areas of the College. So it is great to welcome a new Co-Director, Professor Ralf Toumi, who brings extensive expertise on the physics of climate change and the impact of extreme weather. Together, we look forward to another successful year for the Grantham Institute.

We are also delighted to appoint Dr Joeri Rogelj as Director of Research. Having already contributed extensively to our high-profile, high-impact climate change research and policy engagement, he will help to renew our strategy for vital interdisciplinary research.

Experts are officially back ‘on trend’, with widespread recognition for science-led coronavirus policies. Climate action needs a similar approach, so we formed a UK-wide group of more than 50 universities to support the government’s Presidency of the United Nations Climate Summit, to be held in Glasgow in November 2021. We have also launched a campaign to share evidence on biodiversity loss and the value of nature, ahead of the UN Biodiversity Conference in Kunming, China.

In the summer, the Black Lives Matter movement led us to consider how important decision-making regularly fails to include the people most negatively affected by a changing planet, and the part we must play in correcting that. We are working to understand what motivates people from different backgrounds to engage with environmental issues, elevate the representation of diverse perspectives and experiences, and include them in our organisation and objectives.

We are enormously proud that our Climate Change, Management and Finance MSc, developed and led by Dr Mirabelle Muûls, won two prestigious industry prizes at the Finance for the Future Awards, run by the Institute for Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. This Master’s course now has more than 100 students enrolled, with gender balance and representation from more than 25 countries. Our students, we hope, will dedicate their careers to the net zero-carbon transition of the next 30 years.

Our work to stimulate and support early-stage entrepreneurship and commercialisation continues apace, with investors increasingly seeking out climate change solutions. We are stepping up our ambition and raising funds to create a Centre for Climate Change Innovation for London. The next year should see the first businesses graduating from our renewed activities.

As ever, in this pivotal year, we are focused on contributing to a cleaner, greener, fairer future. Please contact us if you are interested in collaborating on an existing project or to explore an idea for the future.

- Martin Siegert FRSE, Professor of Geosciences and Co-Director of the Grantham Institute

[Image: ©Fergus Burnett/Imperial College London]

Contents:

Editor: Simon Levey, Communications Manager
Comments and feedback: grantham@imperial.ac.uk
Writers: Hana Amer, Lottie Butler, Alyssa Gilbert, Neil Jennings, Katrine Petersen.

Copyright ©2020. The opinions expressed in Outlook are those of the contributors and not necessarily those of Imperial or the Grantham Institute.