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Collective climate action needed, King's experts tell London Climate Action Week

As part of London Climate Action Week, King’s experts demonstrated the value of partnership to address policy gaps and improve climate change adaptation plans.

London Climate Action Week 2022 graphics

Experts from King’s and their partners shared valuable insights and demonstrated the need for a ‘whole of society’ response to climate change during the annual London Climate Action Week.

The events at King’s demonstrated existing partnerships within the College and beyond, with a showcase panel of expertise across the Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy and an online discussion with partners in Africa.

During the events, they confirmed the need to educate all sectors on climate resilience and to include the voices of the community in action plans.

Events like London Climate Action Week are an essential opportunity to come together with a diverse range of stakeholders to learn, inspire, and drive urgent climate action collectively. It was great to see our experts speaking collectively about global climate action.– Kat Thorne, Director of Sustainability

“We will continue to work with our London partners to support taking action at a local London level and we are looking forward to taking part again next year.” 

Speaking to a packed audience at the Social Science & Public Policy panel event on climate governance, experts emphasised the need to integrate climate in governance in all sectors. They also spoke of King’s role in supporting climate resilience, such as engaging with local authorities and volunteer programmes in London, as well as the need for the university to act as a knowledge base and guide for organisational change.

During the week, researchers from King’s and the University of Nairobi also shared preliminary research findings from the Rights and Resilience (RARE) project, which investigates how pastoralists adaptation strategies interact with land needs, land conflict, and new land law reforms.

The online panel shared the implications of supporting land rights for communities vulnerable to climate change, including women and pastoralists. Formed of PhD scholars at the University of Nairobi who are undertaking a mobility and exchange initiative with the African Leadership Centre (ALC) at King’s, the panel interrogated theoretical approaches to understanding climate resilience and honoured the lived realities of communities in Kenya.

The presentations highlighted the value of centring lived realities in Kenya for developing conceptual and theoretical insights. Focusing on scientific interventions, legal frameworks, resourcing regimes and power dynamics, these are significant knowledge contributions that address environmental sustainability and climate change needs.– Dr Eka Ikpe, Director, African Leadership Centre

"The ALC is grateful to the Erasmus+ initiative, British Council and King's Global Engagement for supporting this exchange and mobility initiative."

Speakers who featured in King’s London Climate Action Week events

Incorporating climate into governance: Perspectives from multiple industries - 29 June 2022

  • Dr Mitya Pearson: shared insight into net zero targets and UK policy to achieve these. He spoke of the UK’s successes, including the creation of the Climate Change Committee (CCC) independent advisory body, but also of policy gaps and how the call for direct engagement with policy change is becoming increasingly popular.
  • Dr Kate Greer: criticised education’s low profile in climate policy and how the policy landscape is skewed towards economic drivers when it comes to the education syllabus. She called for the need to revise the purpose of education and reorient care for the natural environment.
  • Dr Duraid Jalili: suggested that the security sector can drive curriculum changes and King’s plays a role in educating military officials on the security implications of climate change, as well as the need for the military to reduce its environmental footprint.
  • Professor Sarah Bracking: shared insight on green finance and analysed the UK Government’s pledge to raise £16 billion to finance a green transition. She argued the current structure of green bonds locked the Global South into more debt, and real transformational change will come with the establishment of regulatory and mandatory laws.
  • Dr Robert Cowley: questioned how cities will move to a more transformative approach to climate change and shared insight on the Lambeth climate action plan, as well as the need to focus on collaborations between local authorities and universities.
Panellists at SSPP climate panel, 29 June 2022

Land rights and resilience in Kenya - 30 June 2022

  • Jackson Wachira: shared that despite a general uptake in community-based conservation for transformative climate change adaptation, there is evidence this NGO-lead approach is negatively affecting pastoralists in arid and semi-arid regions in Kenya.
  • Sylvia Jemutai Rotich: spoke about the impact of privatisation of pastoral rangeland on climate change adaptation strategies. Changing land rights is affecting access to resources, already reduced by drought.
  • Rahma Hassan: shared about the strong link between livelihoods and a pastoralist’s relationship to the environment, specifically Samburu women, whose resilience to climate change is being shaped by changes in law and land tenure.
  • Alphonce Agola Mollo: spoke about how scientific modelling of climate information is perceived and received locally – and the need to support local pastoralists in translating climate adaptation policies.
  • Discussants: Rahinatu Sidiki Alare (Department of Geography) and Dr Wanjiru Gichohi (ALC)

About London Climate Action Week

London Climate Action Week (LCAW) took place between 25 June and 3 July this year and aims toharness the power of London for global climate action. The annual event brings together the city's world-leading array of climate professionals and communities. Now in its third year, LCAW creates space for participants to come together and find global solutions to climate change.

In this story

Mitya Pearson

Mitya Pearson

Leverhulme Early Career Fellow

Kate Greer

Kate Greer

Research Associate

Duraid Jalili

Duraid Jalili

Lecturer

Sarah Bracking

Sarah Bracking

Professor of Climate and Society

Robert Cowley

Robert Cowley

Lecturer in Sustainable Cities

Eka  Ikpe

Eka Ikpe

Director, African Leadership Centre

Kat Thorne

Kat Thorne

Director of Sustainability