The Climate Connection COP26 Higher Education Roundtable Series will explore the multiple roles the Higher Education sector plays in combatting the climate crisis.

The Climate Connection COP26 Higher Education Roundtable Series will explore the multiple roles the HE sector plays in combatting the climate crisis, as well as examining some of the challenges institutions face in their own Race to Zero which can seem at odds with the sector’s role as innovator and solution provider.

The series will bring together key actors from the UK and identified COP26 priority countries to:

  • Showcase some of the latest collaborative climate research projects between the UK HE sector and their counterparts around the world
  • Explore how research outputs can be used to support governments to develop evidence-based climate mitigation policies
  • Examine how the HE sector is preparing the next generation for the reality of climate change, and what skills they need to acquire
  • Investigate how universities can be more adept at knowledge production and exchange and at working across traditional academic boundaries, and what policy levers governments can put in place to make this happen
  • Reflect on the role universities play in the public discourse around climate change to help build wider trust in and understanding of the science
  • How can HEIs make their ageing infrastructure greener and more efficient? With limited resources available for investment, the sector is having to come up with innovative approaches to this issue

Roundtable taking place on Monday 25 October 2021, 17.30-19.30 (SAST) on the topic 'Impact mechanisms for climate change research in Southern Africa' 

This roundtable will explore a range of approaches to knowledge exchange which can enable universities to be more agile in their response to the climate crisis and have greater impact. It will look at the different mechanisms for migrating applications and inventions from the bench to the community, and how universities can across traditional academic boundaries in order to innovate. It will also explore what policy levers are needed to make this happen. 

Title: Impact Mechanisms for Climate Change Research in Southern Africa
Geographical focus:  Southern Africa
Host Country: South Africa
Panellists

Ms Alice McClure, Academic Coordinator for the Future Resilience for African CiTies and Lands (FRACTAL) project, Climate Systems Analysis Group, University of Cape Town. 

Professor Pat Naidoo, a professional engineer, specialist consultant and Research and Innovation Chair in the Green Economy at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. 

Professor Martin Oosthuizen, Executive Director: Southern African Regional Universities Association (SARUA). 

Dr Roshan Ramessur, Co-Chair Ocean Acidification – Africa (OA-Africa) and Associate Professor ocean biogeochemistry and ocean acidification, University of Mauritius. 

Dr Gilbert Siame, member of the board for Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities-Network and Director: Centre for Urban Research & Planning, University of Zambia. 

Dr Tirusha Thambiran, Senior Researcher - Air Quality and Climate Change, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), South Africa. 

Professor Cristina Trois, South African Research Chair in Waste and Climate Change, University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.  

Professor Coleen Vogel, Global Change and Sustainability Research Institute, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.  

Chair Ms Ela Romanowska, Director: Innovation Support, University of Witwatersrand
Provocateur Dr Oyediran Olusegun Oyebola, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. 
Rapporteur Dr Henri-Count Evans, University of Eswatini, Eswatini 
Date Monday 25 October 2021
16.30 to 18.30 BST (17.30 to 19.30)
Summary As the effects of the climate crisis worsen, pressure is on university researchers to come up with solutions which will help mitigate the impact of climate change, and to find ways in which solutions can be rapidly implemented and scaled. 

This roundtable will explore a range of approaches to knowledge exchange which can enable universities to be more agile in their response to the climate crisis and have greater impact. It will look at the different mechanisms for migrating applications and inventions from the bench to the community, and how universities can cross traditional academic boundaries to innovate. It will also explore what policy levers are needed to make this happen. This roundtable will be presented in partnership with SARIMA, Southern Africa’s professional association for research and innovation practitioners in the HE sectors. 

 This roundtable will be presented in partnership with SARIMA, Southern Africa’s professional association for research and innovation practitioners in the HE sector.