Climate change research

Climate change research

We want to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by aligning our research and Strategy 2030 to the SDGs.

Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)  – issued by the United Nations in 2015 as a plan for peace and prosperity across the planet – provide a clear guiding framework for our research and our Strategy 2030.  This commits us to ‘drive an ambitious agenda for environmental sustainability, embedded across all aspects of our work’.

Delivering the SDGs is crucial if we are to overcome the climate emergency we now face, and our strategy and research is critical in ensuring we play our own part.

The Centre for Climate Justice

Climate change is hitting many of the world’s poorest people first and hardest, with more frequent and severe storms, droughts and floods, and unpredictable weather destroying people’s homes and livelihoods.  We are providing a voice for people, no matter where they live in the world, to challenge wealthy nations to support those already living in poverty who are being hit hardest by the climate emergency, despite having done least to cause it.  

Our world-leading experts at GCU’s Centre for Climate Justice are at the forefront of global research and debates on: 

  • Access to climate finance 
  • the relationship between climate justice and gender justice 
  • displacement and migration of people due to changes in climate 
  • mental health, wellbeing, and climate-related racial injustice
  • adaptation and resilience 
  • making a fair and just transition to clean energy solutions 
  • energy justice and inequality in both rural and urban settings  

We must ensure that we meet the needs of the many not just the few. To do this we need to align climate finance with climate needs, particularly for the most vulnerable people and especially women and girls.

Professor Tahseen Jafry
Director of Centre for Climate Justice

Working together for change 

  • We work closely with the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance and UNESCO GCU’s Centre for Climate Justice plays a key role in helping to shape Scottish-Arctic research and is a member of the University of the Arctic (UArctic) network.  
  • We held the first-ever World Forum on Climate Justice with Mary Robinson, Chair of the Elders, as the keynote speaker. Find out more about the second World Forum on Climate Justice.  
  • The Centre for Climate Justice works in close partnership with governments, charities, communities and others around the world to help improve policy, development, business practices and critical insights into climate justice.  
  • The Centre’s director, Professor Tahseen Jafry, advises governments, UN agencies, global think tanks, NGOs and civil society on how to achieve, create and transition to a fair and climate-just world.  
  • Professor Tahseen Jafry also chairs the UNESCO Climate Justice Policy Lab and showcased research at the World Forum for Democracy, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK and UNFCCC Race to Zero.

GCU is at the forefront of driving positive social change in a range of other ways too, directly supporting the communities we work with and producing a wide range of cutting edge research that promotes sustainable development and action on climate change. 

Find out more about our Centre for Climate Justice. 

Building a more resilient future  

With its research closely aligned to the SDGs, our BEAM Research Centre (Built Environment Asset Management) explores sustainable cities and communities, urban climate, nature-based solutions and green infrastructure, resilience, energy efficiency and performance, geotechnical and eco-engineering, environment impact assessment, water quality and waste water treatment. Some of our projects include:

  • EU-funded project, OPERANDUM (OPEn-air laboRAtories for Nature baseD solUtions to Manage hydro-meteo risks), is helping to deliver the tools and methods for the validation of nature-based solutions in order to enhance resilience in European rural and natural areas by reducing hydro-meteorological risks. 
  • GCU’s internal Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) project, ‘Climate service for resilience to overheating risk in Columbo, Sri Lanka: a multi-scale mapping approach (COSMA)’, which integrates climate-sensitive design with the local planning process, is fundamental to managing the warming trend in growing high-density tropical cities.    
  • Closer to home, our researchers highlighted to Glasgow City Council that more trees and green spaces are needed in the city’s most deprived areas if those who live there are to be protected from the ravages of climate change, including more flooding and overheating by 2050.  

Read more about the BEAM Research Centre