GCU and COP26

GCU and COP26

GCU tackles climate change

GCU will be hosting a variety of talks, projects and events that are part of the COP26 summit here in Glasgow. We also have our own initiatives organised for before and during the summit. Below is a list of events GCU is involved in.

Events in September

2nd World Forum on Climate Justice - 21 to 23 September

GCU is delighted to welcome you all to the 2nd World Forum on Climate Justice. This year’s Forum brings together deep, rich and challenging conversations on two of the most pressing issues of our time; climate change and Covid 19. Ahead of the COP 26 Summit being held in Glasgow in November, this Forum will provide an opportunity to examine, discuss and debate how to ensure equity and justice as core values on the road to developing climate just and sustainable solutions for the benefit of all of humanity and not just the privileged few.

Register for the Climate Justice Forum.

Caledonian Club STEM Project - 21 September to 22 February 2022

STEM Project badged for COP26 is a four-part series with project delivery days between September 2021 and February 2022. The project aims to equip Primary 5 and Primary 6 pupils with answer to the follow questions:

  • What is climate change?
  • What are the Global effects of Climate Change?
  • How are Scientists monitoring these changes?
  • What can I do to raise awareness about the effects of Climate Change?

The project will primarily be run within school but will finish with an event on campus. Find out more about our community outreach and tech project work.

Events in October

Go Green Week - 25 to 30 October

The Go Green Week is one of GCU's regular events run by our Students Association. 

Rights and Climate Change Symposium - 28 to 29 October

The Centre for Climate Justice will be taking part in the online Rights and Climate Change Symposium event.

Events in November

Race to Resilience - 1 November - 12 November

The Race to Reselilience is a global campaign (the sibling to Race to Zero) to rally leadership from businesses, cities, regions and investors for a healthy, resilient, zero carbon recovery.

GCU will host a Resilience Hub which will be aligned to COP26 Zone events, with various themed days throughout the fortnight.

Some of these events will be accessible to the public. 

Glasgow City Council School events - 1 to 12 November

During COP26 the Glasgow City Council will be running a series of thematic daily talks focussed on women and girls in a People’s COP. The overarching aim will be to discuss the global issues around our environment and gender, and other related issues e.g. health and identify actions on addressing issues affecting women and girls’ bodies and lives.

The talks will be involving local and international experts in conversation with girls from Glasgow, the target audience is S3 girls. There will be various moderators, including representatives from Glasgow City Council, GCU, and Amal Azzudin from Equality and Human Rights Officer for the Mental Health Foundation in Scotland.

An estimated 2,173 female pupils from S3 will be taking part.

Mobilising Equitable, Just and Gender-Sensitive Climate Finance - 3 November

As the University for the Common Good, Glasgow Caledonian University has adopted the Sustainable Development Goals as a framework for its research strategy. Its flagship Centre for Climate Justice is committed to addressing the overarching objective of the SDGs of ‘leaving no one behind’.

This event will shine a spotlight on the need for Advancing Equitable, Just and Gender Sensitive Climate Finance. How can we accelerate and promote the practical action and radical change required to help the poorest communities, particularly women and girls get access to climate finance? How can we enable them to build resilience and reduce their vulnerability to climate-related disasters at all levels; households, the community, and the economy?

This thought-provoking conversation will connect world-leading experts with the public to inspire participation and discuss locally-led action plans on gender-sensitive, climate just and inclusive climate financing needs.

Former President of Ireland Dr Mary Robinson will deliver a key-note address providing insights on the challenges faced by communities as they try to access finance and the success stories of women’s negotiating skills around accessing climate finance.

Macro-perspectives into how financing structures have changed and what remains to be done to bridge the climate just financing gap for women will be explored. We will deep-dive into the processes developed via the Climate Justice Lab in Brazil for progressive social change.

This event will be opened by Professor Pamela Gillies, Principal and Vice-Chancellor Glasgow Caledonian University and Chaired by Professor Tahseen Jafry, Director of the Centre for Climate Justice at GCU.


WHO Climate Change, Justice and Health - 6 November

2021 Global Conference on Health & Climate Change with a special focus on Climate Justice and the Healthy and Green Recovery from COVID-19 will be held during the COP26 UN climate change conference in association with GCU. 


Climate panel discussion - 9 November

Details to follow

Social Innovation and Climate Justice - 8 November

As the University for the Common Good and a leading widening-access higher education institution, Glasgow Caledonian University seeks to enhance resilience and adaptability to change in local and international communities. The first university to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals as the framework for its research strategy, GCU seeks to transform communities across the globe. 

Here, we bring together world-renowned thought-leader and Nobel Peace Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus with the younger generation to address the issue of combatting climate change and injustice through social innovation.

The agenda will be driven by those who will face the climate emergency head-on over the coming decades. Our chair is the renowned broadcaster Sally Magnusson.

Professor Yunus will be joined by a leading professor and expert on sustainable fashion, two early career researchers from GCU’s Centre for Climate Justice and Yunus Centre who, together, are investigating the role of microfinance and climate change adaptation in Rwanda.

Students from our Glasgow campus, as well as GCU London and Glasgow Caledonian New York College, will drive the event. This group will, in the form of a short movie presented in three parts, pose questions to our panel; their voices being crucial in framing the debate. They are well-equipped, better-educated than any generation in history, are highly diverse and globally connected. They will experience the consequences of industrialisation and need to be the engine of change.

Key speakers/panellists:

  • Sally Magnusson, Scottish broadcaster and writer (Chair)
  • Professor Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Laureate and Emeritus Chancellor Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Prof Pamela Gillies CBE, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Dr Olga Biosca, Yunus Centre for Social Business & Health, Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Dr Michael Mikulewicz, Centre for Climate Justice, Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Professor Natascha Radclyffe-Thomas, British School of Fashion, GCU London
Sustainable Fashion Event - 12 November

To provide a gift to our Planet from all the young people in Scotland in celebration of COP26. This initiative aims to engage with young people around Scotland to clean up a dirty fashion industry. The $2 trillion fashion industry is responsible for 10% of the global carbon footprint, negative environmental effects including water pollution, the use of toxic chemicals and high levels of textile waste, and poor working conditions for millions of workers, primarily women.

A group of leading fashionistas from all over Scotland have grouped together to realise this once in a lifetime opportunity of COP26 being in Scotland to create change in the fashion industry.

There are essentially 4 phases to our initiative, and these are:

  • Awareness
  • Inspiring
  • Mindshift
  • Legacy

The crescendo to this initiative will be the gathering of as many young people from all over Scotland together in GCU. This will be held during COP26 for an Inspirational All-Day Sustainable Fashion event.