Date: 18 May 2021
The UK’s COP26 Universities Network and leading research centres in Singapore have announced a partnership to develop four reports that provide policy recommendations for climate action in the ASEAN region. This collaboration echoes COP26 President Designate Alok Sharma’s call to the global academic community to help deliver the strategic aims for COP26. Minister Sharma noted this in his opening address at the COP26 Universities Network’s Climate Exp0 on 17 May 2021.
The COP26 Universities Network is a growing group of more than 70 UK-based universities and research institutes working together to raise ambition for tangible outcomes at the UN Climate Summit in Glasgow and beyond. The collaboration – the first of its kind for the COP26 Universities Network – will bring together leading researchers in the UK and Singapore, as well as other international academic partners, to address opportunities and innovation challenges related to achieving a shift towards a lower carbon and sustainable economy in ASEAN countries.
The four reports are aimed at supporting policy development and the UK’s international COP26 objectives in Singapore and across Southeast Asia, focusing on the following areas:
Adaptation and resilience: Led by University of Glasgow (UK) and the Earth Observatory of Singapore
Energy transition: Led by Newcastle University (UK) and the National University of
Singapore (NUS) Energy Studies Institute and Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) – Yusof Ishak Institute
Green finance: Led by Imperial College London (UK) and the Singapore Green Finance Centre
Nature-based solutions: Led by the University of Nottingham (UK) and National University Singapore (NUS) Centre for Nature-based Climate Solutions
The reports will be published ahead of COP26 – the UN Climate Change Conference that will be hosted by the UK, in partnership with Italy, in November 2021. As COP26 President, the UK is committed to working closely with like-minded partners across the world and though multilateral groupings such as the G7 to accelerate climate leadership in the form of more ambitious NDCs and long-term strategies, and real-world climate action.
H.E. Kara Owen, British High Commissioner to Singapore, said, “We all know we will get nowhere on climate change without the most effective international collaboration. This is at the heart of the UK’s COP Presidency. Our desire to accelerate the transition to a more sustainable future is also driving our science and research partnerships. The SG-UK Partnership for the Future rests on our two countries tackling priority issues in a way that makes a broader difference. I am pleased to see researchers in Singapore join the growing family of COP26 Universities Network.”
H.E. Lim Thuan Kuan, Singaporean High Commissioner to the UK, said, “We are delighted that researchers in Singapore and the UK are teaming up to contribute to this important and groundbreaking project. The joint reports will not only enhance our science and innovation collaboration under the Singapore-UK Partnership for the Future, but also our understanding of the challenges and opportunities arising from climate science and policy-making in the ASEAN region as we seek to transition to a greener economy.”
Alyssa Gilbert, Chair of the COP26 Universities Network said, “It is really exciting to see UK and Singapore university experts pool their skills to provide solution-focussed evidence to our respective governments at this key moment for climate action.”
This UK-Singapore partnership comes at a time when Southeast Asia is recognised as one of the most vulnerable regions to climate change globally, with four ASEAN countries among the top 10 in the world adversely impacted by the effects of climate change.
The project is jointly commissioned by the UK Science and Innovation Network and the Climate Change and Energy Network, based at the British High Commission in Singapore.
The British High Commission in Singapore