Research films put science at heart of COP Cymru
24 November 2021
Researchers from Cardiff University who are helping tackle global climate challenges have had their work showcased in a series of new videos as part of Wales Climate Week.
The #SmallNationsBigIdeas video series comprises close to 40 videos profiling research and innovation initiatives from four Welsh universities, with Cardiff University-led projects accounting for over a quarter of those featured.
Launched on Monday 22 November, the videos aim to put science at the heart of the week-long Welsh climate event nicknamed COP Cymru this year because of its proximity to the global climate conference in Glasgow earlier this month.
The team behind the 1-2 minute videos, Sêr Cymru National Research Network for Low Carbon, Energy and Environment (NRN-LCEE), says turning COP’s political commitments into reality needs innovations in how we produce, store and use energy, how we manage our countryside so nature can do its bit, as well as deeper understanding of the consequences of climate change.
Professor Mike Bruford, Cardiff Univeristy’s Dean for Environmental Sustainability, said: “I’m proud to see so many colleagues across a host of disciplines feature in this important initiative to mark the start of Wales Climate Week.
“It’s testament to our dedication here at Cardiff University, and indeed across the Welsh higher education sector as a whole, to provide vital research and evidence on the global climate, its impacts on humanity and biodiversity and the ways we can navigate away from a future none of us want.”
The films follow a recent Welsh Government review, which found that almost one third of all research carried out in Wales addresses the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).More regularly cited by scientists than its competitor nations, Wales also has particular research strengths on SDGs relating to the environment through climate action, conserving life on land, and life below water, the review found.
The Cardiff University researchers featured in the #SmallNationsBigIdeas video series are:
- Dr Andrea Collins and Professor Max Munday - Mitigating the emissions caused by large public events
- Professor Isabelle Durance - An integrated approach to freshwater ecosystems to tackle climate and nature emergencies
- Kathryn Whittey - Artificial Coral Reefs
- Dr James Bain - Transitioning from natural gas to hydrogen for electricity production
- Marina Kovaleva - Ammonia as a green alternative to fossil fuels
- Dr Meysam Qadrdan - Decarbonising heating in the housing sector
- Dr Muditha Abeysekera - Managing energy demand to improve efficiency and help the move to electrification
- Dr Samantha Buzzard - Predicting sea level rise from Antarctic lake formation
- Dr Sarah Christofides - Stressed out grass and ruminant livestock
- Dr TC Hales and Sian Stephen - The importance of restoring tropical forests
- Dr Sindia Sosdian - Understanding ocean acidification past, present and future
Professor Burford added: “As the campaign’s name suggests, we’re punching way above our weight on climate and energy research in Wales and these films play their part in communicating that message to a wider audience.
“Let’s hope we can build on the momentum of COP and focus on action underpinned by the research and innovation to make Wales Climate Week the start of our regional response to the climate emergency.”
Together with Welsh Government Minister for Climate Change Julie James MS and Leader of Cardiff Council Huw Thomas, Professor Bruford will participate in an online discussion as part of COP Cymru’s week-long series of events.
Chaired by Professor Lorraine Whitmarsh, Director of the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations (CAST), the panel will explore progress made by their institutions since each made declarations of climate emergency in 2019.