PCT involvement in UK-China cooperation on climate change

15 January 2020


The PCT Programme is to apply Oxford’s cutting-edge modelling capability to the UK-China Cooperation programme on Climate Change Risk Assessment.

The PCT Programme, through the Smith School for Enterprise and the Environment, has been awarded significant funding to apply the cutting-edge modelling capability developed within the Institute for New Economic Thinking to Phase 3 of the UK-China Cooperation on Climate Change Risk Assessment.


The overall programme is designed to better incorporate risk indicators and risk assessments into decision-making in China and globally. In Phase 1, experts from the UK, China, India and the USA - under the leadership of Sir David King - jointly published a report entitled 'Climate Change: A Risk Assessment'. That work evaluated the risks of climate change and put forward a new model for climate change risk assessment, based on principles and best practices used in other fields where significant interests are at stake. Phase 2 of the programme then provided a proof of concept for developing a set of indicators that could be used to consistently monitor climate risk in three categories 1) future global greenhouse gas emissions pathways; 2) direct risks from the climate’s response to greenhouse gas emissions globally; and 3) indirect risks generated by the interaction of climate change and complex human systems.  


The objective of Phase 3 is to ensure that emissions reduction and resilience strategies and policies both in China and globally are better informed by an evidence-based perspective on climate change risks, and that this is incorporated into various levels of decision making, including within international organisations working on issues of global concern. The intent is to incorporate appropriate climate risk indicators in the planning, conduct and monitoring of public planning and work.

As host of COP26 in 2020, the UK is uniquely well-placed to leverage the strengths of the climate risk relationship it has with China to influence the uptake of climate risk assessment and planning processes internationally. Oxford will be co-hosting a side-event at COP26 with the intention of making full use of this potential sensitive intervention point to accelerate the transition to a cleaner, safer and smarter future.

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