The ACU and COP26

Universities across the Commonwealth are tackling climate change and building climate resilience worldwide – through cutting-edge research, global and local partnerships, and educating the next generation of climate leaders. 

As an accredited organisation, the ACU is sending a delegation to COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021, and will be participating in a series of high-level meetings, roundtables and events with key partners. We will be profiling the vital role that universities play in delivering climate action, and emphasising their readiness to support the realisation of the COP commitments. 

Discover how the ACU and our members are supporting local, national and international climate action below.  To find out more, contact

Antigua and Barbuda

The ACU is partnering with the Government of Antigua and Barbuda and the University of the West Indies (UWI) to support the development of a Centre of Excellence for Oceanography and the Blue Economy at UWI’s recently established Five Islands Campus.

A new partnership for a blue economy


The ACU's campaign to show how universities – and the people within them – are spearheading critical solutions and efforts to tackle climate change. 

From fighting food insecurity with insects in Kenya, climate justice in Sri Lanka, or tackling marine plastics in our oceans, we've been uplifted and inspired by what our members are doing to protect our planet.

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Commonwealth Futures Climate Research Cohort

The ACU and the British Council have partnered to establish the Commonwealth Futures Climate Research Cohort, supporting 26 rising-star researchers to bring local knowledge to a global stage, by building international collaborations and working with experts to influence issues related to climate and environment in their communities and beyond.   

Find out more Cohort snapshot
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Commonwealth Climate Resilience Network (CCRN)

With many Commonwealth countries on the frontline of climate change, the CCRN is working to build resilience within universities and their wider communities.

Established in partnership with Fiji National University, the University of the South Pacific  and the University of the West Indies, the network links universities directly affected by climate change with those that have expertise in building resilience.

Join the network CCRN snapshot
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Climate Impacts Research Capacity and Leadership Enhancement (CIRCLE) programme

The CIRCLE programme works to strengthen climate change research within sub-Saharan Africa through an innovative dual approach: supporting individual academics to undertake research, while also working with universities to improve their capacity to support and promote quality research.

Discover more CIRCLE snapshot
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Blue Charter fellowships

To boost cutting-edge research on marine plastics pollution and reduction, the UK Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Waitrose & Partners provided funding for two phases of the ACU Blue Charter Fellowships Programme, supporting a total of 48 outstanding talents in the field to produce research, build knowledge exchange skills, and translate their knowledge into action.

Find out more Blue Charter snapshot
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Call to Action on Sustainable Urbanisation across the Commonwealth 

We are a proud partner of this call to action, asking for greater priority to be given within the Commonwealth on sustainable urbanisation; for a closer multi-sectoral and multi-disciplinary collaboration by all stakeholders; and to invite those working in the field of sustainable urbanisation to support the initiative in the run up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM)

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Fast Paced Urban Environment In West Africa

Transforming Universities for a Changing Climate (Climate U)

The ACU is an impact partner in this three-year GCRF-funded project exploring how universities are addressing the causes and impacts of climate change in Brazil, Fiji, Kenya, and Mozambique.

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Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholars 

In this video, Margaret McDonald and Simon Kiongo share their experiences as Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholars and how these scholarships have helped shape their crucial work solving global challenges.

Watch it here
QECS Scholar In Greenhouse Tending To Plants


Over 130 alumni from across the Chevening, CSC and Marshall scholarship programmes worked within 38 teams to develop inventive and original policy proposals aimed at addressing the challenges presented by climate change.

As an exclusive prize, the winning team will be invited to a closed roundtable discussion with senior climate change experts and government officials.

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Over 2,000 Chevening, Marshall, Fulbright and Commonwealth scholarship scholars, fellows and alumni have pledged to take specific action to protect our planet in 2021. 

Discover the pledges
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COP26 opportunities engagement bulletin

If you work, teach, or study at a university, there are many ways you can get involved with COP and demonstrate your commitment to climate action. 

Explore the opportunities
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