Global cooperation is crucial to addressing the world’s shared challenges. And as Glasgow prepares to host the COP26 in November 2021, UK has a key role to play in bringing the world together to address the global climate emergency. 

In the lead up to COP26, the British Council is running a global programme and campaign called ‘The Climate Connection’ to address the challenge of climate change. The Climate Connection is a global platform for dialogue, cooperation and action, connecting millions of people from the UK and the rest of the world through shared solutions to the climate crisis. 

The Climate Connection uses the UK's cultural and educational resources to build awareness, share ideas, and empower young people to act on climate change. 

The Climate Connection – COP26 Higher Education Roundtable Series 

The role the Higher Education (HE) sector plays in developing our understanding of the climate crisis and in developing solutions to deal with it is crucial. Indeed, university researchers have been in the vanguard to alert the world to the looming crisis and thanks to university researchers, we understand how climate change impacts the fundamentals required for life on Earth: water, food, ecosystems, wildlife, energy, transportation, health, communities and the economy, and that the basic human needs of many are already in jeopardy.

Universities provide the scientific evidence upon which governments can build evidence-based climate mitigation policies. We have the sector to thank for many of the technologies, applications and approaches which enable industries to be greener and cleaner whilst still contributing to economic prosperity and, through teaching and curricula, universities are preparing future generations to be able to respond to and to live with the impact of climate change. 

The Climate Connection COP26 Higher Education Roundtable Series will explore the multiple roles the HE sector plays in combatting the climate crisis, as well as examining some of the challenges institutions face in their own Race to Zero which can seem at odds with the sector’s role as innovator and solution provider.  

The series will bring together key actors from the UK and identified COP26 priority countries to: 

  • Showcase some of the latest collaborative climate research projects between the UK HE sector and their counterparts around the world 
  • Explore how research outputs can be used to support governments to develop evidence-based climate mitigation policies 
  • Examine how the HE sector is preparing the next generation for the reality of climate change, and what skills they need to acquire 
  • Investigate how universities can be more adept at knowledge production and exchange and at working across traditional academic boundaries, and what policy levers governments can put in place to make this happen 
  • Reflect on the role universities play in the public discourse around climate change to help build wider trust in and understanding of the science 
  • How can HEIs make their ageing infrastructure greener and more efficient? With limited resources available for investment, the sector is having to come up with innovative approaches to this issue 

About the MENA roundtable:

Title Food, Water and Energy: Innovative and Non-conventional Strategies to Mitigate Climate Change Challenges
Geographical focus: MENA
Host country: Egypt
  • Professor Fatma Elghohary (Emeritus Professor in the Water Pollution Control Research Department of the National Research Centre (NRC) in Egypt)
  • Professor Mohamed Dawod (Manager of Water Resources Department with the Environment Agency -Abu Dhabi, UAE)
  • Professor Miriam Balaban (Secretary General of the European Desalination Society)
  • Professor Dalila Loudyi (Hassan II University of Casablanca, Faculty of Science and Technology)
Policy makers
  • Professor Ahmed Mowad (Vice President of Egypt’s Holding Company for Water and Waste Water) 
  • Professor Inas abo Taleb (Former Executive Director of Environmental Agency Affair in Egypt) 
  • Dr Hadi Fawzy (Middle East & North Africa of Scottish Development International (SDI)) 
 Provocateur  Ms Rehab Abdelmohsen (Freelance Science Journalist) 
 Rapporteur  DR Selda Oterkus
 Chair  Professor Erkan Oterkus (University of Strathclyde)
Co-Chair Professor Hossam Shawky (Vice president of projects & research stations at the Desert Research Centre in Egypt)

 19 October 2021

11.00 - 13.00 BST (12.00 - 14.00 local time)


Join the Food, Water and Energy: Innovative and Non-conventional Strategies to Mitigate Climate Change Challenges roundtable to hear a panel of distinguished academics, policymakers and climate leaders explore these issues and discuss possible solutions and pose questions to the panel about the challenges of achieving food and water security. 

Water scarcity is a global problem. Today, billions of people face some form of water-food-energy stress. Climate change is intensifying the problem, pushing governments, investors, scientists and aid groups to find innovative and non-conventional solutions to mitigate the threat.

A decrease in rainfall, rapid economic growth and high population density in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa mean the region’s access to the essential elements for life – water, food and energy – is under threat.  

  • What can we do to make agriculture sustainable when rainfall is unpredictable and rising temperatures accelerate water evaporation?
  • What role do policymakers, scientists and other stakeholders play in finding solutions? 
  • How can we involve young people to help find innovative and sustainable solutions?

 Audiences have the opportunity to pose questions to the panel when they register for the event.

Food, Water and Energy: Innovative and Non-conventional Strategies to Mitigate Climate Change Challenges is the third roundtable in The Climate Connection COP26 Higher Education Roundtable series. For more information on the series, please visit this website.