As perhaps the most pressing issue facing humanity, the RSE is committed to using our resources and the expertise of our Fellowship to help combat climate change and make the world a greener, fairer place for all.

View our climate-related work and opportunities below:

Funding opportunities

To address climate change impacts ahead of Scotland’s hosting of COP26 while fostering international collaboration in a post-Brexit world.
The International Bilateral Visits Programme facilitates the collaboration between researchers from Scotland and those based in institutions with which the RSE has a formal Memorandum of Understanding.
The RSE sets up a brand-new initiative in response to the Covid-19 pandemic which seeks to support researchers in Scotland who have been disproportionately impacted by Covid-19.
A leading business development and training programme for the Higher Education sector.
Facilitate international collaboration between researchers based in Scotland with researchers overseas.
Consolidate collaborative partnerships which expand activities of existing research or initiate new projects. Partnerships may be defined by a collaboration between colleagues in different disciplines and institutions.
A collaborative early stage of development into a research proposal.
SAPHIRE is a grant with the aim of enhancing the existing international research partnerships between Scottish universities and partners in Australia, India, Japan, Pakistan, South Korea, Singapore, or the ASEAN.
A new scheme to facilitate international collaboration between Scotland and Germany with the aim to develop hydrogen-related research which can inform Scottish Government policy objectives.
Designed to support personally conducted high-quality research. The awards are available to cover eligible costs arising from a defined research project.

Policy work

ADVICE PAPERS

RSE response to the Scottish Government’s consultation ‘Agricultural transition in Scotland – first steps towards our national policy’.
This paper compares the key findings from the RSE’s 2011 Report section on Land Use and Climate Change with those
In the 10 years since the RSE inquiry, “Facing up to Climate Change: breaking the barriers to a low-carbon Scotland”,
Ninety per cent of Scotland’s territorial greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions stem from energy production and consumption; ending the unabated use
The challenges posed by climate change require unprecedented changes in our society and economy. This will necessarily require higher levels
Climate change poses a significant threat both to communities at risk of being flooded and to Scotland’s plants and animals.
RSE response to the UK Government’s plans to develop a National Resilience Strategy for the UK, prepared by the RSE Post-Covid-19 Futures Commission.
The RSE has submitted a response to the Scottish Government regarding the proposed ‘grand challenges’ (missions), in which the Scottish National Investment Bank (the Bank) will invest.
The Royal Society of Scotland has responded to the UK Parliament Scottish Affairs Committee’s inquiry into renewable energy in Scotland.
The RSE has responded to the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee’s Inquiry into the Future of Scottish Agriculture post-Brexit.
The RSE has responded to the Scottish Government’s consultation on Environmental Principles and Governance in Scotland post-Brexit.
With Scotland committed to increasingly ambitious action against climate change and with the transport sector in the midst of another technological revolution, the time is right to re-evaluate Scotland’s transport system to ensure it is fit to meet these challenges and deliver high quality, modern services.
The RSE has responded to a consultation by Scottish Government on the Draft Offshore Wind Policy Statement.
The RSE has prepared an advice paper in support of the Just Transition Commission’s call for evidence.
The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) has prepared a submission to the Scottish Parliament Environment, Climate Change, and Land Reform Committee’s call for evidence on the environmental aspects of the UK Withdrawal from the EU (Continuity) (Scotland) Bill.
Building on its recent advice paper on the Just Transition Commission interim report, the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) has prepared a submission to the Scottish Parliament Environment, Climate Change, and Land Reform Committee’s call for evidence on a green recovery from COVID-19.
The RSE has submitted a response to the Scottish Government consultation on the draft Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Research
In order to tackle climate change, we need more meaningful engagement founded on the policies that can contribute to behaviour and culture change.
What does a resilient nation look like? How can government, industry, and society learn from the pandemic, the future risks and challenges, and what are the priority actions to build resilience?

REPORTS

Industry ‘think-and-do tank’ calls for national innovation mission behind Climate Tech.

events and activities

UPCOMING

03 February 2022
This interactive panel event will aim to provide a more realistic view of hydrogen and how we might produce and use it.
17 February 2022
This panel event will look at the effects of climate change in Scotland with a view to providing possible solutions to tackle them in future.

PAST EVENTS

02 December 2021
An artistic exploration of ways to communicate and connect around climate change.
18 November 2021
This interactive panel event will examine how climate action is understood and delivered on an individual level.
10 November 2021
A two-day conference to coincide with COP26, addressing scientific and policy-facing issues of blue carbon developments in the Global Climate Emergency.
28 October 2021
A two-day symposium discussing how climate change impacts human rights and what measures are needed to strengthen the rights of those affected.
27 October 2021
In 2011, the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) undertook a comprehensive and influential inquiry on climate change and the barriers
22 October 2021
Join Greyfriars Kirk, the RSE and other guests for a weekend of events that celebrate what happens when people seek knowledge and truth together.
06 October 2021
Join the RSE and the Scottish Centre of the Royal Meteorological Society for an online conference on the science and impact of climate change.
09 August 2021
All eyes are on Scotland’s leading thinkers, from 09-27 August, in this thought-provoking series of free online talks and intimate conversations.
13 May 2021
How can technology work towards a just transition? A joint discussion with the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Royal Academy of Engineering.
10 May 2021
How can we design an economic recovery package that helps us emerge from the global pandemic while also addressing the climate emergency?
30 November 2020
The RSE’s Post-Covid-19 Futures Commission wants to examine the role of public debate and participation during the pandemic.
26 November 2020
The Royal Society of Edinburgh and Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh explore the current plant extinction crisis.

Media

Face The Facts series

Meet some of Scotland’s leading climate researchers talking about their work in the lead up to the UN Climate Change Conference, COP26.

Watch now

An illustrated conversation between artist Victoria Crowe FRSE and poet Christine De Luca reflecting on our changed circumstance.
This video, with geologists, artists, and historians, explores the history and the people who studied them during the Scottish Enlightenment.
Sam Alberti writes how his favourite place to learn about the environment is in museums where objects provide insight on the current state of our planet.
Dr Heidi Burdett discusses blue carbon stored in coastal and marine ecosystems that could help Scotland fight climate change | Face the Facts
Professor Gabi Hegerl discusses how using the observations of past climate events can help predict future disasters | Face the Facts
Dr Ehsan Jorat explores his work on how urban and agricultural soils can provide carbon sequestration | Face the Facts
Professor Elise Cartmell explains the efforts Scottish Water are making to decarbonise and help tackle climate change | Face the Facts
Like other maritime nations, the wellbeing and national character of the people of Scotland have been greatly influenced by its coasts and waters ever since the first humans settled here. Yet, the marine environment remained very enigmatic with very limited knowledge until the late 19th century when marine science arose as a scientific discipline.
Professor Sandy Tudhope FRSE discusses how Scotland could be a surprise contender in solving coral reef and climate change issues | Face the Facts
The world is in a different place from 2015 – the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis has made the goals more urgent. We have almost all the science we need to make changes – renewable energy, biotechnology and biofuels, to name but a few. Yet, the biggest challenge we face this decade is how to bring about change in the hearts and mindsets of individuals, institutions and national systems. So, can social science help close the gap?
The Scottish picture for endangered species is not encouraging. The most recent results published in 2019 using the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List methodology for 6413 species in Scotland showed significant declines.
Dr Kirsten Jenkins discusses how Scotland’s climate change solutions can be inclusive and fair to everyone in society | Face the Facts