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Brunel's new £5m collaboration to help UK prepare for climate change

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Climate change is one of the world’s biggest challenges, and Brunel academics are working with other universities and policymakers as part of a new £5 million hub - Maximising UK Adaptation to Climate Change (MACC) hub -  to assess how the UK can best adapt to extreme weather and other effects of climate change.

Academics at Brunel University London have joined the new MAAC hub alongside seven other UK universities and five climate partnership organisations, including the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Met Office.

The Hub is funded by the UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) – a national funding agency investing in science and research in the UK – as part of the Maximising UK adaptation to climate change programme, which has been co-designed by UKRI, Defra, the Met Office and the UK Government’s Climate Change Committee.

Led by King’s College, the Hub will work to deliver faster and more impactful action in the UK to help all four nations prepare better for the predicted effects of climate change over the next three years.

It will inform a national climate change adaptation plan by addressing current barriers around public awareness, policy, legislation and climate data that might be hindering the UK’s ability to adapt to global warming.

Key to the Hub is the idea of ‘transformational adaptation’ – any action taken to protect people’s way of life from climate change should drive positive change, especially for the poorest and most marginalised members of society who are usually also the most vulnerable to climate change impacts.There will also be a specifically targeted £750,000 flexible fund to accelerate ‘on the ground’ activities in partnership with local communities.

Dr Shona Paterson, Director of the Global Lives Research Centre at Brunel University London, said: "It's a privilege to be involved in a Hub that brings together such a diverse group of partners and thought leaders to be really implementation-focused – figuring out what works on the ground, and driving a step change in the UK's climate adaptation practice."

Hub activities will be implemented through regional centres, each leading on one of the key barriers to adaptation. Dr Paterson will work with the London Climate Change Partnership and with Sustainability West Midlands, leading work on public awareness of climate adaptation and the barriers to engagement. Their overall aim is to develop more effective ways to reach and engage members of the public.

A spokesperson for UKRI, said: “This Hub aims to harness the full power of the UK’s research and innovation system to tackle large-scale, complex challenges.

“Working with others, we aim to accelerate the green economy by supporting research and innovation that delivers on national priorities and unlocks solutions essential to achieving net zero in the UK by 2050.”

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