About

Hello! We’re Zoë, Abigail and Rona, who met while studying for an MSc at the University of Edinburgh. In the course of our studies we realised that there was a need for a free, accessible guide which allowed young people to learn more about COP26 in a way that suits them. We hope that this resource will empower our audience to engage with COP26 and climate policy. 

Our project was part of Yale University’s Global Climate Forum and is supported by funding from the University of Edinburgh Department of Social Responsibility and Sustainability and Achill Management. 

Our project is also supported by The Edinburgh Climate Change Institute, The COP26 Universities Network and YOUNGO. We would also like to thank the Glasgow University Environmental Sustainability Team for their Community and Activism Toolkit which features exclusively in this guide. 

Abigail McGowan (she/her)

Abigail is currently studying towards her MSc in Global Environment, Politics and Society at the University of Edinburgh. She is particularly interested in the implications of climate policy on social justice at the local, national and international levels and is motivated by the necessity to find equitable solutions to the climate crisis.

Zoë Carpenter (she/her) 

With a background in communications, Zoë has just finished her MSc in Global Environment, Politics and Society at the University of Edinburgh, with a particular interest in global environmental politics, environmental risk and the intersections between gender and environmental justice. Alongside her studies she has been interning for the United Nations Development Programme Somalia.

Rona Hardie (she/her)

Rona is an MSc student studying Global Environmental Politics and Society at the University of Edinburgh, with a particular interest in the ways that environmental and social justice intersect. She works as a Community Action Researcher at Gracemount Community Garden and National Organiser for Tipping Point UK. She is also involved in activism through Young Friends of the Earth Scotland and Transition Edinburgh.

Iona Geddes (she/her) 

Iona is an Innovation Designer at Graft Global and holds a Master of European Design degree. Her experience includes design research with the Center for Civic Innovation at Glasgow City Council and working as a Design Strategist at Innovation Training Network, focussing on corporate training and green product strategy. Iona worked on the graphic design, branding and strategy for the Guide to COP26 Project.

Our contributors 

Professor Elizabeth Bomberg

Elizabeth Bomberg is Deputy Head of Politics and IR, Programme Co-Director for the MSc Global Environment, Politics and Society, and Edinburgh Lead on UNA Europa Sustainability Self-Steering Committee. 

Professor David Reay 

Dave Reay (@keelingcurve) is Professor of Carbon Management & Education and director of the Edinburgh Climate Change Institute at the University of Edinburgh. He is an advisor on climate change for the UK and Scottish Governments and his latest project is planting enough native trees on his farm in Kintyre to trap a whole lifetime’s emissions.

Dr Harriet Thew 

Harriet Thew is a UKRI COP26 Research Fellow at the University of Leeds and a Graduate Teaching Associate in the Sustainability Research Institute, School of Earth and Environment. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, an Earth Systems Governance Research Fellow and an Early Career Researcher Representative for the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) Climate Change Research Group. 

Jessica Omukuti 

Jessica Omukuti is a Research Associate and COP26 Fellow at the University of York’s Department of Environment and Geography. She is also affiliated with the Interdisciplinary Global Development Center (IGDC). 

Dr Darrick Evensen 

Darrick Evensen is a Lecturer in the School of Social and Political Science at the University of Edinburgh. He is Principal investigator on a Royal Society of Edinburgh sabbatical grant examining the role of Scottish institutions in shaping the process and outcomes of the UNFCCC COP26 & working with the Scottish Parliament on green recovery from COVID-19 in Scotland. 

Dr Sarah Ivory 

Sarah Ivory is a Lecturer in Climate Change and Business Strategy at the University of Edinburgh Business School (UEBS), and Director of the Centre for Business, Climate Change and Sustainability (B-CCaS). She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and a former elected non-professorial member of the University of Edinburgh Senatus Academicus. 

Chiara Arena 

Chiara engages in grassroots climate justice organising across Europe. She completed an LLM in Global Environment and Climate Change Law at the University of Edinburgh and gathered experience in the field of climate law and human rights. Lately she has focused on climate finance. 

Louisa Raitbaur 

Louisa is a law graduate from Germany who moved to Edinburgh to pursue the LLM in Global Environment and Climate Change Law. She has been passionate about the climate crisis and environmental protection for a long time and is trying to find ways to use law as a tool to address this crisis. 

Sarah Hunter (she/her)

Sarah is a masters student at the University of Glasgow, who has worked as the Student Engagement Promoter for the Glasgow University Environmental Sustainability Team (GUEST) in 2020/21. Her work for GUEST this year has focussed on demystifying COP and centering intersectionality in climate discussions.

Thalia Groucott (she/her) 

Thalia was the Sustainable Food Promoter at Glasgow University Environmental Sustainability Team (GUEST) in 2020/21 and is one of the GUEST Coordinators in 2021/22. She studies politics and so is especially excited about COP26 happening in Glasgow.

Blair Anderson (he/him) 

Blair has worked with GUEST as a coordinator since 2019, overseeing Communications, Student & Community Engagement and Sustainable Transport initiatives.

Glasgow University Environmental Sustainability Team (GUEST) 

Glasgow University Environmental Sustainability Team (GUEST) is a team of highly motivated and professional students employed by the university to work on improving the environmental practice of the university. The team consists of 12 students, working across 8 branches including; Biodiversity, Sustainable Food, Transport, Waste, Sustainable Laboratories, Student Engagement, Community Engagement and Communications.