Edinburgh and Glasgow universities unite for climate research

Article by Adam Duckett

Dragan Jovanovic / Shutterstock.com
Researchers at the University of Edinburgh are looking into how waste heat and mine water could be used to heat local homes

UNIVERSITIES in Scotland have formed a new collaborative research partnership to address the climate emergency and are calling on industry-backers to join the effort.

The Scotland Beyond Net Zero initiative has been founded by the universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow to help Scotland meet its target of achieving net zero by 2045. Since its launch in January, the universities of Aberdeen, St Andrews, Dundee, Heriot-Watt, Stirling and Strathclyde have joined the partnership.

Peter Mathieson, vice-chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, said: “Climate change is arguably the greatest global challenge of our time. We need coordinated action to harness our combined strengths. To support Scotland’s transition to net zero, it is vital that we go further and faster together. That’s what SBNZ aims to do.”

Researchers from across universities and disciplines will work together on six key climate-impacting areas – food, energy, transport, built environment, natural systems, and finance – as they seek to help develop greener technologies and provide data for policymakers.

Research already being carried out by members of the coalition includes a £2.6m (US$3.26m) feasibility study into heating people’s homes using water in old mine workings warmed up by waste heat from Edinburgh’s supercomputer.

The initiative has more than 60 researchers from across the two founding universities including Gioia Falcone, chair of energy engineering at Glasgow, and Stuart Haszeldine, professor of carbon capture and storage at Edinburgh. 

SBNZ is calling on researchers to bid for annual seed funding for collaborative research and for organisations to make contact if they are interested in funding research.

Humza Yousaf, first minister of Scotland, said: “Scotland’s universities have a vital role to play in our transition to net zero, not only through their world-class research, but in providing the education and evidence we need to make informed decisions about our future.”

In its most recent assessment of Scotland’s progress towards net zero, the UK’s Climate Change Committee warned in December 2022 that a quantified plan was needed to meet its interim target of 75% emissions reduction by 2030.

Article by Adam Duckett

Editor, The Chemical Engineer

Recent Editions

Catch up on the latest news, views and jobs from The Chemical Engineer. Below are the four latest issues. View a wider selection of the archive from within the Magazine section of this site.