The UK Climate Resilience Programme ran from 2019 to 2023

Met Office Science Conference 2021

11-12 May 2021   

Register to attend

In November 2021 the UK, in partnership with Italy, will host the COP26 meeting in Glasgow. This is the crucial climate summit at which nations will be asked to step up their ambitions towards tackling climate change.

The task – to reduce global carbon dioxide emissions to net zero by the middle of the century as required by the Paris agreement of 2015 – is daunting and at times success can seem hopeless. Yet hope there is, of technological and societal solutions to achieving net zero emissions, and of strategies to ensure societies around the world are more resilient to the vagaries of weather and climate. Science and innovation have large roles to play in helping steer our world towards a more sustainable future. And this hope remains, even in the face of recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, a key part of which will be seeking to ensure that this is carried out in a way that is consistent with the climate goals set out under the COP process and that takes account of any learning and opportunities presented by the response to the pandemic.

Science for a resilient future

During this crucial year for addressing the climate crisis, the Met Office Hadley Centre, having recently marked its thirtieth anniversary in 2020, will host a conference on the theme of net zero and climate resilience that will help set the agenda for the development of science for policy over the next decade.

The meeting will bring together leading scientists and policy makers, young people, community representatives and science communicators from around the world. Its aim is to set out a vision for how climate science and services can be harnessed in support of the ambitions of diverse societies worldwide to build a more sustainable, more resilient low carbon future. Its legacy will be to lay out a scientific agenda to inform climate policy post COP26.

Conference themes

  • Theme 1: Current and future risks from weather and climate
  • Theme 2: High impact, low likelihood outcomes of climate change (including tipping points)
  • Theme 3: Future carbon and mitigation strategies to avoid the most dangerous impacts of climate change
  • Theme 4: Climate resilient development: minimising impacts and trade-offs, and maximising the co-benefits of mitigation and adaptation.

The conference will also include a half day session on Pan-Africa climate perspectives within the context of the four main conference themes, looking at the past, the present and the future over the next decade or so. This will include keynote speeches on “Technological entrepreneurship and youth”  as well as on policy.


Confirmed speakers for the two-day conference include UK Climate Resilience Programme investigators and steering committee members Prof Richard Betts MBE (Met Office), Prof Suraje Dessai (UKCR co-Champion, University of Leeds), Prof Hayley Fowler (Newcastle University), Prof Rowan Sutton (NCAS), Prof Albert Klein Tank (Met Office), Prof Jason Lowe (Met Office) and Prof Peter Stott (Met Office).

Professor Stephen Belcher, Met Office Chief Scientist, and Sir Patrick Vallance, UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser, will give the welcome address on day 1 (11 May) and Prof Albert Klein Tank, Head of Met Office Hadley Centre, and Rt Hon Alok Sharma, COP26 President, will give the welcome address on day 2 (12 May).