Symposium Science for Net-zero Transition

The symposium will take place as a fully vitual in the fringe of COP 26 on Monday, 8 November 2021 from 9:30 to 15:30 local Glasgow time and kindly hosted by the University of Strathclyde.
start: 8th November 2021 - 09:30
end: 8th November 2021 - 15:30
Back to overview


Link to full programme

The United Kingdom (UK) will host the twenty-sixth United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow from 1 to 12 November 2021. The climate talks will bring together over 30,000 delegates, including heads of state, climate experts and campaigners to agree coordinated action to tackle climate change. The challenge is significant and we must hence rise to it in order to save the environment we all live in. The UN Climate Change process is central to that collective action.

CESAER, the International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN), Science Europe and the University of Strathclyde share a strong commitment to boost the contributions of universities and other research performing and funding organisations to ecological, economic and social sustainability. They therefore joined forces and will co-organise a symposium in the fringe of COP 26.

In our vision, academic and research communities world-wide from universities and other research performing and funding organisations address the urgent global challenges also through realising the net-zero transition.Realising the net-zero transition concerns an enormously complex challenge requiring collaboration across all disciplines, communities, institutions and involving societies across the globe.

The symposium brings together universities, national research performing organisations and research funding organisations to look at how we collectively upgrade our ambitions, and how we can work together with non-academic partners shaping knowledgeable societies for a sustainable future.

The symposium aims to address questions about how We, universities, research funding and performing organisations, can nurture researchers, teachers, students, support staff and leaders to deal with the breadth and complexity of the net-zero transition. We aim to discuss how to transform our institutional practices, and build alliances with other actors, globally and locally.

In this context, we convene to launch a call to action based on our own commitment for the net-zero transition. This call is open to other partners, leaders and the broad public, to join efforts towards the most pressing challenge of our time, climate change.

Date and location

The symposium will take place as a fully online event on Monday, 8 November 2021 from 9:30 to 15:30 local Glasgow time.


This open event is intended as a lever to address the following internal and external audiences on how to effectively contribute to ecological, economic and social sustainability through global collaboration.

Draft programme

9:30-10:00 Log on

10:00-11:30 Session I National and International Research Programmes for zero-net transition

The speakers will present examples of national and international funding and performing research programmes to contribute to the net-zero transition. They will reflect on their approaches to science-policy and how to bring academic and non-academic players closer together.

11:30-12:00 Break

12:00-13:30 Session II Universities for net-zero transition

The speakers will present examples from their respective universities on how they are contributing to the net-zero transition at the regional level and collaborating with academic and non-academic partners.

  • Moderated by Santa Ono (President & & Vice-Chancellor of University of British Columbia and President of University Climate Change Coalition - U3)
  • Enrique Luis Graue Wiechers (Rector of National Autonomous University of Mexico) & William Lee (Vice Rector for Scientific Research)
  • Mamokgethi Phakeng (Vice-Chancellor of University of Cape Town)
  • Mikael Östling (Deputy President of KTH Royal Institute of Technology)
  • Wei Shyy (President of Hongkong University of Science and Technology)

13:30-14:00 Break

14:00-15:30 Session III Systems thinking and approaches to achieving net-zero transition and tackling climate change

A final panel discussion is aimed at synthesising concrete recommendations on how this cooperation could be improved and applied in different contexts and within different regional ecosystems.

  • Introduced and moderated by Sir Jim McDonald (President of Royal Academy of Engineering and Principal & Vice-Chancellor of University of Strathclyde)
  • Report session 1 by Angelika Kalt
  • Report session 2 by Santa Ono
  • Marc Schiltz (President of Science Europe & Secretary General of National Research Fund of Luxembourg)
  • Gisou van der Goot (President of ISCN & Vice President at EPFL)
  • Rik Van de Walle (President of CESAER and Rector of Ghent University)

15:30 End of event

Request more information

If you want to know more about CESAER click on the button below.

Request more information here