International Symposium on Climate Change and the Role of Education – Information

Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln, UK 12th and 13th April, 2019.


We are living in the Anthropocene and climate change is the most pressing contemporary environmental challenge globally. Both adapting to and mitigating the far reaching effects of climate change are crucial if we are going to overcome the challenges it poses.  Education is among the most efficient tools we have to effectively deal with the scientific/ technical, economic, cultural and human developmental dimensions of climate change and its politicisation. Education in all its forms plays a crucial role, globally and locally, in engaging and empowering people to act to alleviate the impacts of the climate change. The importance of this role is recognized, at least in spirit if not yet by viable actions, in the 2015 Paris Agreement (via the Paris Committee on Capacity Building), the ongoing UNESCO Education for Sustainable Development Global Action Programme, and in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (especially SDG 13, Climate Action”), as well as in many national and regional climate change and disaster risk management policies and strategies.

Even though education is a key element which can be deployed in fostering climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts, there is a paucity of events where a special focus to education is given. In order to fill in this gap, the International Symposium on Climate Change and the Role of Education is being organised by Bishop Grosseteste University (UK), the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (Germany) and the International Climate Change Information Programme.

This symposium is aimed at those working in, or concerned with, education and climate change. It provides an opportunity to showcase projects, approaches and activities that investigate or utilise education as a means to mitigate or adapt to climate change. It aims to provide a platform for critical perspectives on climate change and the role of education. The conference aims to facilitate networking and the development of partnerships, and promote collaborative efforts for those using education as a tool to overcome the challenges of climate change.

Who this conference is for

Presenters and delegates will come from a wide range of sectors, including, but not restricted to:

  1. people working in schools (primary and secondary);
  2. people working in universities, colleges and training organisations (tertiary education);
  3. university researchers and students;
  4. members of NGOs working with climate change and/or education;
  5. governmental institutions including representatives from ministries and local government organisations and departments;
  6. intergovernmental agencies including representatives from the UN, EU, SPC;
  7. national development and aid agencies;
  8. climate change and educational consultants;
  9. other interested parties.


The Symposium has the following aims:

  1. a) to provide interested actors from across the world with an opportunity to present their work in the field of climate change and the role of education
  2. b) to provide a platform for the exchange of information, ideas and experiences from projects and initiatives (whether completed, ongoing or emerging) focusing on climate change and education – an opportunity to share lessons learnt, successful initiatives and good practice from across the world.
  3. c) to discuss pedagogical approaches and experiences which explore the role of education in adapting to climate change and resilient development.
  4. d) to provide participants with networking opportunities with the overarching aim of promoting collaboration for future activities.

Participants will be invited to contribute towards an edited volume entitled ‘Climate Change and the Role of Education’. This book will be aimed at a wide readership, notably those on the front line of education and climate change adaptation; along with policy makers, researchers, community workers and students. The book will be a further volume of the award-winning series “Climate Change Management” published by Springer, which since its creation in 2008 has become the world’s leading book series on climate change management. The decision of the editors as to which papers may be selected and undergo peer review for the book is final.


The Symposium will explore the following major themes:

1)      Climate Change in Primary and Secondary Education

2)      Climate Change in Tertiary Education (Further and Higher education)

Interconnected Sub-themes which cut across both themes include:

  1. a) Enabling climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction
  2. b) Resilient development and enabling mitigation
  3. c) Engagement in climate change issues
  4. d)      Curriculum and pedagogical innovation
  5. e) Partnerships between educators and others for promoting climate change adaptation


Professor Walter Leal (Research and Transfer Centre “Sustainable Development and Climate Change Management” of the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (Germany); Manchester Metropolitan University, International Climate Change Information Programme (ICCIP))

Dr Sarah Hemstock (Geography, School of Humanities, Bishop Grosseteste University).

BGU Committee

Dr Steven Puttick (School of Teacher Development, Bishop Grosseteste University)

Dr Mark Charlesworth (Geography, School of Humanities, Bishop Grosseteste University)

Dr Robert Vonfriedeburg (History, School of Humanities, Bishop Grosseteste University)

Dr Phil Wood (School of Teacher Development, Bishop Grosseteste University)

Cooperating Organisations

  • International Climate Change Information Programme (ICCIP)
  • Baltic University Programme

Structure of the Event

The Symposium will be organised in three main strands:

Strand 1: presentations

Presentations will be a combination of plenary and parallel sessions, organized thematically.

Strand 2: posters

Participants will have the opportunity to exhibit posters describing their work and to distribute information to other participants.

Strand 3: TeachMeet

An opportunity for participants to share pedagogical knowledge, practical innovations and personal insights in climate change teaching.


Deadline for submission of abstracts: 30th October 2018

Deadline for submission of papers: 30th January 2019

Deadline for registrations: 30th January 2019

Deadlines are important, so that the conference book can be produced as soon as possible following the event.

Fees and Charges

The registration fee is £200 for professionals. This fee includes lunches and coffee breaks on 12th-13th April 2019.

A limited number of places at a discounted fee of £40 per day or £60 for both days will be available for students and school teachers on a first come first served basis. The discounted fee will also include lunches and coffee breaks on appropriate days.

Additionally, there will be a conference dinner with guest speakers on the evening of 12th April 2019. Conference dinner tickets are available at £50 per person.

This is a self-funded event and the organisers are unable to pay any travel or accommodation costs of any kind. They are however happy to issue letters of invitation to support delegates to request funding for their participation.

The Symposium will provide participants with an outstanding opportunity to interact and network with delegates from around the world, and with a very broad range of experience and insights.


Contact Points for Scientific Inputs and Strategic Cooperation

All questions related to academic inputs and strategic partnerships, as well as the book, should be sent to:

Professor Walter Leal:  or

Dr Sarah Hemstock:

Conference Project Manager and Contact Point for further details

All questions related to registrations and accommodation should be sent to:

Bronwen Robson, School Professional Services Officer, Bishop Grosseteste University

Conference Publications

Conference Programme

The full conference programme can be accessed here.