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Environmental Intelligence commitment at COP26

The Met Office and the University of Exeter have signed a landmark collaboration agreement at COP26, formally committing to further grow the work of the Joint Centre for Excellence in Environmental Intelligence.

Published 17th November 2021

The agreement sees the continuation of the Joint Centre, created in Exeter in December 2020, which brings together world-leading researchers from the University of Exeter and the Met Office to pioneer the development of environmental intelligence research and deliver innovative, interdisciplinary education and training.

Environmental intelligence is a new field of knowledge that joins environmental data with artificial intelligence (AI) to create solutions to some of the most important challenges facing society today.

The Joint Centre aims to provide the meaningful insight needed to inform decision making around weather and climate to improve risk management and provide the expertise, skills and capability to fully use artificial intelligence to address the threats of climate change.

The Centre also collaborates with The Alan Turing Institute, the UK’s national centre for data science and AI, and provides a hub for research and training to support a community in environmental intelligence and promotes the UK as a leader in the field.

Complex interactions between the environment, climate, ecosystems, societies, economies and human health will all be under the microscope for the Joint Centre

The signing of the collaboration agreement at COP26 represents a 5-year commitment, which will enable continued growth, development and ongoing impact of the Joint Centre in the coming years.

The Joint Centre aligns with the overarching goals of COP, with the development of a Climate Impacts, Mitigation, Adaptation and Resilience (CLIMAR) Framework creating decision-ready information for policy-makers, industry and the public to achieve net zero carbon emissions and adapt to protect communities and natural habitats.

Professor Stephen Belcher, Chief Scientist at the Met Office said, “It’s vitally important that we collaborate to address some of society’s most pressing issues. By working with the University of Exeter on the Joint Centre, we’re able to pool talent to use the latest technology and advancements to provide tangible information for policy-makers around the globe.”

Professor Mark Goodwin, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, at the University of Exeter said, “This long-term commitment to the Joint Centre is incredibly welcome and timely. I am excited to see the potential of Environmental Intelligence being unlocked in the coming years, and further development of innovative solutions to help tackle the environmental challenges faced by humanity.”

The Joint Centre is holding its annual conference on 16 and 17 December 2021, with the focus on ‘Beyond COP26: The Road to Net Zero’. This virtual event will showcase the use of transformative technologies to support the UK’s Net Zero ambitions and explore opportunities to support the next generation of environmental and data scientists. Find out more and register on EventBrite.

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