London RCE News

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  • Comments Off on Working together for our planet – There is no Planet B

By Ros Wade

From October 1st to November 12th 2021, the UK, together with our partners Italy, will host COP26 – an event many believe to be the world’s best last chance to get runaway climate change under control. For nearly three decades the UN has been bringing together almost every country on earth for global climate summits – called COPs – which stands for ‘Conference of the Parties’. In that time climate change has become a global priority. This year will be the 26th annual summit – giving it the name COP26.

We are now seeing the effects of climate change in every country and region, with severe weather events becoming ever more frequent, resulting in food shortages and major displacements of people. Our planet is warming up and during the last decades this has actually been speeding up rather than slowing down. Our most urgent and challenging global goal is to secure global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach.

How will this happen?

Countries are being asked to come forward with ambitious 2030 emissions reductions targets that align with reaching net zero by the middle of the century.

To deliver on these stretching targets, countries will need to:

  • accelerate the phase-out of coal
  • curtail deforestation
  • speed up the switch to electric vehicles
  • encourage investment in renewables.

Politicians need to make the big decisions now to end our dependence on fossil fuels and they need our support to do this. This is our opportunity to let our representatives know that we want them to take action NOW.

  • Write to our local councillors and MPs, stating your concerns for urgent action (politicians listen to their public as they need our votes)
  • Join a campaign with a local or national group such as Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Oxfam, Extinction Rebellion
  • Join in one of the actions to support COP 26, the global climate conference in Glasgow on October. More information can be found on the ‘Climate Coalition’ website at
  • Join a local climate action group to raise awareness and encourage action
  • Invite a speaker who can inspire and encourage local action
  • Organise a local activity to encourage climate change awareness, e.g. an art competition, story writing
  • Ask all your friends and family to make one climate change commitment for the next year and to keep to it

And we can also support COP26 by:

If you need some more ideas, these websites provide ideas and resources for individual, schools, faith groups, community groups and businesses.

Note: Ros Wade is the Chair of RCE London

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  • Comments Off on Celebrating 10 years, RCE London holds webinars on Art, Education, Storytelling, Biodiversity and COP26

RCE London is celebrating 10 years since it was endorsed and admitted to the global RCE network (Regional Centre of Expertise for Education for Sustainable Development) by the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS). It is established at London South Bank University (LSBU).

To commemorate this milestone year, RCE London is holding a virtual webinar series entitled ‘Sustainability and Beyond’ with the emphasis around the Sustainable Development Goals. The series has been curated in partnership with LSBU’s Sustainability Research Group and will include several guest speakers joining us to celebrate and share their expertise.

Check out the schedule below (starting at 5pm):

30 Sept 2021

Art, Nature and Sustainability

By Hugh Atkinson

21 Oct 2021

Education for Sustainable Development: past, present and future

Dr Vasiliki Kioupi Vasiliki, Professor Daniella Tilbury, Dr Jaya Gajparia and Professor Ros Wade

25 Nov 2021

Storytelling, documenting, inspiring

Professor Ros Wade and Sigfried Janzing

27 Jan 2022


Dr Neil Herrington

24 Feb 2022

After COP 26, where to next?

Dr Alan Winter and Lynn Vickery

To see the details of each event and to sign up, visit:

All events will be delivered virtually. They’re free to attend and everyone is welcome.

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  • Comments Off on Webinar: COMMEET’s new toolkit for community groups: Promoting the wellbeing of migrants and displaced persons

Titled ‘Promoting the wellbeing of migrants and displaced persons’, a webinar will be launched for community groups, informing COMMEET’s new toolkit on 24 September, 2020, 10.00–11.30 (UK time) free of charge.

The toolkit was initiated by the COMMEET Fellowship for Community Empowerment and developed with an international team of experts and practitioners in partnership with the London Regional Centre on Expertise (RCE) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) (

The toolkit provides a 10 point plan for community groups who wish to promote wellbeing and inclusion. Proposed activities address negative perceptions and stereotypes of migrants and offer ideas to support the challenges they face. Activities can be adapted for different regions and countries. Examples and stories from around the globe provide inspiration and encouragement for community self empowerment. Forced migration as a result of conflict, persecution, climate change, natural disaster or extreme poverty is now at unprecedented levels (UNHCR 2019). The world crisis over the Covid 19 virus has shown that there is a danger that some vulnerable communities can be sidelined or forgotten.

This webinar will discuss ways in which the toolkit can help communities to welcome and include migrants and displaced people. In doing so, it will demonstrate how this can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Following an introduction and welcome by Jos Hermans (Founder of COMMEET), Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Dato’ Dzulkifli Abdul Razak (Rector of the International Islamic University Malaysia IIUM) will deliver a Keynote speech. Then, Ros Wade (London RCE) will give a brief outline of the toolkit.

After that, there will be a panel discussion with members of the toolkit team (Chair Ros Wade with Saima Raza, Ahmet Sayer, Akpezi Ogbuigwe, Sigfried Janzing).

This event will be delivered virtually using Zoom Webinar and hosted by LSBU.

To register, please visit the Eventbrite page:


COMMEET Fellowship for Community Empowerment

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  • Comments Off on Making Finance Sustainable: Practical Solutions for Ecological Problems

Dr Hugh Atkinson, London RCE

Over the last decade or more the image of global finance has taken something of a battering, Examples include excessive corporate pay, short term speculation, and the miss selling of pensions.  The culmination of such hubris was the global financial crisis of 2007/8 when the illicit acts of some of the world’s biggest banks and financial institutions brought the global economy to its knees, inflicting misery and hardship on countless millions of people.

But just as global finance has been a big part of the problem in attempting to create a more socially just and sustainable world, so it also has the potential to be an important part of the solution. But how does this work you may well ask?Well for one thing, as from 2020 all financial advisers will have to ask their clients if they want to invest in ethical products to tackle the climate emergency and help shape a more sustainable world. Failure to do so could constitute miss selling.

On a broader level, a key aspect of making finance work for the common good is through much greater transparency on the workings of what is a very opaque system. It might seem a strange thing to say but the solution for the future is to go back to the past. In the nineteenth century if you went to the London Stock Exchange you would have a very good idea of who owned what company, what was their main source of business, and what they invested in. If we fast forward to the twenty first century, the world of finance is more akin to a labyrinth of complex patterns of ownership and investments which can be very difficult to penetrate. However, a number of initiatives are out there which are seeking to address this challenge.

One such initiative is the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials or PCAF.

 The PCAF has estimated that since the Paris Climate Agreement, the largest global banks have invested some $2 trillion dollars in fossils fuels. The PCAF is a global partnership of financial institutions which have worked together to create a standardised way to capture their carbon footprint, both direct and indirect. Banks and other financial institutions supporting the PCAF include ABN Ambro, Amalgamated Bank, ASN Bank and the Global Alliance for Banking on Values. Such innovative approaches have the potential to make the finance sector a key player in creating a more sustainable world and taking effective action to tackle the climate emergency.

Another important initiative is that of the World Benchmarking Alliance or WBA. Its main aim is to build a movement to measure and incentivise business impact towards a sustainable future that works for everyone. One of its principal aims is to scale up and redirect private capital towards the successful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and climate investment. The WBA brings together a broad range of stakeholders from the world of finance (including Aviva, ABN Ambro, Allianz Global Investors, and Bridges Fund Management, NGOs (including Oxfam and WWF) and government. Its strategy is to develop a benchmark index that will compare private sector companies and financial institutions progress on the SDGs across a range of policy areas including financial systems, decarbonisation and energy, and agriculture and food.

Corporate Citizenship has argued that if the benchmark index takes off it could shake up the investment community. And indeed the investment community does need to be shaken up very rapidly if we are to effectively tackle the climate emergency and build a more sustainable world. Data from the Menzies Australia Institute shows that 93 per cent of institutional investors report that climate change has still not been priced into key global financial markets as an investment risk. This includes investments in fossil fuel companies whose balance sheets contain stranded assets such as oil and coal reserves which can never be realised if we are to meet the agreed global agreements on greenhouse gas emissions.

To sum up, there is no doubt that the global financial system has a key role to play in efforts to tackle the climate emergency and build a more sustainable world. We have noted some promising initiatives with regard to this. But there is still so much that needs to be done. The United Nations Environment Programme has spoken out on the limited progress on sustainable finance to address the climate emergency. What is required is a cultural change away from short term financial gain, what the outgoing Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney has called the tragedy of the horizon, What is need is a more holistic and systems based approach to the relationship between finance and the world we live in. We need an end to investment that damages both people and planet. To put it simply: the first rule of capitalism is Do not kill your customers!

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  • Comments Off on A Visit to the DH Lawrence Ranch

Professor Ros Wade and Dr Hugh Atkinson visited the DH Lawrence Ranch in New Mexico. The following piece by Ros appeared in the University of New Mexico website.

A Visit to the DH Lawrence Ranch in Taos, NM,-nm.html

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  • Comments Off on Debating Brexit and the UN Sustainable Development Goals at London South Bank University

In the first week of April, the Sustainability Research Group: Policy, Practice, Pedagogy at London South Bank University, UK held its third Round Table evening in its series of events to present and debate research on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that is undertaken by its members.

Prof Ros Wade

Prof Ros Wade gave a warm welcome to the audience whilst offering a brief summary of the work of the Sustainability Research Group. The Round Table was  ably chaired by Ms. Lynn Vickery who introduced the topic for the evening’s event. Lynn then presented the panellists who were invited to respond to the research presented by Dr. Alex Mifsud. The rich and diverse backgrounds of the three panellists  augured well for a healthy debate.  These were: Ms. Emily Auckland, Network Director at UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development (UKSSD); Dr. Jenneth Parker, Research Director at the Schumacher Institute; and Mr. Graham Petersen, secretary of the Greener Jobs Alliance.

Lynn Vickery
Dr Alex Mifsud

By means of her presentation, Is Brexit Side-lining the Sustainable Development Goals, Alex offered the audience a brief backgound to the approach adopted by the European Union in assisting its Member States in their implementation of the SDGs. She gave an overview of the various policies, financial and legal instruments of the EU that support each of the 17 SDGs. This was followed by a summary of the UK’s approach to the implementation of the SDGs, a role that has been assigned to the Department of International Development (DFID) wherby a shift in the political narrative was noted as a result of the ongoing Brexit uncertainty.  Alex listed the preliminary findings of the research which highlight a lack of visibility, awareness and understanding of the SDGs with Brexit obscuring the obligations of the UK to implement the SDGs as well as reducing the ability of all stakeholders and government to address the issues pertaining to the SDGs. Alex also spoke of the findings that show concerns about the loss of the EU legal framework on standards and policies that could serve as a key platform for UK to implement the SDGs. However, Alex mentioned the significant hope pinned to the fact that the SDGs could serve as a replacement to the legal and policy guarantees UK will lose as a result of exiting the EU. Research also uncovered the pressing sense of panic from all sectors across the UK of the risks and damage from a no deal Brexit and hence ended her presentation on a positive by emphasising the need for stakeholders and individuals to use the SDGs as a springboard for positive and constructive action in the midst of the political and economic uncertainy poised by Brexit. Indeed, can the SDG’s be seen as a key framework to be used across UK organisations to help guide the post Brexit decision making?

Lynn invited Emily to offer her views on the topic who expressed her belief that broadly speaking, the UK is not very good at coherence and systems thinking which explains why the country is not putting policies in place for the implementation of the SDGs. Emily also emphasised the need for stakeholders to fill this void by engaging more actively with the SDGs.

Graham informed those present that the international trade unions have made SDGs a priority which is encouraging. He also spoke about the concerns that Brexit could potentially see a reduction in employment laws and workers’ rights since the UK would be free to amend or even water down the rights and standards currently enjoyed by virtue of EU membership.

Jenneth spoke about the importance of systems thinking within the Brexit and SDGs context particularly since in her view, the UK is actively hostile to the SDGs due to its governance. She spoke of how Brexit is part of a wider agenda that aims to undermine the very values we hold so dear and which are reflected in the 17 SDGs by the United Nations.

A healthy and lively debate ensued with members of the audience touching upon how or whether the SDGs are interlinked to wealth management, climate emergency and labour conditions in some parts of Africa and India.

Informal discussions over some light refreshments brought the Round Table event to an end.

This blog was penned by Dr Alex Mifsud


London South Bank University’s Sustainability Research Group of the Centre for Social Justice and Global Responsibility in association with the London Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) will host a panel discussion on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the university (Room DC12/13 in the Clarence Centre) on Thursday 28 June 2018 from 5 to 6.30pm.


This event is free to attend but prior booking is required. EventBrite page:


Titled ‘The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): from Global to Local’, this insightful discussion on the role of the SDGS in supporting and promoting a more sustainable world feature three distinguished speakers:


Hilary Macleod (Environmental educator and consultant from Queensland, Australia): Has worked with a number of key global agencies including UNESCO.


Dr Katherine Eames (Senior Sustainability Project Officer at the Greater London Authority): Currently co-ordinates the pan-London Mayor’s Entrepreneur competition, which supports London’s students to come up with innovative solutions for London to reduce carbon emissions.


Dr Paul Vare (Senior Lecturer, Research Development, School of Education, University of Gloucestershire): Has extensive international experience in the field of sustainability and his research and teaching specialism is the area of education and sustainable development.


The discussion will be followed by a reception for networking.


Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)


The 17 SDGs that the 193 member states of the UN signed up to in 2015 are ambitious in scope and, when taken together, they represent a real opportunity to develop a global strategy for localities to fight poverty and global inequality, and to tackle climate change and protect the environment.


LSBU Sustainability Research Group


Launched in November 2017 and hosted by LSBU School of Law and Social Sciences, the Sustainability Research Group on Policy, Practice and Pedagogy aims to achieve sustainability through research, education and action.


The group will develop and promote research and action on sustainability as a new and emerging interdisciplinary area, drawing from the social sciences as well as other disciplinary landscapes in order to address the complex, real-world wicked problems of today, such as climate change,  global inequality, forced migration, biodiversity loss, social and environmental justice.


Framed within the context of UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and UNESCO’s Global Action Plan (GAP), the group’s work will be linked to the Centre for Social Justice and Global Responsibility at LSBU’s School of Law and Social Sciences.


Building on the work of the London Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), which is hosted at LSBU, the group will also link with the wider global RCE network of the UN University and UNESCO networks.


London Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)


In June 2009, London became the first capital city in Europe to become an RCE. Hosted at LSBU, the London Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is a learning community of practice and offers expertise on a range of ESD approaches developed by the London RCE partners and stakeholders for the benefit of Londoners and other places that experience the particular challenges that living in a global city brings. Particular issues include inequality of housing, air quality, employment and green space.


Note: Logos in the graphic are from respective websites.




EventBrite page:


LSBU Centre for Social Justice and Global Responsibility


London RCE (Regional Centre of Expertise) on ESD (Education for Sustainable Development)


UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Dr Hugh Atkinson, Senior Lecturer in Politics and Public Policy at LSBU and a Management Group member of the London RCE (Regional Centre of Expertise) on ESD (Education for Sustainable Development), conducted a double event of a seminar and a book launch at London South Bank University (LSBU) on 8 February 2018.

The seminar was on The USA and the Sustainable Development Goals, with a focus on challenges and opportunities. It ended with three questions:

  • Is it possible to do a new kind of economics?
  • Is sustainable economic growth a contradiction in terms?
  • Is population growth the elephant in the room?


The book launch unveiled Dr Atkinson’s latest book, The Politics of Climate Change under President Obama. Professor Patrick Bailey (Deputy Vice Chancellor and Chair of the Sustainability Steering Group LSBU) delivered the welcome speech. Talking about his book, Dr Atkinson placed the evolution of US policy within broader debates on the politics of climate change in the USA. He was optimistic, stating that there still exists a latent potential for America to act as a world leader on this issue.


The second meeting of the LSBU research group ‘SUSTAINABILITY: Policy, Practice and Pedagogy’ was held before this double event. RCE London is part of this group, which was launched in November 2017.


In January 2018, Lynn Vickery (Co-ordinator of the London RCE) met with Mr Ali Bukar Ahmad from RCE Kano on a London ‘stop-over’.

The outcome of that meeting is a possible collaboration with the African RCE Youth Network, RCE Penang, Malaysia to produce a ‘virtual’ conference to discuss how Education for Sustainable Development ESD can assist in mitigating the problems of and challenges of youth unemployment, climate change, TVET (Technical & Vocational Education & Training), entrepreneurship and other reasons that trigger mass migration to Europe.


The ‘virtual’ conference is proposed to be held at the end of April, 2018. Watch this space for more news in due course.


~by Lynn Vickery

A double event of a seminar and a book launch on Politics, Climate Change and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with a focus on the USA will take place at K2 building, Room V202, London South Bank University (LSBU) on Thursday 8 February 2018.


The seminar (3.30-4.30pm), titled ‘The USA and the Sustainable Development Goals – Challenges and Opportunities’, will be conducted by Dr Hugh Atkinson, Senior Lecturer in Politics and Public Policy at LSBU. He is also a tutor on the Education for Sustainability (EfS) programme at LSBU, a management group member of the London RCE (Regional Centre of Expertise) on ESD (Education for Sustainable Development) and an associate of LSBU’s Sustainability Research Group.


The book launch (5.00-7.00pm) will unveil Dr Atkinson’s latest book, The Politics of Climate Change under President Obama. Professor Patrick Bailey (Deputy Vice Chancellor and Chair of the Sustainability Steering Group LSBU) will deliver the welcome speech. The author’s introduction to the book will then follow. The event will close with a networking session with refreshments, wine and nibbles.


This book, published by Routledge, places the evolution of US policy within broader debates on the politics of climate change in the USA. It argues that there still exists a latent potential for America to act as a world leader on this issue.


The seminar and the book launch are open to public. If interested in attending one event or both, please email to for registration.


Professor Ros Wade Lynn Vickery


RCE London, London South Bank University (LSBU), 103 Borough Road, London SE1 0AA

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