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Research activity

ECCI is a physical and virtual hub for climate change research, skills, knowledge exchange and innovation.

We collaborate with governments, business and academics to help facilitate interdisciplinary interactions across natural and social sciences, guiding research and its translation to promote a just and resilient transition to the post-carbon world.

We harness academic staff expertise from across the University of Edinburgh and beyond, influencing and shaping its development towards impact.

Our team members play key roles in initiatives like Place-Based Climate Action Network (PCAN), the Edinburgh Earth and Environment Doctoral Training Partnership and SAGES (the Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment and Society).

We’re also the base for and jointly manage ClimateXChange, Scotland's centre of expertise on climate change and the Sustainable Scotland Network (SSN), Scotland’s largest network of public sector sustainability professionals.

Recent research activity

Journal Publications


  • An overview of the Scottish Climate Change Plan update (February 2021) - In this blog Jonathan Bowes, ClimateXChange Research Fellow, gives an overview of the Scottish Climate Change Plan update.
  • New Climate Projections Summary for Scotland (January 2021) - Adaptation Scotland has published a new climate projections summary, providing an overview for Scotland of the most up to date UK Met Office Climate Projections.
  • Principles for a Scottish Green Recovery (September 2020) - this blog sets out the key points from CXC policy director Professor Dave Reay’s response to the Scottish Parliament’s Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee called for views on the principles that should underpin a green recovery.
  • How is Scotland progressing towards net-zero? (July 2020) - In this blog CXC Policy Director Dave Reay and Programme Manager Dan Barlow look at the implications for climate change policy.
  • Bravo Net Zero? (July 2020) - Confused by the term ‘net zero’? In this blog ECCI Director and CXC Policy Director Dave Reay looks at what it means, and why the concept is central in our climate change efforts.
  • Covid-19 and climate change (April 2020) - With mounting pressure on pedestrian infrastructure in cities, this blog explores some of the ways in which citizens and governments are making space for people in towns and cities and question what this means for the future of urban travel. By Alice Creasy, Network Analyst with the Place-Based Climate Action Network (PCAN).
  • Can climate commissions own a city's future? (December 2019) - By Dr Matthew Lane, post-doctoral researcher in urban climate governance at the University of Edinburgh, School of Geosciences and lead on the recently established PCAN Ethnography working group.

Research Projects

  • 20 minute neighbourhoods in a Scottish context (March 2021) - This ClimateXChange research considers the ambition for 20 minute neighbourhoods in Scotland, taking account of the differing settlement patterns across the country, and to highlight interventions that would support delivery. Read more.
  • A review of heat decarbonisation policies in Europe (March 2021) - Decarbonising how we heat our buildings is a significant challenge for climate policy. This ClimateXChange report reviews the heating technologies and heat policies of nine European countries: the UK (with a focus on Scotland), the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, France, Germany and Ireland. It sets out in detail the policy instruments – financial incentives, regulations and tax structures – that are used to drive countries toward zero-carbon heating. Where available, we also present information on how each country is developing policies and targets for the decarbonisation of heating. Read more.
  • Using satellite data to help quantify Scottish greenhouse gas emissions (February 2021)- At present, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for Scotland are published annually, approximately 18 months after the period to which they relate. The current approach combines annual production and usage statistics with estimates of how much carbon is emitted per unit measure of production and usage. An alternative approach is to look to the atmosphere. This study examines how satellite observations of the atmosphere could be used to build on existing modelling efforts and report GHG emissions well in advance of the present estimates. Read more.
  • A Net Zero Carbon Roadmap for Edinburgh (December 2020) - Co-produced by Place-based Climate Action Network and Carbon Management MSc alum Robert Williamson, with an introduction by ECCI’s Head of Innovation and Skills, Jamie Brogan. Find out more about the Road Map.
  • Wood in construction, a policy and data summary (October 2020) - This report provides a policy background and information on carbon emissions and sequestration in the construction industry, along with recommendations for policy. By Dr. Renée Kerkvliet-Hermans, as part of a SAGES policy internship working with Landscapes as Carbon Sinks at the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI), Centre for Sustainable Forests and Landscapes (CSFL) and Climate-KIC.

Postgraduate Student Dissertations

Masters programmes

We host a range of postgraduate courses at ECCI, designed to help build a low carbon society. Our hub is home to around 200 Masters students, studying everything from carbon management to environmental sustainability. The online Carbon Management MSc is a ground-breaking development of our award-winning campus-based programme.

Meet the team

Find out more about our in-house experts, and what they do at ECCI.