UK-CHINA: Climate change collaboration

Fudan University in Shanghai has established a Chinese hub of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in what it describes as "a significant and long-lasting partnership" with the University of East Anglia.

The new Tyndall Centre Fudan will unite the research and teaching strength of two leading institutions to explore potential answers to climate change.

The Fudan and Tyndall Centre in Britain will research the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors of the economy and explore how to adapt people and places to the impacts of climate change. The new initiative will involve reciprocal teaching, joint research and knowledge transfer.

The Tyndall Centre UK brings together scientists, economists, engineers and social scientists, who work to develop sustainable responses to climate change through trans-disciplinary research and dialogue at national and international levels. And not just within the research community but also with business leaders, policy advisers, the media and the public in general

A collaboration agreement was co-signed by Fudan President Professor Academician Yang Yuliang and EUA Vice-chancellor Professor Edward Acton, officially marking the beginning of this new chapter in UK-China university alliances.

"Tyndall Centre Fudan is a great opportunity to further transform Fudan University into a world-leading and global institution," Yang said.

Professor Trevor Davies, Pro-Vice-chancellor for research and knowledge transfer at UEA said the collaboration was "transformational for the Tyndall Centre and Fudan sees it as potentially transformational for China". Davies will be the Director of Strategy for Tyndall Centre Fudan.

Fudan is a major university, one of the top three of 2,000 universities in China. It enrols 45,000 students in one of the world's mega-cities and has achieved excellence in many academic disciplines.

UEA says it is rated just after Harvard and Princeton for its environmental science publications over the past 10 years, according to the Thomson Reuters Essential Science Indicators 2009, and Norwich where the university is located has the fourth greatest concentration of the most highly published researchers in the UK, after London, Oxford and Cambridge.

The university says its Tyndall Centre "has developed an outstanding international reputation for its research into sustainable options for climate change, and for providing an independent evidence-base to UK, EU and international policy makers".

"The Tyndall Centre is regarded internationally as an exemplar of the type of deeply interdisciplinary research which is needed to rise to the challenge of climate change, as well as being a model of cooperation between universities," the university said in a statement.

Founded in 2000 and led by UEA, the centre comprises a partnership of the universities of Manchester, Oxford, Sussex, Newcastle, Southampton and Cambridge. A reciprocal launch in Shanghai of Tyndall Centre Fudan will take place later this year.

In addition to the research collaboration, UEA will help Fudan build an exemplar low energy building on Fudan's new campus that will be the home of the centre.

"UEA has been at the forefront of low carbon campus buildings since it built its first in 1994, then described by the Chartered Institute of Building Service Engineers as 'the best building ever'," the university statement said. "UEA powers its buildings with efficient heating and cooling and this year built a biomass power station to provide electricity to the campus."