Looking back on 2023 at the Degrees Initiative

Beginning fresh in 2024, we decided to take a moment to look back on what we have achieved over the last year. 2023 took us around the world from Istanbul to Mexico City to Kigali, building a global community through workshops, events, and research funding. We’ve also supported our scientists to attend and present their work at workshops and conferences–such as at GeoMIP, and the World Climate Research Program’s Open Science Conference.  

In early 2023, we announced a doubling of funding for SRM research in the Global South, and just last month, we launched the world’s first grant programme for SRM research in social sciences in developing countries. We’re expecting to announce the inaugural projects in the coming months. 

In February we held a convening at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center in Italy, bringing together 20 climate experts from Global South and North to plan how best to accelerate our mission to put developing countries at the centre of SRM evaluation. 

Degrees-funded teams published seven new papers last year. This research explored the impacts of SRM on areas such as monsoon and sea surface temperature in West Africa, cocoa production in Nigeria, and rainfall in Southeast Asia. Impressively, one of the seven published papers was written by masters graduate, Trisha Patel, off the back of her thesis, with the support of researchers on the South Africa 2018 team.  

Closer to home, the Degrees team has continued to grow and has doubled in size in the last year. While we welcomed two new members and a new Chair to our Board of Trustees, we bid farewell and thanks to outgoing chair John Shepherd, and we mourned the sad loss of our friend and colleague Saleemul Huq–one of the giants of global climate policy. 

The impacts of climate change are pushing climate risk mitigation strategies up the agenda, and it is more important than ever that the Global South is central to the evolving conversation around SRM. We’re looking forward to continuing to work with scientists and collaborators in 2024 as we strive towards this goal. 

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