In March 2020 I joined WWF-UK to work with their Climate Change Team. With the world now in a climate emergency, the team’s primary objective is to influence UK and international policy makers on areas related to the crisis. This includes green energy, nature based solutions and pushing for the UK to be an ambitious leader in reducing CO2 emissions to net-zero by 2050. The team work closely with scientific experts, businesses and campaign specialists to develop an evidence base which they take to both public and political audiences.
My time at WWF coincided with the UK lockdown in response to COVID-19. As a result, after a week based at their offices in Woking with trips into London for meetings and a team away day in Cambridge, the remainder of my 3 month placement was spent working from home. However, this didn’t limit the work that I was able to get involved with. I was invited to help on a number of projects including an inquiry into polar oil and gas exploration, translating marine policy into educational material for an app and an evidence search on fiscal policy in response to the economic collapse. I was also asked to write a number of policy briefings that the WWF use to form their position on a particular area. One of these was on the use of Hydrogen as an energy source, a topic which has received a surge of interest in recent months. This work required thorough research on Hydrogen production, its possible applications and current UK policy. With this, I had the opportunity to join meetings with the international WWF network, allowing me to see how WWF-UK’s position compared to other countries. Finally, given the timing of my placement, I was also fortunate to witness WWF-UK’s response to COVID-19 and the economic crisis. As they now campaign for a green recovery that builds in resilience towards future challenges (including climate change) it was fascinating to join meetings and watch WWF-UK adapt, plan and rally for change.
My placement at WWF has given me an insight into how an environmental non-governmental organisation works, working within the ‘green NGO space’ to advocate their position on climate change and call for action. The placement also gave me a chance to see how policy makers make use of the science and has given me a new perspective to my own research.