UK Future Earth

About Future Earth

Future Earth is a global research platform designed to provide the knowledge needed to support effective transformations towards sustainability. Future Earth seeks to build and connect knowledge in order to increase the impact of research, to explore new development paths, and to find new ways to accelerate durable transitions to sustainable development. The ten-year programme brings together existing international programmes and projects working on global environmental change and sustainable development, with the aim of enabling more integrated science and a deeper engagement with societal partners and early career academics in the production of actionable knowledge.

Global change projects and networks play a number of different roles: coordinating scientific research; agenda-setting in interdisciplinary science; communicating about global change and possible solutions; capability development; and engaging with global assessments and policy. As global sustainable development becomes more urgent, the need for more connected and credible research right through to the local levels of day-to-day living is even more important. The UK has always played a key role in this, and should further increase its contribution through Future Earth.

UK Future Earth has been set up to:

  1. Provide a discussion platform for all the relevant communities engaged with Future Earth in the UK (academics, policymakers, NGOs, business, and community organisations for example)
  2. Develop priorities for UK engagement with Future Earth aiming to have a role in agenda-setting, co-producing, awareness-raising, and solutions disseminating
  3. Help to foster effective engagement with key actors and organisations locally, nationally and internationally


The membership of the Committee shall comprise: 

(a) One person nominated by each of the following bodies:

  • The Academy of Medical Sciences
  • The British Academy
  • The Royal Academy of Engineering
  • The Royal Irish Academy
  • The Royal Society
  • The Royal Society of Edinburgh

(b) The Chief Scientific Adviser of each of the following government departments:

  • Department of Energy and Climate Change
  • Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
  • Department for International Development

(c) The Chief Executives of each of the following Research Councils:

  • Economic & Social Research Council
  • Natural Environment Research Council

(d) Up to five co-opted members who have appropriate expertise and experience drawn from relevant constituencies, e.g. business and industry, civil society and NGOs, and early career academics.

(e) A Chair with appropriate expertise and experience. If at any point the Committee feels it is necessary it may elect a Deputy Chair(s).


The Future Earth Europe and the Future Earth Science Committee may each send one representative as an observer to a meeting of the Committee.

Early Career Researchers

Further information on opportunities for early career researchers to get involved in Future Earth activities will be available soon. This will include an Autumn event to be held at the British Academy. Please email if you would like to be informed when available. 

News and events

Read our blog post on Future Earth

Natural Resources and Human Health

This workshop was a contribution to UK Future Earth, organised under the auspices of the Royal Society’s Global Environment Research Committee (GERC).  The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were identified as a useful framework to structure consideration of the global challenges at this nexus of human health and natural resources in a more integrated way.  

Read the report (PDF)

Blue Oceans, Green Cities meeting October 2016

This workshop was a contribution to UK Future Earth, organised under the auspices of the Royal Society’s Global Environment Research Committee (GERC). Issues considered by delegates included UK interdisciplinary research priorities in global change research, and how the UK global change research fits into the wider international sustainability /environment agenda.

Read the meeting report (PDF).

Town Hall meeting June 2013

The Royal Society and the British Academy hosted a UK Town Hall Meeting on Friday 21 June 2013 for researchers and stakeholders to discover more about the new Future Earth initiative established by the Science and Technology Alliance for Global Sustainability. 

Read a summary report of the meeting.


The International Council for Science (ICSU)

International Social Science Council (ISSC)

British Academy

Royal Academy of Engineering

Academy of Medical Sciences

Future Earth Europe

Future Earth

Social media

Twitter: @future earth

Contact: For further information on UK Future Earth please email