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Topics and policy

Energy, environment and climate

It is a critical time for the state of the planet and human wellbeing.

The number of people living on the planet has never been higher, their levels of consumption are growing and changes are taking place in the environment.

Science can help us to understand these trends, what drives them, and how they might affect us in the future. Science can also uncover and develop solutions, from reducing our impact on the environment to making societies more resilient to changes.

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Our analysis and advice

  • UK science communiqué on climate change

    The Society was one of 24 of the UK’s Professional and Learned Societies that have endorsed this communiqué on climate change. 

    Read the communiqué

  • Climate change Q&A

    This is a short summary of a detailed discussion of climate change science. It is now more certain than ever, based on many lines of evidence, that humans are changing Earth’s climate.

    Download the short guide

  • Resilience to extreme weather

    ‘Resilience to extreme weather’ investigates key questions to help inform important decisions about adaptation and risk reduction that are being made at global, national and local levels.

    Read the report

  • Geoengineering the climate

    A report which provides a detailed assessment of the various methods of geoengineering the climate and considers the potential efficiency and unintended consequences they may pose.

    Download the report

  • Joint action on disasters, development and climate change

    Building on the Royal Society’s 2014 ‘Resilience to extreme weather’ report, this statement outlines the need to make international policy frameworks on disasters, development and climate change consistent and underpinned by science.

    Download the statement

  • Modeling Earth's Future

    A report produced with the National Academy of Sciences on integrated assessments of linked human-natural systems.

    Download the report

  • People and the Planet

    This project was a major study investigating the links between global population and consumption, and the implications for a finite planet.

    Read more about the project

  • Shale gas extraction

    A review conducted with the Royal Academy of Engineering of the scientific and engineering evidence of the risks associated with hydraulic fracturing as a means to extract shale gas.

    Read the full report

  • Solar radiation management: the governance of research

    A report by the Solar Radiation Management Governance Initiative (SRMGI) that reviews the different perspectives and governance possibilities related to Solar Radiation Management.

    Download the report

Also of interest

In Verba blog

Related events

Related events

Fellows working in this area

Professor Georgina Mace

Professor Georgina Mace’s research projects cover a range of topics that relate to the trends and consequences of biodiversity loss and ecosystem change.

She is Professor of Biodiversity and Ecosystems at University College, London and was awarded the International Cosmos Prize in 2007. Professor Mace chaired the Royal Society’s project ‘Resilience to extreme weather’.

Professor Eric Wolff

Professor Eric Wolff is a Royal Society Research Professor at the Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge.

He uses the chemical composition of ice cores to reveal the nature of Earth’s past climates and led the science group of the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica, which produced detailed climate records spanning back 800,000 years.