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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. Find out more about the Society’s work exploring changes and how they might affect us in the future.

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Reports and publications

Read or download all our reports, publications and consultation responses.

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Climate updates

Climate updates describes how our understanding of the science of climate change, and its impacts, have progressed since the fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the IPCC

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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.

    Explore 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

  • GM plants: questions and answers

    Explore information about genetically modified (GM) plants, with answers to 18 questions by expert independent scientists and an animation on the basic science of GM.

    Find out more

  • 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

  • Observing the earth

    Observing the Earth - Expert views on environmental observation for the UK.

    Read the report

  • 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

Fellows working in this area

  • Dame Georgina Mace DBE FRS

    Elected 2002

  • Dame Georgina Mace DBE FRS

    • Fellow
    • Elected: 2002
    • Professor of Biodiversity and Ecosystems, Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, University College London (UCL)

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.