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Dr Pete Walton is a Knowledge Exchange Research Fellow based in UKCIP, where he is responsible for developing and supporting knowledge exchange opportunities with external stakeholders on behalf of the Oxford Climate Research Network.

Please could you write a short summary of your research?

My research is primarily on examining and supporting stakeholder engagement with climate change adaptation science, with a particular focus on the use and understanding of the emerging science of extreme weather event attribution. Although largely focused on the global north, my research has also included India and East Africa.

Why is Oxford a good place to work in research related to environmental challenges?

Oxford University provides leadership in interdisciplinary climate research to respond to society’s most pressing knowledge gaps and policy challenges at all scales.

Research activities connect climate risk and global environmental change to technological and institutional innovations to promote security for people, ecosystems and economic growth. Research themes span multiple disciplines from engineering and earth science to policy, politics, economics and geography. In partnership with UK and international research agencies, governments and business, Oxford delivers research excellence and impact.

What is the biggest environmental challenge facing the planet right now?

The biggest environmental challenge the planet is facing right now is by far climate change, as it impacts every facet of the social and natural worlds.

Despite the challenges, are you optimistic about our future?  

We have to remain optimistic about the future, for me there is no alternative. However, whilst being optimistic I believe we have to be realistic in what we can expect to achieve in the necessary timeframes given the advancement of technology around carbon capture and storage and the political will that is needed to drive substantial change. We will get there I am sure of it, but I also believe we have to expect the impacts of climate change such as biodiversity loss and extreme weather events to continue for some time to come.

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