Exploring the intersections of climate change and social justice in global communities.

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About the Institute

The focus of the University's new Institute for Climate and Social Justice is the intersections of climate change and social justice in global communities. Sex, gender, ‘race’ and socio-economic inequality and discrimination cut through many environmental issues confronting our planet, whether it is air pollution in London or drought in sub-Saharan Africa. Therefore, to be achieved, climate justice must be addressed intersectionally.


The Institute is committed to conscientising communities, producing knowledge and engaging in advocacy for policy change. Pedagogically, the Institute is committed to innovation in learning, including action-research methods, active collaborative classrooms, and risk-taking.

A hub for engagement and learning

The Institute is a critical space for students, staff and community members seeking to share information, impact public conversations, and engage in research. The Institute is particularly interested in dialogue with grassroots movements, practitioners and the private sector for collaboration and action. A programme of social action projects as well as both short and long courses is under development.

Research supervision

Enquiries for research supervision are welcome for interdisciplinary research projects seeking to make known the forces, ideologies, theologies and philosophies that sustain injustice and promote resistance and re-existence to environmental/social inequality. Find out more about Research Degrees at Winchester.

Recent events

29 November 2022: Prof. Robert Beckford as one of the Keynote Speakers at Race for Climate Justice, The Africa Centre, central London. Uniting climate activists from ethnic minority communities, faith leaders and people from climate organisations, this event aims to celebrate, connect and share learning around inclusive ways of creating an environment within the mainstream climate justice movement in which black and brown voices are valued and heard.

On 13 October 2022, we were honoured to welcome eminent climate scientist Professor Bill McGuire. In a talk titled Hothouse Earth: an inhabitant's guide, Prof. McGuire explained the science behind the climate crisis and presented a blunt picture of the sort of world our children will grow old in and our grandchildren grow up in.

"The next ice age has probably been postponed", Prof. McGuire told his audience of staff, students and members of the public. "Even though we were well on our way to the next one." The climate scientist discussed devastating effects such as dramatic sea level rise, tsunamis, landslides and the possible shutting down of the already weak AMOC (Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, a system of ocean currents), which would cause cooling and sea level rise in the Northern Hemisphere. He also highlighted social effects such as increased conflict and war, famine and forced migration as vast areas of low-lying land become submerged.

"Climate scientists don't shout loudly enough and politicians don't want to know", he said, urging people suffering from climate anxiety to become climate activists and swell the grassroots ranks calling for urgent action.

Climate scientist Professor Bill McGuire and Professor Robert Beckford, Director of the University of Winchester Institute for Climate and Social Justice

climate scientist Professor Bill McGuire and ICSJ Director Prof. Robert Beckford

On 2 October 2022, Prof. Beckford was a guest speaker at the Rally for the Earth event at Winchester Cathedral, as part of Winchester Green Week. Find out more about Winchester Green Week and Rally for the Earth.


The ICSJ led on our student engagement with COP26, the crucial climate summit in Glasgow in November 2021. Three students travelled to Glasgow along with ICSJ Director Prof. Robert Beckford, to add their voices to the growing chorus calling for urgent action on climate change. Prof. Beckford also took part in a major climate engagement event in Glasgow Cathedral, alongside the Kingdom Choir and former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams. To find out more about the University's response to COP26, explore the COP26 webpage.

Contact the Institute

Professor Robert Beckford, Director

Background image by Callum Shaw on Unsplash