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The 26th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will be held under the presidency of the UK government in Glasgow, from 1st to 12th November 2021.


Durham Energy Institute and its partners will be using the run-up to COP26 to highlight the importance of decarbonising heat to meet the goals of the conference.


If we are to reduce carbon emissions by 2050 we need to decarbonise heating and cooling, which is one of the most difficult areas to decarbonise.

The energy used to heat the spaces we live and work in is one of the highest contributors to our individual carbon footprints. Globally, heat accounts for nearly half of all energy consumption and 40% of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions.

In the UK, Heating is one of the largest contributors to the UK’s carbon emissions, representing 1/3 of all emissions. 

Nearly 13 per cent of greenhouse gases in the UK result specifically from home heating using fossil fuels, a similar level to emissions from cars.

In the UK we currently import more than half of the gas we use in UK. This raises concerns about climate change and future energy security. The UK is dependent on imported gas.

In order to become self-sufficient, energy secure and meet our carbon goals we need to invest in the decarbonising heat systems.

Decarbonising Heat - How can we solve this difficult challenge?

Find out about why decarbonising heat is so importnat and some of the innovations which are being developed to address this challenge!

Watch the series of films by DEI researchers and our partners about innovations to decarbonise heat.

Prof Jon Gluyas introduction to the COP26 decarbonising heat campaign films.

An introduction to this series of mini films from DEI & our partners around the globe, on the decarbonising heat challenge and solutions available.
Jon Gluyas

Reclaiming waste heat from hard to tackle areas.

London South Bank University research on reclaiming waste heat from data centres, industry & other areas. #Geothermal Energy beneath our feet Data
LSBU Heating and cooling team Akos

How Pakistan is tackling the Decarbonisation challenge

Muhammad Faisal Sharif explains Pakistan's commitment to decarbonise heating despite being a low-income country with one of the lowest GHG emissions.
Muhammad Faisal Sharif Durham Alumni and Commonwealth Scholar

Drilling for Geothermal Energy in Gateshead, North East England.

In this film we hear from Professor Jon Gluyas, Director of Durham Energy Institute about geothermal energy from mine water as one promising solution.
Jon Gluyas COP Decarbonising Heat Film title

Geothermal heat from water in flooded abandoned mines

We hear from Dr Charlotte Adams, The Coal Authority, UK. Disused mining infrastructure should be seen as an asset to help decarbonise heat.
Charlotte Adams

Geothermal Energy from Mines and Solar-Geothermal Heat

GEMS is a new project led by DEI to explore the technical, social, and financial solutions needed to use mine water heat as a sustainable heat source.
GEMS Geothermal Energy from Mines and Solar logo

A view from Northern Ireland on Geothermal energy

Joseph Ireland, a PhD student from QUADRAT, highlights in Northern Ireland 50% of total energy consumption is for heat. Is Geothermal the answer?
Joseph Ireland QUADRAT Geothermal PhD student

Geothermal energy can provide green jobs and income for UK.

Helen Goodman, former MP of Bishop Auckland, argues geothermal energy from water in abandoned mines can bring clean, safe energy as well as green jobs
Helen Goodman

Roll-out of Deep Geothermal Energy in North-West Europe

Martin Arndt of Geological Survey of North Rhine-Westphalia (GD NRW) explains why deep geothermal could be the answer for North-West Europe.
Martin Arndt DGE Rollout Interreg

Geobattery concept

GeoBattery Concept: a circular heat network utilising legacy mineworkings to store and transport heat to ensure sustainable ground source heat pumps.
Edinburgh University and ECUS ltd logos for geobattery concept

Durham Heat Hub - bringing people together to change the way we use heat.

Jacki Bell manager of Durham Heat Hub tells us how they are helping the transition to a low carbon future.
Jacki Bell

Success of decarbonisation depends on education to drive a change in mindset and social practices.

Pedro Jacobi from Institute of Energy and Environment, São Paulo University, highlights the success of #Decarbonisation & COP26 depends on education.
Pedro Jacobi Sao Paulo University Decarbonising