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Staff in Action: Spotlight on Sam Adelman


Our academics are always busy getting involved in the wider world, sharing their research and trying to make an impact. Dr Sam Adelman is currently researching climate change and co-authoring a book on climate justice with emeritus professor Upendra Baxi. So what has he been up to recently?

Research Associate
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Sam has been appointed as research associate at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa until the end of 2020. He hopes to collaborate with colleagues in the Faculty of Law and further his research into climate-related issues such as fracking, a just transition from fossil fuels, and the drought in South Africa – the worst in a century.

Sam tell us “this appointment will enable me to extend my research on climate change and climate justice using South Africa as an example of the impacts of climatic harms on a country in the global South.” Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University is expected to join Warwick as a partner in the Law and Development Research Network ( in future.


Climate Change

Sam recently participated in a panel at the Edinburgh International Science Festival on ‘Climate Change: Is it time for Extreme Measures?’ A three-degree rise in global temperature is the current estimated 'tipping point', after which global warming could run out of control, leaving us powerless to intervene.

The Paris Agreement on climate change estimated that greenhouse gas emissions need to peak by 2020, which could be an improbable goal. Geoengineering, a deliberate large-scale intervention in the Earth's natural systems, for example injecting sun-blocking particles into the atmosphere, could be a plan B. But how feasible is such an ambitious project and how would it be regulated?

Dr Sam Adelman, along with Carbon Brief editor Leo Hickman and Dr Matthew Watson who led the SPICE (Stratospheric Particle Injection for Climate Engineering) Project discussed the act of geoengineering and its potential global impact.

An excellent turnout facilitated the discussion of an issue of increasing political and legal importance.


Along with Louis Kotzé (from North-West University, South Africa) Sam has made a successful application to the Oñati International Institute for the Sociology of Law, Spain to hold a workshop on

Climate Justice in the Anthropocene on 2-3 May 2019. There will be 15 participants involved from all over the world. “We are pleased that so many internationally renowned scholars will participate in the workshop.” Papers from the workshop will be published by the Institute. The participants will include world-renowned academics in the field of climate change and climate justice.

Congratulations to Sam on all his recent achievements and we look forward to seeing what the future holds for his research and impact on climate change.

Wed 25 April 2018, 09:35 | Tags: GLOBE Centre, Staff in action