Dr Harriet Thew

Dr Harriet Thew


Since 2014, I have taught MSc students as a Graduate Teaching Associate in the Sustainability Research Institute, School of Earth and Environment. 

In 2020, I was awarded a UKRI “COP26” Fellowship to explore climate change education, training and skills development for young people ahead of the 26th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Research interests

My research interests include:

  • Non-state actor participation in global governance
  • Climate policy, particularly the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
  • Normative aspects of participation including, justice, legitimacy and representation.
  • Education for Sustainable Development
  • Climate change education, training, communication and outreach

I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, an Earth Systems Governance Research Fellow; Early Career Researcher Representative for the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) Climate Change Research Group and a member of the University of Leeds’ COP26 Task Force.

I am also affiliated with the Centre for Climate Change, Economics and Policy (CCCEP), Priestley Centre and am a member of the Social and Political Dimensions of Sustainability Research Group, University of Leeds.

Professional Background

Prior to joining the University of Leeds, I managed the Global Environment Programme for the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, coordinating international environmental education and outreach projects across 145 countries and advocating for the rights of women and youth at UN conferences on climate change and sustainable development, including Rio+20. My early career included project management and stakeholder engagement roles in climate change adaptation and flood risk management for the UK Environment Agency and delivering teacher CPD for the Climate Change Schools Project, based at the Science Learning Centre North East.

I have been closely following the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change since 2012, tracking the negotiations, advocating for and speaking as an invited expert on Article 6 of the Convention/Action for Climate Empowerment on: Climate Change Education, Training, Public Participation, Public Awareness, Public Access to Information and international co-operation. I am also interested in capacity building and the participation of Non-State Actors, particularly youth, in climate change policies and programmes. Ongoing engagement in global governance processes informs both my research and my teaching.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD, Youth Participation in the UN Climate Change Negotiations (completed 2020)
  • MSc, Sustainability: Environment and Development, University of Leeds (Distinction)
  • BA (hons), History, University of Leicester (2:1)

Student education

As a Graduate Teaching Associate in the Sustainability Research Institute (SRI) I support the planning, delivery and evaluation of the following Masters Programmes:

I teach on the following MSc modules:

  • Research Project
  • Research Methods
  • Introduction to Sustainability
  • Environmental Policy and Governance
  • Environment-Development Overseas Field Course

I also manage the Personal Development module for all MSc students in the Sustainability Research Institute which addresses students' academic, employability and well-being related needs.


Research groups and institutes

  • Social and Political Dimensions of Sustainability