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Climate Emergency

The climate is in crisis. As a university community we recognise this

This guide will direct you to a range of resources that can help you learn more about the climate emergency. It includes book recommendations, podcasts, and a list of databases. It moves between the scientific and the social - as this crisis sits squarely at the intersection between the two. 

With this in mind, this is a subject relevant to everyone - no matter what you study. Hopefully you can find academic content to suit your needs, but also content that will help you consider the challenges of living through climate crisis more generally, and how you can take action in the face of eco-anxiety.

This guide was compiled by Maddie Cayley, a recent Geography graduate, as part of an internship with the Library Academic Support team. 

The Sustainable Development Goals

See also:

UN Climate Action 

The site is great for finding resources about global action and things you can do to take action in the face of climate crisis. 

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

The United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change. 

World Bank Group Climate Change Action Plan 2021–2025

"Supporting green, resilient, and inclusive development"

Academic and Nonfiction Reading

Resource List available - here 


We know there are endless books that are relevant to this subject. If you think we're missing something great, please use this link to make a recommendation!



Environmental Issues Online

Multimedia materials (text, archival primary sources, video and audio) around key environmental challenges, including climate change, water/air pollution, etc. Specific environmental case studies enable study of particular problems and how solutions have been created (or not created) in globally scale-able ways. Each case study includes published text, films, documentaries, government reports, NGO publications, monographs, regulations debates, contextualising resources, and archival primary sources, putting each case in its historical context.

Very Short Introductions 

Online version of Oxford University Press Very Short Introductions series. Written by experts in the field they offer a bridge between reference content and higher academic work. Launched by Oxford University Press in 1995, Very Short Introductions offer concise introductions to a diverse range of subjects from Climate to Consciousness, Game Theory to Ancient Warfare, Privacy to Islamic History, and Economics to Literary Theory. Since the series was launched it has continued to offer new books each year for students and scholars, offering a bridge between reference content and higher academic work. All titles provide intelligent and serious introductions to a range of subjects, written by experts in the field who combine facts, analysis, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make challenging topics highly readable. 

Wiley Digital Archives - The New York Academy of Sciences

This collection of digitised primary sources provides access to two hundred years of scientific research and progress in the fields of natural history, natural sciences, medical research, climate science, civil and human rights, education in the sciences, and more. Accessible through the Wiley Digital Archives platform, The New York Academy of Sciences Collection contains an extensive body of diverse and interdisciplinary original materials, including correspondence, fieldwork, gray literature, personal papers, photographs, and proceedings. A core mission of the New York Academy of Sciences is to drive innovative solutions to society's challenges by advancing scientific research, education and policy.


Abstract and citation database containing both peer-reviewed research literature and quality web sources. Contains over 16 million author profiles, 70,000 institutional profiles, 5000 publishers, 70 million records, 1.4 billion cited references, covers over 20,000 journals from health, life, physical and social sciences and the humanities. Coverage: For some subject areas, from 1788 onwards. 

Web of Science

Citations and abstracts to millions of journal articles and conference proceedings from all subjects. 

Climate Change and Law Collection

This comprehensive collection of climate change and law documents contains original source, non-edited and non-redacted “grey literature” (non-peer reviewed) in English, centred on climate change and the law. Incorporated in the category of ‘law’ is any discipline of law which addressed climate change, including corporate law, environmental law and human rights law. Materials in the collection originate from a wide range of organisations in the public and private sector, institutions, and/or individuals, world-wide.


A web mapping and online data delivery service developed by the EDINA national data centre for UK academia. It offers a range of on-line mapping and data download facilities which provide maps and spatial data from Ordnance Survey, British Geological Survey, Landmark Information Group and SeaZone Ltd.

JSTOR Sustainability

Discover a wide range of journals, ebooks, and more than 5,400 Open Access research reports in the field of sustainability. The subjects of resilience and sustainability are explored broadly, covering research on environmental stresses and their impact on society.

The Sir Charles Lyell Collection

Sir Charles Lyell (1797-1875) was arguably the greatest public figure in science of the mid-nineteenth century.  The Sir Charles Lyell Collection is made up of a number of constituent collections which have been brought together at the University of Edinburgh over a span of nearly 100 years.  All together these form one of the most comprehensive collections relating to nineteenth century science in the world. This unique and internationally significant collection is the subject of a transformative access and engagement programme which will ensure that the collection is preserved, cared for and made accessible to all. 

Other Sources

The British Library has compiled a guide that highlights sources from the Library's collection on the subject of climate change. 

British Library collection items: climate change



Fiction and Creative Writing

Find reading ideas for when you want to consider the climate crisis outside of an academic context. The climate crisis is a social and cultural issue as well as a scientific one, and turning to fiction can help us explore multiple perspectives - beyond the here and now of our immediate reality. 


Resource List available - here 


The Meadows at sunset

Many people come to experience eco-anxiety when confronting the immense challenges presented by climate change. This anxiety can stem from both the realities we see and intangible fears for the future.  

Explore these articles from the university community:

How to cope with eco-anxiety

The rise of eco-anxiety

How spirituality helped my eco-anxiety

Taking Action: At the University and Beyond

At the University

One great way to combat eco-anxiety is by taking action. There are so many ways to take action individually, through lifestyle changes, but there are also lots of ways to immerse yourself in community activism within the university.  

Social Responsibility and Sustainability at the university:



EUSA Societies:

So many societies at the university are thinking about sustainability. Here are some ideas to get you started... 


In the City

Local groups to get involved with:

Re-fill shops:

Zero waste shopping is a great way to make your lifestyle more sustainable. Edinburgh is lucky to have a number of plastic free, zero waste shopping options. Hopefully you can find one near you!

  • The New Leaf Co-op - 23 Argyle Place (Marchmont)
  • The Refillery - 39 Newington Road (near Pollock), 119b/c St. John's Road (Corstorphine) and Unit 1, Waverley Market (Waverley Bridge).
  • Real Foods - 37 Broughton Street (New Town) and 8 Brougham Street (Tollcross)
  • Weigh to Go - 27 Crighton Place (Leith Walk)

Finding Library Resources - DiscoverEd


Use DiscoverEd to find books, ebooks, journals, ejournals and more. Sign into your Library account using your University Login to manage your loans and requests.

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