Two pairs of hands holding a grass earth

Loughborough-led climate programme receives £57m funding boost

A Loughborough University led climate programme will continue to carry out “transformative” work until 2030 – after receiving a £57m boost from the UK government.

The Climate Compatible Growth (CCG) programme, led by the Sustainable Transitions: Energy, Environment and Resilience Centre (STEER), within Loughborough’s School of Social Sciences and Humanities, has been granted a five-year extension – having originally been due to end in Spring 2025.  

The government described the funding of Overseas Development Aid as a way to “accelerate the roll-out of improved, climate resilient infrastructure in developing countries. It will provide even more countries across sub-Saharan Africa and Asia with the UK expertise needed to support improved, climate resilient infrastructure.” 

Professor Mark Howells, Director of CCG commented: "The extension of the Climate Compatible Growth programme to 2030, empowers lower- and middle-income countries in sub-Saharan Africa and the Global South to use their universities to cultivate the skilled workforce essential for accelerating sustainable economic growth.  Together our work not only supports governments in transforming data into impactful infrastructure deals but also helps them to unlock significant market opportunities from within their countries, mobilizing billions in finance to accelerate inclusive economic growth out of poverty.”

Professor Dan Parsons, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation added: “We at Loughborough University are delighted to see the Climate Compatible Growth programme extended to 2030 and expanded to nine partner countries. CCG is one of the University’s flagship projects in terms of its world-leading research and contributions to addressing global challenges associated with climate change.  

“We are immensely proud of our leadership of the CCG programme here at Loughborough, which is a large and complex international partnership of global universities and a range of international institutions. Our leadership is coordinated by Professor Mark Howells and a dedicated team in our dynamic Research Centre for Sustainable Transitions: Energy, Environment and Resilience (STEER).

“The work of the team is leading to transformative and innovative approaches that unlock finance that drives investment in infrastructure across countries in the global south. These include investments in, for example, electricity networks, grid decarbonisation, and low carbon transport. These investments ultimately improve lives and livelihoods and are a catalyst for reducing inequalities and tackling poverty in thousands of communities. These transformations will help millions of people do the things so many of us take for granted - such as having access to healthcare and schooling, through to being able to start a business or look for opportunities in other parts of their country. I very much look forward to working with the team and supporting their incredibly impactful programme.”

CCG began as a £38m programme supporting investment in sustainable energy and transport systems to meet development priorities in the global south.  

Working with national and international research partners, including the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge and Imperial College London, CCG will deliver the economic tools and decision support frameworks needed to make green transitions possible in countries in the Global South – with Nepal and Malawi being added to the project’s six partner countries.

Partners for the project include Oxford University, Cambridge University, Imperial College, University College London, Open University, Strathclyde University, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Centre for Global Equality & the Climate Parliament.

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 24/80

Mark Howells is Professor of Systems Analysis for Sustainable Development in Geography & Environment, and Joint-Director of the Loughborough Centre for Sustainable Transitions: Energy, Environment and Resilience (STEER) where he leads the FCDO-funded Climate Compatible Growth (CCG) programme.

STEER’s mission is to accelerate the transition to inclusive, sustainable and resilient energy systems through innovative research, analysis and capacity building.

STEER run two Masters courses MA Climate Change Politics and Policy and MSc Climate Change Science and Management.

Keep up-to-date with STEER @LboroSTEER and CCG @ResearchCCG

About Loughborough University

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme and named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2024 QS World University Rankings – the eighth year running.

Loughborough is ranked 6th in The UK Complete University Guide 2025, 10th in the Guardian University League Table 2024 and 10th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’, and in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 over 90% of its research was rated as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally-excellent’. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.