Using Investigative Methods to Account for Climate Change



Organised by:

University of Liverpool


Professor David Whyte and Richard Whittell


Intermediate (some prior knowledge)


Dr Billie-Gina Thomason


View in Google Maps  (E1 4NS)


Queen Mary University of London
Mile End Road
E1 4NS


* Please note that this is an in-person event that will be held at Queen Mary University of London *

Participants on this one-day training course, co-hosted by the Centre for Climate Crime and Climate Justice at Queen Mary University of London, will learn how to conduct research aimed at improving accountability for climate change.  The course will show participants how to generate data that is focussed on key actors in a particular geographic/industrial/economic context, and build a case study that they can use in their research project, or in a stand alone project.

The course will teach participants to navigate specialist secondary sources and apply investigative methods to produce unique analysis of responsible actors, the role they play in climate change and the benefits they gain from environmentally harmful practices.

By the end of the course participants will:

  • Be able to identify the range of actors with primary responsibility for climate change in a given geographic/industrial/economic context.
  • Gain knowledge of the key data sources on mechanisms of accountability for climate change and key data sources on the beneficiaries of climate change.
  • Analyse complex data in way that provide new insights into responsibility for climate change.
  • Learn how to effectively disseminate research findings on climate accountability.

Schedule of the Day

Part 1 (9.30-11): Identifying Accountability and Responsibility for Climate Change.  Part 1 of this training day will introduce participants to a range of actors with primary responsibility for climate change (states, corporations, investment organisations, individuals) and the harmful processes that they are responsible for.  It will outline how we might understand the role of different types of actors in the process of global warming, and how we might use different forms of data and a range of research methods to develop useful mechanisms of accountability for climate change.  In this part, participants will be expected to pick an actor that they will use to build a case study in subsequent sessions.

Part 2 (11.30-1). Researching Mechanisms of Accountability.  Part 2 will provide participants with the tools to research legal processes that seek to hold a range of actors (corporations, states and individuals) responsible for climate change.   It will explore the range of regulatory processes and outcomes of regulation targeted at controlling environmental harms in different jurisdictions, and will map out a range of sources of empirical data on environmental regulation, international arbitration and climate litigation. 

Part 3 (2-3.30):  Researching Climate Profits.  Part 3 will show participants how to analyse the actors (corporations, states and individuals) that profit the most from climate change.   It will provide the tools to enable participants to research the contemporary and historical role of  those actors and use a range of investigative techniques to ‘follow the money’. 

Part 4 (4-5.30): Dissemination Strategies.  Part 4 will be organised around a practical session on the presentation and dissemination of findings on the investigations completed in Parts 1-3.  It will show participants how to make their research newsworthy and how to write it up in a format that is accessible to a range of audiences.  It will provide insights into the key publication outlets for this types of research exercise and will provide training on how to pitch to those outlets successfully.

The course will run in room 306 or G7 but a delegate pack will be sent to you nearer the time with all of the information included. 


The fee per teaching day is: £35 per day for students registered at a University / £75 per day for staff working for academic institutions, Research Councils and other recognised research institutions, registered charity organisations and the public sector / £250 per day for all other participants. In the event of cancellation by the delegate a full refund of the course fee is available up to two weeks prior to the course. NO refunds are available after this date. If it is no longer possible to run a course due to circumstances beyond its control, NCRM reserves the right to cancel the course at its sole discretion at any time prior to the event. In this event every effort will be made to reschedule the course. If this is not possible or the new date is inconvenient a full refund of the course fee will be given. NCRM shall not be liable for any costs, losses or expenses that may be incurred as a result of its cancellation of a course, including but not limited to any travel or accommodation costs. The University of Southampton’s Online Store T&Cs also continue to apply.

Website and registration:


Greater London


Qualitative Comparative Analysis, Qualitative Approaches (other), Documentary research, analysis of official statistics, analysis of administrative data, analysis of secondary qualitative data

Related publications and presentations:

Qualitative Comparative Analysis
Qualitative Approaches (other)

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