School of Earth and Environment

Harriet Thew Harriet Thew

Teaching Assistant / Postgraduate Researcher

Email address:
Room: 9.124 b

Affiliation: Sustainability Research Institute


I am studying for a PhD in the Sustainability Research Institute. My research focuses on youth participation in climate change decision making, further details of which are given below.

As a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Sustainability Research Institute (SRI) I also support the delivery of the following Masters Programmes:

Prior to joining the School of Earth and Environment I managed the global environment programme for the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, coordinating several large international climate change education, outreach and advocacy projects. My early career also included project management and stakeholder engagement roles with a focus on climate change adaptation and flood risk for the UK Environment Agency and the Climate Change Schools Project.

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: 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 women and youth, in climate change policies and programmes. Ongoing engagement in climate change governance processes informs both my research and my teaching.




MSc Sustainability: Environment and Development with Distinction. University of Leeds (2013 - 14).

BA History (hons) 2:1. University of Leicester (2003 - 2007).


Climate Change Adaptation Group, University of Leeds

Social and Political Dimensions of Sustainability Research Group, University of Leeds

Research Interests

  • Youth participation in climate change decision making
  • Climate policy and governance, particularly the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
  • Intergenerational justice
  • Fair climate change adaptation
  • Education for Sustainable Development, Climate Change Education, outreach and stakeholder engagement.

Teaching Interests

I support teaching on the following MSc modules:

  • SOEE5020M Research Project
  • SOEE5281M Introduction to Sustainability
  • SOEE5472M Environmental Policy and Governance
  • SOEE5483M Critical perspectives in Environment and Development
  • SOEE5495M Environment-Development Overseas Field Course

Support duties

Personal Development workshops for MSc students in the Sustainability Research Institute.

Project details

Project title

UK Youth Participation in Climate Change Decision-Making.


Professor Suraje Dessai

Dr Lucie Middlemiss

Start date

1st October 2014

Project outline

Youth are actively participating in climate change initiatives at all levels. However, little is known about the motivations and barriers which affect their participation and the degree to which their experiences shape their values, continued civic and political engagement and their broader life trajectories.

My PhD research takes an ethnographic, longitudinal approach with the aim of developing a deep, rich understanding of the factors which motivate and the barriers which inhibit the participation of youth in climate change decision-making from international to local level.