A Message From Rob...

COP26 is the biggest summit the UK has ever hosted and is the most significant climate event since COP21, the 2015 United Nations climate conference which resulted in the Paris Agreement. All the leaders from around the world will be gathered together to negotiate how their nations can collectively and individually reduce the effects of climate change.

How can we influence these negotiations? By rallying together and making our voices heard!

Our leaders care about public opinion. They need it to stay in power. So if we want something to change we need to show it and inspire others to do the same!

So lets all make the most of this opportunity and get stuck into all COP26 events! Believe me it feels great taking action and doing something about it! Plus you will meet lots of positive like minded 'can do' people that will give you energy, enthusiasm and inspiration.

To make life easier for you we have gathered together all the info and events you need to know about for COP26. Read on to find out more!

Rob Waitt Founder & Coordinator

What is COP26?

COP26 is the United Nations Climate Change Conference. A global summit organised by the UN called COP, standing for 'Conference of the Parties'. This year is the 26th annual summit, being hosted by Glasgow in the U.K. from 31 October to 12 November this year.

For more information, read COP26 Explained

See here for more information about the Paris Agreement.

Where can I get involved in COP26 locally?

Weymouth - Global Day for Climate Justice

World leaders will meet in Glasgow in November at the global climate talks, COP26. COP26 Coalition are organising decentralised mass mobilisations across the world, bringing together movements to build power for system change – from indigenous struggles to trade unions, from racial justice groups to youth strikers.

Meet: Saturday 6th November at 12pm (Midday) at Weymouth Pavilion, The Esplanade, Weymouth DT4 8ED - Car Park for rally and speeches.
March: 1pm leaving from Weymouth Pavilion.

More info: Dorset Global Day Of Action (facebook.com), contact: dorset@cop26coalition.org.

Bournemouth - Global Day for Climate Justice

Bournemouth Pier Approach

Meet: 2.30pm-3.30pm Rally with music and face painting – under the flyover at Pier Approach, Bournemouth BH1 2AQ
March: 3.30pm
SPEECHES: 4.00pm - The Square, Bournemouth BH2 6ED

More info: Dorset Global Day Of Action (facebook.com), contact: dorset@cop26coalition.org.

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What Does Climate Change Mean for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole? - Bournemouth

Panel discussion organised by East Dorset Friends of the Earth and Bournemouth UCU.

Meet: Saturday 6th November 1pm - 3pm at Lees Lecture Theatre, Bournemouth University, Fern Barrow, Poole, BH12 5BB.


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Day of Action - Conversations on Climate Change - Dorchester

Churches Together Eco Group are organising a Day of Action - Conversations on Climate Change, with other local groups also represented at this event.

The programme is still being firmed up, but it is expected that there will be an introduction, a brief word from the Mayor, a 2 minute silence of reflection and a listing of the 3 demands from Christian Aid, with contributions from Alistair Chisholm, the Dorchester Town Crier.

This should all take about 20 minutes and after that we expect a time of engagement / "Conversation" with those who are represented – to last no more than an hour in total.

Meet: Saturday 6th November at 12pm midday at the Town Pump, Cornhill, Dorchester, DT1 1BA.


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Can I get involved with COP26 itself?

COP26 Green Zone

From 1-12 November the COP26 Green Zone in Glasgow is open to the public to shine a light on the amazing and diverse world of climate action.

Youth groups, civil society, academia, artists, business from across the UK and all over the world will be hosting events, exhibitions, cultural performances, workshops and talks. With over 100 exhibitors, 200 events and 11 sponsors taking over the space, there will be amazing opportunities to listen, learn and celebrate climate action. Located in the iconic Glasgow Science Centre, on the south bank of the River Clyde, the Green Zone will welcome visitors from 9am - 6pm each day.

Tickets to the COP26 Green Zone are now available, and are now free of charge to the public.

For more information about the venue and attending the Green Zone in person, visit the COP26 website.

If you are unable to attend in person you can join virtually by subscribing to the COP26 YouTube channel.  One week before COP26, the programme will be updated to include a link to each live stream that will be freely available.

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Climate Change Committee Events at COP26

Climate Change Committee are delighted to announce that they will be hosting two events in the Blue Zone (attendees will need to have the appropriate accreditation) but if you can’t make it in person, they will be livestreaming both events – just register your interest at the links below and they will send you a link.

Monday 1st November | 18:00 -19:00 | Making Ambition Count - the role of Climate Councils in turning ambitions into actions | Register for the event here.

This event showcases how Climate Councils, through providing expert, evidence-led and politically independent advice and evaluation can support Governments to increase and sustain climate policy ambition and delivery.  It will launch the International Climate Councils Network (ICCN) – an exciting new collaboration bringing together 20+ Climate Councils from around the world. With growing interest from Governments worldwide in the Climate Council model, the ICCN will set out principals, underpinned by research from the WRI and Ecologic, for how Climate Councils can effectively contribute to robust climate change governance.

Monday 8th November | 09:00-10:30 | Climate Risk and Adaptation: How We Understand and Respond to Climate Change Hazards | Register for the event here. 

This event showcases the UK’s proactive steps to build adaptive capacity and reduce climate risk to communities both domestically and internationally through risk assessments, action-oriented research and knowledge exchange. The panel discussion will draw on findings from the third Independent Assessment of UK Climate Risk published in 2021. The event is co-organised by Defra, FCDO, CCC, the Met Office and the University of Exeter. 

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What other actions could I take to promote positive change?

Talk to young people about the climate

Find thoughtful guidance on how to talk to young people about climate change on National GeographicWorld’s Largest Lesson, or Thought Box.

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Join the Zero Hour campaign (formerly the campaign for the CEE bill)

The Zero Hour Campaign has identified three key outcomes from COP26 that would represent significant progress:

  1. The creation of a joint emergency strategy for climate and nature;
  2. A commitment to the carbon budget for 1.5°C;
  3. A commitment to going nature positive by 2030.

Stanley Johnson, our PM's father, has tweeted his support for these outcomes:

You could help promote the CEE Bill and these key outcomes by:

  • Supporting these key outcomes here, and / or the CEE Bill here;
  • Lobbying MPs, councillors, business and community champions about supporting the CEE Bill;
  • Getting the three COP outcomes mentioned in your local paper;
  • Spreading the word - talk to family, friends, colleagues, etc, about the CEE Bill.

If Private Members’ Bills do not make it past their Second Reading date, the primary sponsor MP is given another date for a new Second Reading. With regards to the CEE Bill, Caroline Lucas has chosen Friday 29th of October as the new date. This date is the week before COP26 in Glasgow (1-12 November).

The CEE Bill will not pass this Second Reading, but we can use this moment to shout out ahead of COP26 that the CEE Bill is the vital legislation needed to tackle the climate and ecological emergency via a joined-up approach, and include citizen’s voices in the process.

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Encourage local councils or other local organisations to send a Proclamation to COP26

Encourage your local council, or any other local organisation you are a member of, to make a proclamation to COP26!

Ask your council / local organisation to communicate this to your local MP, asking for it to be shared with Ministers and MPs who are attending COP26.

See The Bridport Town Council Proclamation for inspiration!

"COP 26 must be a success. Decarbonising the world must start now with emphatic steps. This realisation is what unifies us here today.  We want our town, our county, and our country to hear: the road to zero must be embraced and acted upon by everyone.

We wish to proclaim that for one or two generations to usurp all the wealth of the planet, leaving future generations in serious crisis is unconscionable. And today we wish to show our concern and love for those who come after us, including the living creatures who can’t speak for themselves.

We need to express our support for those who have contributed little to the accumulation of CO2 while the UK holds, historically, one of the largest fossil fuel footprints on the planet. We need to engage with countries and communities caught in the stranglehold of older, dirtier industries and together plan a route (through finance from the West) for a sustainable future. We can only do this while respecting the rights of people at home and abroad and by listening to them.

We can’t attain carbon zero for some and not for others.

Glasgow, shine like a beacon, in this difficult world, and light the way to a saner, sustainable future."

For more information about Bridport Town Council's Proclamation, see https://www.bridport-tc.gov.uk/2021/09/17/bridports-great-big-green-week-and-cop26/.

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Help children learn about the link between saving money and saving the planet

NatWest’s MoneySense programme includes various resources to help kids learn about the link between saving money and saving the planet.

In partnership with Top Trumps, the Climate Savers competition challenges primary school pupils to design Top Trumps cards showing actions we can take to help save the planet, with winning designs to be chosen for an exclusive deck of cards plus the chance for teachers to win money for environmental projects at their school.

Also part of MoneySense, “Island Saver” is a fun, free, full-size video game that teaches children about money whilst helping to clean up the environment.

Key Personal Actions to reduce Emissions

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A report by Ethical Consumer found that across four key consumer areas - foodheatingtransport and consumer goods - we are not cutting out emissions fast enough. In two of the areas, food and consumer goods, it found that we are in fact moving in the wrong direction: increasing rather than cutting emissions year-on-year.

In order to reverse these trends, consumer action on climate change is urgently required, along with government and business support. Ethical Consumer have therefore highlighted ten key personal actions to aim for:

  1. Reduce meat consumption by 20%
  2. Reduce dairy consumption by 20%
  3. Reduce food waste
  4. Insulate our homes
  5. Do smarter heating
  6. Choose heat pumps where possible
  7. Choose electric vehicles
  8. Reduce air and road travel where possible
  9. Increase repair and buying second hand
  10. Choose sustainable brands

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What are the effects of climate change?

Climate change is already having visible effects on the world. The Earth is warming, rainfall patterns are changing, and sea levels are rising. These changes can increase the risk of heatwaves, floods, droughts, and fires.

A changing climate impacts crop growth and human health, while many people may need to leave their homes. It places certain species at an increased risk of extinction. The effects of climate change are real, and they are already happening.

The level of climate change we will see depends on how quickly we cut emissions of dangerous greenhouse gases. Even if we were to stop all emissions today, we would not prevent some changes. However, the sooner we cut emissions, the smaller the changes will be.

This image (courtesy of the Met Office) illustrates some of the climate change drivers & the impacts they could have on the climate system

In a recent report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) showed the difference between 1.5°C and 2°C of global warming. But unless we reduce emissions rapidly, the world is likely to exceed 2°C of warming. By the end of this century, warming could potentially reach 4°C, possibly more.

Climate change will increase the risk of different problems around the world. Though developed countries produce most greenhouse gas emissions, developing countries are predicted to see most of the severe effects. With fewer resources to adapt to these changes, the impact on people in developing countries is expected to be higher.

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Tips to help you cope with Climate Change worries

Eco-Anxiety Is A Real Thing – Are You Coping With Climate Change? This report was written by Charlotte Bear, co-chair of the Climate Reality Project, with contributions from Climate Reality Leader Erin Zimmerman.

Now an increasing number of psychologists believe the trauma that is a consequence of climate impacts and the climate crisis is also one of the biggest obstacles in the struggle to take action against rising greenhouse gas emissions.  The challenge of the emerging field of climate psychology is to help people understand how to motivate positive change without simply re-traumatizing each other over and over again.

In my professional work as a healthcare Chaplain and bereavement manager (certified in grief/trauma counseling), I have derived some simple principles that, when practiced, can help people coping with eco-anxiety, climate grief, climate dread and climate related trauma.

First Principle:  Realize it is very normal to feel this way.  The scale of the existential threat is such that not feeling dread/anxiety/grief, even trauma, in response would be a sign of shutting down/avoiding/denying/paralysis.  The fact that you can practice rigorous honesty about what is happening and feel fully the emotions associated with climate reality is healthy.  Not comfortable maybe, but healthy.

Second Principle:  Adjust your perspective.  If you feel overwhelmed, paralyzed by the global scale of destruction looming, most of which is beyond your control, then shift your focus to what you can influence/effect.  What is your immediate ecosystem?  Who is your immediate community?  How can you work with others to protect your immediate turf/tribe?  This downsizing of your expectations about making an impact can help

Third Principle:  Throw your love at what you love.  Even if you don’t feel like doing it, do it.  Let the behavior lead if your heart isn’t in it at first, because your emotions will follow and your thoughts will re-center on what you cherish. The antidote to despair/powerless/hopelessness is gratitude/appreciation/love for the joy/beauty of life, and for that which you cherish.  By putting constructive energy toward that, you respond to climate dread through acts of love, kindness, humor and tenderness.  These experiences counter-balance grief and despair.

Fourth Principle:  Pace it.  There is a lot of urgency and a lot of pressure to get as much done as we possibly can in no time left at all.  That is the relentless messaging, and I’m not here to say it’s wrong.  It’s just not sustainable for any sane person day after day without relief. So, pace it.  Allow yourself limits.  Give yourself time each day, yeah, I mean each day or evening, to dither.  If you make choices and do actions in a day, you can also let your mind rest and play in a day.

Fifth Principle:  Be with nature.  Listen to it.  Be among it without doing anything to it.  We are in charge of trying to fix the messes we’ve made, but nature has its own way of responding that doesn’t require human engagement.

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Other useful links

Listen to Outrage and Optimism podcasts, co-hosted by Christiana Figueres, Tom Rivett-Carnac who oversaw the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change, and CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) founder, Paul Dickinson.

Investigate the Local Government Association "Pass the Planet" campaign, showcasing best practice from councils across England and Wales, including some of our neighbouring county councils.

Read the WWF Expectations Paper, how COP26 can put the world on a path to meeting the Paris Climate Objectives.

Dorset Council offer home improvement loans via Lendology, which could be used for insulation, solar panels or other improvements to reduce home carbon emissions. 

For those interested in changing to an Electric Vehicle, there is a £2,500 grant for the car and a £350 charger grant, and for businesses, there is a new salary sacrifice scheme that could benefit employees EV salary sacrifice scheme from Octopus.

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