The long-awaited and much anticipated COP26 has now begun, and while the eyes of the world may be on Glasgow, COP Cymru is offering us all an important chance to be part of the conversation here in Wales.
However, the next steps we take towards net zero (and beyond) will be significantly more challenging, and will require us all to play a role. Last week Welsh ministers released Net Zero Wales, a five-year plan setting out the next steps on the pathway to ensure Wales can reach this goal by 2050. The plan contains more than 120 government policies and proposals, covering every area from peatland restoration to active travel, and from green skills to renewable energy.
Speaking at the launch of the plan, Climate Change minister Julie James said “We recognise we haven’t got all of the answers – we want to work with and learn from people across Wales to find innovative solutions to the challenges we face.” This emphasis on collaboration and developing solutions with communities is really encouraging, and the COP Cymru programme, running until November 26th, is an opportunity to engage with the climate conversation and see inspiring examples of climate and nature action.
There are a couple of ways to get involved with the COP Cymru events:
Join the four virtual COP26 Regional Roadshows
These will be broadcast live and the programme on each day will be shaped by people and organisations from across Wales, highlighting examples of best practice and helping to start important conversations around the key COP themes:
4th November: Energy Transition
6th November: Nature-Based Solutions
8th November: Adaptation & Resilience
10th November: Clean Transport
The events will include panel sessions held in the regions, and everyone watching live can join in virtually via the COP Cymru event platform. If you can’t watch live then the recordings will be available too.
Many wonderful organisations we’ve been inspired by, and lots of Climate Cymru partners will be taking part in these so we’re really looking forward to joining.
Wales Climate Week
This five day programme of events runs from the 22nd to 26th of November, with each day focusing on a different theme but with the overall aim of exploring Wales’ contribution to the global challenge of combating climate change.
The day that we’re most looking forward to attending is Friday 26th November, when the theme is People and Climate action. This event will ask how everyone can make a contribution to Net Zero Wales while making sure the costs and benefits of net zero are shared fairly between people and communities.
All COP Cymru events will be broadcast live on the COP Cymru event platform, through a Live Content page, and a recording will be made available via the on-demand section of the site shortly after each event.
One thing about this programme which has impressed us is the consideration for people who don’t have access to the internet. COP Cymru are encouraging anyone who works with people potentially experiencing digital exclusion to get in touch with them so they can support groups and individuals to help others join the live events, watch a replay, and get involved. If this is you then send an email to NetZeroWalesAndCOP@gov.wales for more information.
The scale and urgency of COP26 can feel overwhelming – bringing the climate story back home to Wales helps us engage with the changes needed, and the exciting things already happening, right here in our communities.