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COP26 Glasgow: daily third sector roundup

 

New national award for pupils who protect the environment

Pupils will be recognised for their efforts to protect the environment in a new Duke of Edinburgh-style award.

It is one of a series of measures aimed at putting climate change at the heart of education.

The plans will be set out by Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi at COP26 today.

Staff will also be supported to teach children about nature and their impact on the world through a "model science curriculum", to be in place by 2023.

Climate change is already taught in science and geography lessons in England as part of the curriculum.

The Climate Leaders award will help children to develop their skills and knowledge in biodiversity and sustainability, with their work recognised at an annual national awards ceremony.

Pupils will be able to progress through different levels of the award - bronze, silver and gold - in a similar way to the Duke of Edinburgh's Award, which includes volunteering and extracurricular activities.

The education secretary will also confirm plans to pilot "energy pods" that can replace gas and coal boilers and supply a school's heating and hot water without carbon emissions.

The pods are being tested in some schools first and could be rolled out more widely to other public-sector buildings if successful.

Beasts bear the biggest burden

Animal welfare charity, OneKind, will be marching alongside its supporters and fellow animal welfare organisations at the COP26 coalition march tomorrow (6 Nov) to raise awareness of the significant negative impact animal agriculture is having on our planet.  

Campaigner, Eve Massie, said: “Intensive animal agriculture is, quite frankly, destroying our planet. It is responsible for an estimated 14.5-16.5% of greenhouse gases and has been listed by the UN as top contributor to the ‘most serious’ environmental problems. It is a leading cause of habitat destruction, desertification, wildlife extinction and ocean dead zones. And yet, it is largely absent from the COP26 agenda.  

“While animal agriculture is likely to be discussed during two sessions at COP26, it doesn’t have its own dedicated session. Submissions from member states to the COP also don’t often touch upon animal agriculture. Given its huge detrimental impact on the planet, animal agriculture should be front and centre of COP26 discussions and measures to tackle its impact should be listed as a COP26 goal.  

“Countries are being asked to accelerate the phase out of coal as a top priority at the COP26 conference. But, research shows that even if the use of fossil fuel was ended immediately, the emissions produced by animal agriculture alone would make it impossible to limit warming to the 1.5°C COP26 target. ” 

Protest group plans to lockdown Glasgow Airport

Protesters are to target Glasgow Airport tomorrow as part of widespread disruption across the UK

Activist group Stay Grounded is holding action across ten airports as they warn that “no-one should be fooled by attempts to ‘greenwash’ aviation”.

The protests come as tens of thousands of people are expected at a march in the city on Saturday, where the COP26 UN climate change conference is taking place.

Young people are also marching today, with speeches from campaigner Greta Thunberg, fellow activist Vanessa Nakate and others expected.

Ray Stewart from Stay Grounded UK said: “We warn that trusting yet-to-be-developed technology to reduce climate damaging emissions is extremely risky.

“Instead we demand that immediate action is taken to prevent any expansion of flying and associated emissions growth.

“Just one return flight from London to New York emits as much greenhouse gas as the average UK household does in a whole year.”

The impacted airports are Glasgow, London Gatwick, London City, London Luton, Liverpool, Manchester, Southampton, Bristol, Doncaster-Sheffield and Leeds-Bradford.

Nourish Scotland highlights the value of food systems

More than 150 farmers and local government representatives from four different continents are gathering to bring food systems to COP26. 

The Global Fork to Farm Dialogue, hosted by Nourish Scotland, will bring these food system actors together to build on the lessons learned from local farmer-city dialogues in over 20 locations  that have been taking place since January 2020. 

The event will be a ‘day without speeches’. It will be a day of roundtable discussions and frank exchange, an opportunity to build the relationships of trust that are needed to work together towards sustainable food systems. 

As Pete Ritchie, director of Nourish Scotland stated,  food systems account for one third of global greenhouse gas emissions. Tackling the climate emergency cannot be done without addressing the role of food systems and critical local actors: food producers and local governments.

The Fork to Farm Global dialogue will allow different people to build the mutual understanding and cooperation necessary to ensure that the road from Glasgow to the Paris Agreement goals passes through a farm gate.

Director of Nourish Scotland, Pete Ritchie said: “It’s time COP26 recognises that food and local action are at the heart of the global climate emergency.

“Food unites and diversifies the world, but the current industrialised food system degrades our environment and increases emissions. It’s a senseless system that is vulnerable to the very climate change effects that it perpetuates.  

“Many farmers are on the frontline of climate change. They should be the drivers rather than the objects of change, and their stories should be told at COP26. 

“Through trust and understanding, farmers and cities are tangibly transforming their food systems - and we can only hope the COP26 negotiations have the same spirit of cooperation.”

Free cycle repairs to help Scotland reach net zero

Thousands of people across Scotland are set to get pedalling following the relaunch of a scheme offering free bike repairs.

The Scotland Cycle Repair Scheme will encourage people to get old bikes out of storage and back in use, as well as keeping well-used bikes pedalling smoothly and safely.

The free repairs of up to £50 per person will be of particular help to people who would not otherwise be able to afford to get their bikes fixed up.

Cycling UK is working with bike shops across Scotland to provide 20,000 free repairs and maintenance, funded by the Scottish Government.

Almost 200 bike shops, from Kirkcudbright in the south to Lerwick on Shetland, in the north, are already signed up to the scheme, with many more expected to join in the coming days.

The first phase of the scheme ran between August 2020 to May 2021, when 31,562 repairs were carried out by 332 cycle repair providers across Scotland. 77% of participants used their repaired cycles for journeys previously done by car, showing that with support more people would use a bike for short everyday trips.

Suzanne Forup, Cycling UK’s head of development for Scotland, said: “This scheme will once more fix the nation’s flat tyres and loose brakes, to get people pedalling again. Finances are tight for many people at the moment, so the scheme is targeted at people who can’t easily afford to get their bikes fixed up.

“Whether it’s popping to the shops or commuting to work, cycling boosts people’s physical health, wellbeing and saves them cash. It's also a low carbon form of transport, tackling climate change and helping Scotland meet our NetZero ambitions as Glasgow hosts COP26 this week. We want to make sure these benefits are available to as many people as possible.

“The scheme has been a huge success previously – getting thousands of people cycling and supporting hundreds of Scottish businesses – so we’re delighted to bring it back.”

Minister for Active Travel, Patrick Harvie, said: “We need to reduce car use and make it easier for people to choose walking, wheeling and public transport. The new funding for the Scotland Cycle Repair Scheme by Cycling UK is just one way that we’re helping people do that and it is welcome that the scheme has already supported over 31,000 repairs so far.”

 

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