University of Northampton to host its own week-long COP26 climate change summit

The five-day event will have a different theme each day including transport and mobility, resource management and more

Tuesday, 26th October 2021, 1:01 pm

The University of Northampton will be mirroring the COP26 climate change summit with a week of environmental action on campus.

The 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), which takes place in Glasgow between 31 October and 12 November, will see world leaders come together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

To mirror the event, the university will host a COP26 companion programme of events during the week beginning Monday November 1, which will see students, University staff and industry representatives discuss climate change.

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Event organiser and university energy officer, Danielle Bird.

The five-day event will have a different theme each day: transport and mobility; resource management, specifically water and waste at home; nature-based solutions to environmental issues; energy and emissions and combating climate change using circular economy solutions.

Event organiser and university energy officer, Danielle Bird, said: “We felt COP26 was a really good opportunity for the University to promote the issues around climate change and sustainability for both our students and staff.

“I know most people are aware of climate change, but what we really want to do is to make it more relatable to people here in Northampton.

“So, we are putting the focus on the local area, by having local organisations and businesses taking part, to showcase what is being done here.

“Sometimes you might feel overwhelmed by it all and think there’s nothing we can do about it, or that it’s not affecting us here. But, actually, climate change is affected by everything everybody is doing around the world, so we can play our own part and be a bit more sustainable and more positive.

“We want students to go away knowing that they can do something to help.

“You don’t have to do something huge to make a difference.

“It could just be thinking about the way that you shop, the food that you eat, the way you travel. And if we can make small changes to our behaviours in these areas, we will have made a meaningful difference.”

Senior lecturer in environmental sciences, Dr Janet Jackson, came up with the idea of the University’s own COP26 event.

She added: “After teaching for a very long time around the environment and sustainability, I would like our COP26 week to encourage all staff and students to think about how climate change relates to them and their area of study or research, and discuss ideas in their classrooms around problem solving and finding solutions.”

Organisations which will be represented at the event include environmental groups Climate Action West Northamptonshire (CAWN) and Northampton Litter Wombles; Anglian Water; construction firm Travis Perkins; power generation business Drax; The Woodland Trust; the RSPB and analytical and life sciences instrumentation company, Horiba.