Falmouth University at COP26

12 November 2021

Image of protest placard reads 'Climate Justice Now'
Climate Justice Now
Type: Text
Category: Innovation, University news

Staff members have taken to Glasgow to learn how to combat the most pressing issue facing society today: the climate crisis. 

What is COP26?

As the effects of climate change become more apparent with each passing day, the importance of finding a global solution to address our impact on the environment has become increasingly urgent.

COP (Conference of the Parties) is the annual international conference where world leaders, businesses and organisations come together to drive collaborative action to address the climate crisis. 

COP26 marks five years since global leaders set emission reduction targets through the Paris Agreement. But since the agreement, greenhouse gas emissions have continued to rise.  

Global leaders are expected to strike a deal that sets out plans to combat climate change by the end of the COP26 conference.

It's expected that the event will encourage further commitments between world leaders for combating climate change. But the two-week conference also provides valuable opportunities for communities, campaigners and businesses to collaborate and find sustainable solutions that function on a smaller scale.

Inspiration and innovation

Jake Causley, Sustainability Coordinator at Falmouth University, has been in attendance to listen to industry leaders, exchange ideas with peers, promote innovative sustainable solutions and learn what actions Falmouth should be taking to effectively and rapidly respond to the climate and ecological crises. “The experience has been extremely valuable, there’s been a lot to be inspired by despite the severity of our situation”, Jake told us. 

“There’s a ‘Green Zone’ at COP26, which is an exhibition space for businesses who are creating solutions to the environmental and ecological crisis we are facing. It’s also been a space that has hosted talks from a variety of speakers. We’ve seen people discussing everything from making Indigenous voices count in the fight to stop deforestation to what satellites reveal about carbon storage in the forests of the Earth.”

Jake isn’t the only Falmouth staff member at the conference. Associate lecturer in Graphic Design, Steve Bond, has also been in Glasgow to talk about his sustainable biodiesel business, Other Oils.

Other Oils is co-directed by Steven and Falmouth Graphic Design Graduate Charlotte Higgins. Launched in 2019, it aims is to provide Cornwall with HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil) a fossil-free, 100% renewable, and low-CO2 fuel.

HVO originates from Finland and has already caught on in Scandinavia. Essentially, the oil can be used by any engine that runs on diesel. That could be anything from cars, vans and boats to generator tools.

What can I do to help? 

Jake has been soaking up a plethora of useful information at COP26 and he’s come up with three fun ways you can do something good for the environment.

Count a Walrus from space!

Walrus from Space is a new initiative set up by WWF to investigate the effects of climate change on walrus populations. They need the general public to go online and help them identify Walruses – visit their website and lend a hand.

Wash your hands with cold water

If we all use cold water instead of hot water when we wash our hands, we can save the UK an emissions equivalent to driving 3.3 billion miles by car!

Call Your Mother
Call Your Mother is a campaign run by eco-anxiety group Force of Nature. It offers a space for people to talk about their own climate feelings - fear, grief, urgency, anger, hope, motivation - and hear from other people about their own experience of "eco-anxiety".

The campaign gives you the option of ‘a speedy check in’, ‘sending a message for those in power’ and ‘having a good old rant’ – which we all need to do from time to time. Whatever your preference, head to their website to make it happen.

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