The Conservation Volunteers at COP26

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To celebrate the fantastic achievements of our volunteers, taking practical action for biodiversity and climate during the COP26 summit and beyond, we asked Tim Lewis, TCV Operations Leader, to share some insight into TCV’s role at the United Nations Climate Change Conference…

What role are The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) playing in COP26?

The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) have exhibited our work connecting people and green spaces in the COP26 Green Zone and also in the Google Arts and Culture virtual green zone – demonstrating our work for the environment and communities in Glasgow and across the UK.

By reaching out to attendees during the event we can hopefully connect more people to green spaces, delivering lasting outcomes for communities and the environment.

What steps is TCV taking to mitigate the impact of climate change?

With our hugely successful I Dig Trees programme, we’re aiming to have planted 2 million trees by the end of this tree planting season (March 2022) with the help of communities across the UK – you can help us get there by signing up for your own free trees. This season’s first trees are going in the ground during COP26!

If you can’t plant trees, you can still help us a huge amount by spreading the word and sharing these posts: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn

What benefits is COP26 is bringing to TCV?

COP26 is helping The Conservation Volunteers to reach more people, connecting them to their green spaces and showing them they can have an impact on the ground to help tackle the climate and biodiversity emergencies. We invite them to join in, feel good! You can find out more here.

What do you think the legacy of COP26 will be for Glasgow as a city?

I think this very much depends on the outcome of the conference itself.

The UK Royal Family view COP26 as the ‘last chance saloon’ for addressing the climate crisis, it definitely feels like a hugely important point for the climate movement.

If leaders commit to an incredibly innovative new approach that changes the world for the better, then the legacy for the city of Glasgow would be immense. Glasgow would forever be remembered as the place where these changes started, and the world got serious about climate breakdown. The alternative is hard to even comprehend.

What do you think visitors to Glasgow will like most about the city and its people?

After speaking with all of our staff based in the city we feel that the lasting impression on visitors to Glasgow will come from the people they meet. Glaswegians are a friendly, welcoming, gregarious and diverse group of people who are rightly proud of their city, its history and its impact on the world. This heritage is written across the city’s many wonderful museums and cultural highlights, which might surprise many visitors.

The city is full of incredible food and waves of immigration across the 20th century mean you can eat from all over the world in Glasgow. The city is also incredibly close to some of the most beautiful parts of Scotland, Loch Lomond just half an hour from the city centre and the Inner Hebrides just a short ferry ride away. Visitors to the city will take all this in alongside fantastic shopping, business opportunities and the city’s many famous pubs, bars and music venues which are the beating heart of Glasgow and the people that live there.

How do you think local communities will benefit from COP26 being hosted in Glasgow?

Glasgow in Gaelic translates as ‘Dear Green Place’ and the city often isn’t seen in a way that reflects this. The post-industrial landscape and modern vibrancy of the city sometimes overshadow the beautiful parks and accessible spaces Glasgow has to offer.

TCV feel that hosting COP in Glasgow is helping to change this perception of the city and for people to see it as a forward-thinking, environmentally-conscious and green place to live and work – with access for everyone to those green spaces that are so important. There are more than 90 parks in Glasgow, canals, rivers, local nature reserves and city centre woodlands. All of these need protecting and COP will raise the awareness around pressures on these places.

Keep up to date with the latest news and activities from The Conservation Volunteers by following on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. You can also sign up to receive our Greenzine newsletter for more ways to get involved.

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