COPnes26: the parallel COP26 in Totnes keeping us informed, in touch and in action

COPnes26: 31 October – 14 November 2021

COPnes26 is a two-week series of planned events across Totnes, an opportunity for the town and wider community across our region to respond to the global climate crisis.

Mirroring the international COP26 negotiations held in Glasgow during this same period, the town’s inclusive, conscious community will lead reflection on the implications, realities and actions needed to deal with the coming crisis.

Our hope is to enable our community of Totnes, Bridgetown and all of the local parishes to be actively involved and aware of what is happening at the Glasgow conference.

Cllr Jacqi Hodgson, who has been leading on the Town Council’s response since the Climate Declaration was agreed in 2019, has been actively involved with the coordination of COPnes26.  She said

“What happens in Glasgow during COP26 will affect us all and could turn the tide in how we care for this planet and prevent climate catastrophe; it is very important that we bring this message home and let Glasgow know we are watching.”

During COPnes26 the community of Totnes, South Hams and beyond will come together to explore questions on a range of subjects:

  • What can a small local area do in the face of this global crisis?
  • How should we prepare ourselves for radical change?
  • Do our actions match our rhetoric?
  • What is the reality of the situation – are we given the full facts?
  • And what do we need to do differently when making local decisions?  

Totnes declared a Climate Emergency in December 2018: the town has always been very aware of the deep symbiotic relationship between human impact and the natural world. COPnes26 is a natural evolution for a community that is hugely concerned about the global Climate Crisis.

What will we see?

We are planning big screens across the town to broadcast videos and clips from each day’s events from Totnes and Glasgow. We will unpack the COP26 events and negotiations through panel discussions, filmed events, debate and opportunities for the town to express their hopes, fears and pose questions. It will be an opportunity for leaders and decision makers, and those who represent the area, to clearly state their position and actions to their constituents and communities.

There will be Arts events and opportunities for creative responses to the Climate Crisis. The Church will hold silent vigils and consider the spiritual impact on our lives. The Church community will reflect on the strength we need to support each other as a community.

Local community groups, organisations, schools etc. are welcome to get involved during the 2 weeks of the UN Summit by hosting an associated event and adding it to the busy schedule already unfolding.  Simply email Cllr Jacqi Hodgson to find out more and send in local events being planned.

There will be video links from Totnesians who are bearing witness to COP26 in Glasgow, linking the Scottish city and Devon town in a valuable, unique shared experience of learning, planning, and self-critique.

A dedicated webpage has been set up in association with the new Totnes Climate Emergency Response Hub project, COPnes26 events will be posted there and on the Town Council’s Climate Emergency webpages.

Cllr Hodgson added, “An extraordinary fortnight in extraordinary times, and one that could make a lot of difference to our daily lives and the world we live in.  This is an invitation for all of us to get involved.”

West Country Voices will be covering events and will be posting information, articles and links on our Countdown to COP26 page.