Climate Beacons for COP26
Climate Beacons for COP26 is a Scotland-wide collaborative project between climate change or environmental organisations and arts, heritage or cultural organisations to stimulate long-term public engagement in the lead-up to and following COP26.
About Climate Beacons
Seven hubs known as ‘Climate Beacons’ are taking form in Argyll, Caithness & East Sutherland, Fife, Inverclyde, Midlothian, the Outer Hebrides, and Tayside. Bringing together shared resources and knowledge from cultural and climate organisations, the Climate Beacons will provide a welcoming physical and virtual space for the public, artists and cultural sector professionals, environmental NGOs, scientists and policymakers to discuss and debate COP26 themes and climate action specific to each local area.
The project is being led by Creative Carbon Scotland, connecting the seven Beacons and offering support throughout, alongside six co-ordinating partners: Architecture & Design Scotland, Creative Scotland, Edinburgh Climate Change Institute, Museums Galleries Scotland, Scottish Library and Information Council, and Sustainable Scotland Network. Climate Beacons for COP26 is funded by the Scottish Government’s Climate Change and Culture Divisions, Creative Scotland, and Museums Galleries Scotland.
Climate Beacons for COP26 is running until July 2022 and this page will be updated periodically throughout that time with further information about what the Climate Beacons are doing and how you can get involved.
Introducing the Climate Beacons
Cove Park and ACT will focus on Scotland’s rainforest. Most of this unique, temperate habitat sits within Argyll, and the Beacon will raise awareness of the importance of biodiversity in effective and inclusive conservation and regeneration.
“We are thrilled to work with ACT and CCS on this urgent project that pivots around cultural and activist organisations joining forces to tackle climate change. We look forward to co-learning new strategies and methodologies for raising awareness and driving long-lasting behavioural change to help protect and regenerate our rainforests.” Francesca Bertolotti-Bailey, Cove Park CEO
Image Credits (clockwise from top left): ACT, Ruth Clark, Gordon Grey Stephens, Alan Dimmick.
Caithness and East Sutherland
A collaboration between Timespan, Lyth Arts Centre and the University of the Highlands and Islands Environmental Research Institute, among others, the Caithness and East Sutherland Beacon is focusing on climate colonialism, land justice and redistribution as well as the crucial role of the area for peatland restoration.
“As a collective, we are absolutely delighted to have been selected as one of the seven Climate Beacons for COP26. Caithness and Sutherland offer a truly unique location to host a Beacon, offering a transformational opportunity for our communities to truly have their voices heard in national and international climate conversations.” Charlotte Mountford, Co-Director, Lyth Arts Centre
Image credits (clockwise from top left): Lyth Arts Centre, Timepspan, UHI ERI.
The Leven Programme, ONFife and Levenmouth Academy are coming together with others to channel the arts and build on climate action in the area. The Fife Beacon is eager to share stories of the proud industrial heritage and show the world how we can transform to a resilient low carbon community of the future.
“Climate change requires immediate action if we are to adapt and live with its effects. We are so excited to use our collaboration to bring science and the arts together to develop the story of change from a carbon intensive past to a low carbon resilient community of the future.” Pauline Silverman, SEPA Senior Manager Partnerships and Places and The Leven Programme Manager
“We want to show how rewilding unused campus areas gives a home for nature, a space for outdoor learning and improved health for our communities! We are connecting with other schools around the world to think about what else we should be doing about the climate emergency.” – Duncan Zuill teacher & EIS representative, Levenmouth Academy
Image Credits (clockwise from top left): Levenmouth Academy, ONFife, SEPA, ONFife.
Formed of a partnership between Beacon Arts Centre, Belville Community Garden Trust, RIG Arts and Inverclyde Libraries, among others, the Inverclyde Beacon will focus on the roles of climate change mitigation and adaption as part of Scotland’s most economically deprived area’s recovery from COVID-19.
“We are thrilled to be working in partnership with a wide range of cultural and environmental organisations throughout Inverclyde and across Scotland to deliver an inclusive and exciting programme of activities on climatechange as Inverclyde’s Climate Beacon – centred around education, awareness and participation – together with our communities.” Pauline Kane, Director, Beacon Arts Centre
Image credits: Beacon Arts Centre, Belville Community Garden, RIG Arts, Inverclyde Libraries.
A collaboration between the National Mining Museum Scotland and the British Geological Survey, the Midlothian Beacon will create a transformative journey following the flow of water, from Scotland’s past legacy of fossil fuels towards a future of decarbonisation, connecting local and international cultures through art and science.
“National Mining Museum Scotland is thrilled to be part of a Scotland-wide collaboration that highlights the need to learn from our industrial past. The experience of utilising fossil fuels should contribute to our ongoing venture to look at new solutions, address the impact of climate change, and play an active role in shaping climate action in the future.” Mhairi Cross, CEO of National Mining Museum Scotland
Image credits (clockwise from top left): National Mining Museum Scotland, Nicole Manley, National Mining Museum Scotland, Nicole Manley.
A partnership between An Lanntair arts centre, Taigh Chearsabhagh museum and arts centre, Ceòlas, Community Energy Scotland, Western Isles Libraries, TSI Western Isles, NatureScot, Adaptation Scotland and the wider Outer Hebrides Community Planning Partnership Climate Change Working Group, the Outer Hebrides Climate Beacon will focus on how the islands can adapt to the worsening impacts of climate change while celebrating their unique natural and cultural heritage.
“We are thrilled to become a Climate Beacon for COP26! What an incredible opportunity we have to work together here in the Outer Hebrides to engage people and explore climate impacts, whilst celebrating the islands’ unique natural and cultural heritage. We have lots of exciting plans in the lead up to COP26 this year and beyond, and we can’t wait to get going and to share and connect nationally with the whole Beacons network.” Elly Fletcher, Chief Executive AnLanntair
Image credits (clockwise from top left): Western Isles Libraries, An Lanntair, Taigh Chearsabagh, Adaptation Scotland, Community Energy Scotland, TSI Western Isles.
A partnership between Dundee Rep and Scottish Dance Theatre, the James Hutton Institute, V&A Dundee, Dundee Museum of Transport and other partners in Dundee, Perthshire, Angus and Aberdeen, the Tayside Beacon will use design-led thinking to explore a range of issues across the Tayside bioregion encompassing urban and rural areas as a microcosm of Scotland.
“We are delighted to be selected as a Carbon Beacon as it will allow our partnership of Tayside organisations to create a 12-month pilot utilising design-led innovation and methodologies with a wide range of audiences to explore and co-produce ways to imagine and deliver a better, more sustainable future.” Liam Sinclair, Executive Director & Joint CEO, Dundee Rep and Scottish Dance Theatre
Image credits (clockwise from top left): Frame Focus Capture Photography, Rebecca Wade, Dundee Museum of Transport, Bonnie Brae Productions.
Why Climate Beacons?
Creative Carbon Scotland developed this project following research into previous arts and culture engagements with COPs and the emerging landscape around COP26 to fill perceived gaps and avoid repeating work that others are planning.
Our research demonstrated a need for:
- More effective collaboration between the culture and climate sectors, involving working closely together for substantial periods, learning from each other and co-producing work
- A wider spread of engagement work, reaching audiences beyond Glasgow and holding work before, and especially after, COP26 to avoid an ‘overload’ of work in one place and a lack elsewhere
- An emphasis on legacy, seeking to develop deep-rooted, longer term connections, changes to practice, and community interest
The project seeks to fulfil this need by creating partnerships between cultural and climate organisations focusing on different parts of Scotland over an extended period. Creative Carbon Scotland will take a ‘hands off’ approach to these partnerships, providing support but trusting in the Beacons’ own expertise and allowing freedom to plan the kinds of activity that the partners deem to be most effective. We will promote the work of the Beacons, document activity and carry out detailed evaluation, which will be made available to help support similar projects in the future.