Climate Beacons for COP26

Climate Beacons for COP26

Climate Beacons for COP26 will be 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.  

Creative Carbon Scotland is currentllooking to hear from organisations working in the arts, climate, culture, environmental or heritage sectors that are interested in participating in the project. We are currently organising funding to cover participating organisations’ activity and will invite formal applications if and when this has been secured.

This page provides information about Climate Beacons and how you can submit an Expression of Interest using the form at the bottom of this page. The deadline for expressing interest is 9am on 1st of March. 


  • About Climate Beacons 
  • What Beacons will do 
  • How Beacons will be supported 
  • What we’re looking for from partners 
  • How to express interest 


About Climate Beacons 

This project was developed through research into previous arts and culture engagements with COPs and the emerging landscape around COP26, responding to perceived gaps that could be filled and avoiding 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 
  • 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-rootedlonger term connections, changes to practice, and community interest 

The project seeks to fulfil this need by creating six ‘Climate Beacons’ made up of partnerships between cultural and climate organisations and 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 their own expertise and allowing freedom to plan the kinds of activity that the partners deem to be most effective. Support will also be provided from other co-ordinating partners, including Sustainable Scotland Network, Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation, Creative Scotland, Museums Galleries Scotland and Architecture and Design Scotland 

We are planning to launch this project in April 2021, with activity taking place in the lead-up to and following COP26, running up until July 2022 

Map of Scotland showing example locations of Climate Beacons

The Climate Beacons will be based in six physical locations around Scotland as well as organising online activity. Locations shown here are purely illustrative, the Beacons could be based anywhere in Scotland.

What Beacons will do 

Beacons will use the shared resources and knowledge of cultural and climate organisations to provide a welcoming physical and virtual space for conversation about COP26 and climate action between members of the public, artists and cultural sector professionals, environmental NGOs and wider civil society, scientists and policymakers.  

We imagine that a cultural partner may provide the public engagement expertise and physical venue that will form the core of this activity while climate partners may provide technical expertise, knowledge and networksbut we welcome expressions of interest from organisations with a wide variety of remits and expertise. Ideally, partners working on the same Beacon will be based in the same geographical area and Beacons will be made up of two to four organisations. 

We estimate 60-80 working days of staff time split across all partners will be required to manage each Beacon. The whole project will be supported by around 120 working days of time from Creative Carbon Scotland staff as well as further support from other co-ordinating partners.  

We believe in the special value of in-person engagement work and see this as the preferred option, but with the coronavirus pandemic ongoing we recognise that there will be a need to host online activities and digital engagement methods as well as to build flexibility into plans, especially during the period ahead of COP26.  

Creative Carbon Scotland will not determine the exact form of a Beacon’s activitiesas we believe that Beacon partners will have the best ideas for what will fit their specific context and the nature of the partner organisations. However, work should: 

  • Take a variety of forms 
  • Take place over an extended period 
  • Be accessible and inclusive 
  • Respond to the needs of the area where the Beacon is based 

Examples of the kind of work we would encourage from Beacons include: 

Artistic work 

  • Developing and commissioning performances, exhibitions or participatory art projects engaging with issues of climate change and climate justice, developed in dialogue between cultural and climate partners 
  • Hosting or curating work or performances from local environmental artists 

Engagement work 

  • Organising talks, workshops or discussions held at the cultural venue or online and featuring contributions from project partners or others 
  • Providing regular open space for ‘climate cafes’ or for local environmental groups to meet or host discussions 
  • Including a regular feature or space on websites, in email newsletters, on social media, or in traditional print media 

Development work 

  • Holding regular discussions between cultural and climate partners to develop collaboration and long-term relationships and increase understanding of the links between climate change and culture 
  • Collaboratively developing policies for permanent ways in which cultural partners can continue to operate more sustainably post-COP26 
Beacon image surrounded by four images of a paint pallet, water droplet, thermometer, and musical notes.

Climate Beacons will be formed from collaborations between two to four organisations based in the same geographical area.

How we will support Beacons 

Subject to successful funding, Creative Carbon Scotland will support Beacons to deliver their project activity. Partners, depending on their status and their own resources, may receive funding to cover artistic fees, staff time, travel and expenses, and event costs. We anticipate funding of approximately £40,000 being available for each Beacon.  

Creative Carbon Scotland, and other co-ordinating partners where relevant, will provide:  

  • Support to establish and develop partnerships. We are already in contact with a variety of national and international organisations and individuals that are looking to contribute to public engagement activity around COP26 and can instigate connections.  
  • Advice on producing effective activity, drawn from our research into previous COPs or existing expertise. Help with finding and contacting local environmental groups or artistic practitioners. 
  • Promotion and publicity to the general public and within sectors. 
  • Evaluation and legacy support, including through the Green Arts Initiative. 
A Climate Beacon image pointing to images of people and to the coordinating organisations.

Climate Beacons will work with local stakeholders and be supported by co-ordinating organisations working across Scotland.

What we’re looking for from Beacon partners 

You can express interest as an individual organisation looking to be partnered up with others or with a potential collaboration in mind already. Organisations should have a background in the arts, climate, cultural, environment and heritage sectors and could include, but are not limited to: 

  • Art galleries 
  • Community arts centres 
  • Climate advocacy organisations  
  • Educational organisations 
  • Environmental charities 
  • Government bodies or agencies  
  • Libraries 
  • Museums  
  • Research organisations  
  • Theatres 

We anticipate that different Beacon partners will bring vastly different skills and experiences to the collaborations. However, there are a few qualities that we would like to see from partners: 

  • Adaptability: Partners need to be able to adapt to the changing situation around COVID-19 and be able to make decisions around in-person, online or blended activity. 
  • Capacity: Given the difficult circumstances around coronavirus, partners need to be aware of how much staff time or resources they can devote to this project or if project funding could cover necessary additional staffing costs. We estimate 6080 working days of staff time split across all partners will be required for each Beacon.  
  • Inclusivity: Partners should ideally have a track record of good public engagement or strong existing links with communities or other organisations and be able to demonstrate how they will reach a broad audience with their work 

As well as certain criteria that Beacons need to fulfil: 

  • Location: The Beacons should be geographically dispersed around Scotland, so we particularly welcome expressions of interest from organisations based outside of Glasgow and Edinburgh.  
  • Venue: One partner for each Beacon should have a public facing venue with an established audience that can operate as a hub for activity, so we are particularly interested in hearing from organisations that have this.

If there are other organisations that you already work with or have an interest in partnering with, then you can specify these. However, you do not need to have pre-conceived ideas and Creative Carbon Scotland can play a role in setting up collaborations between organisations that apply and have common interests and locations.

Timeline commencing in April 2021, centring on COP26 in November 2021, and ending in July 2022. Arrows show that Beacon activity will take places across the periods before and after COP26.

Climate Beacon activity will run for equal lengths of time before and after COP26.

How to express interest 

To submit an expression of interest please complete the following short form. You can keep responses fairly informal; this is not a formal application procedure but a chance for us to see who is interested in being involved and what they have to offer. The deadline to respond by is the 1st of March at 9am. 

Creative Carbon Scotland will only use the information you provide to contact you about Climate Beacons and for records directly relevant to this project. Information will be stored securely and will only be shared with the other co-ordinating partners working on Climate Beacons.  

If you have any questions or suggestions to make or want to set up a call to discuss the Climate Beacons project with us, then feel free to get in touch with 

This expression of interest is for organisations rather than individuals. However, if you are an individual with relevant experience in the arts or climate change, then feel free to get in touch with us. We can keep a record of your interest and instigate contact with a relevant Climate Beacon once they are established. 

We will get back in touch in March 2021, if funding for the project is confirmed to provide you with more information and to share the formal application procedure with you. We aim to keep this procedure as straightforward as possible while ensuring that it is rigorous and fair.  


Get info on news, opportunities & events by email

About Creative Carbon Scotland

We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

0131 529 7909

Supported by

Creative Scotland logo City of Edinburgh Council logo

A project initiated by Edinburgh’s Festivals with key partners the Federation of Scottish Theatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network

Edinburgh Festival City logo Federation of Scottish Theatre logo Scottish Contemporary Art Network logo