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What is COP26?

The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) is taking place on 1-12 November 2021 in Glasgow. This is a pivotal moment in the fight against climate change.

For nearly three decades the UN has been bringing together almost every country on earth for global climate summits – called COPs – which stands for ‘Conference of the Parties’.  

In the run up to COP26 the UK is working with every nation to reach agreement on how to tackle climate change. World leaders, alongside tens of thousands of negotiators, government representatives, businesses and citizens will be in Scotland for twelve days of talks. 

Did you know?
The University of Warwick is sending a delegation of 17 to attend the global climate conference. We’re one of a limited number of institutions to have been granted official observer status. The delegates attending reflect our strengths across sustainability, from political economy, to engineering, to life sciences.

The Way to Sustainable - Warwick's role in tackling the climate emergency

At the heart of our University’s purpose is the commitment to search for answers to the world’s biggest questions, and share the knowledge we gain with others, so that we contribute to creating a fairer, better world for all. 

Here at Warwick, we have communities of teachers and learners, researchers and makers, thinkers and doers who can work together, with others, to point the way ahead. Together we can leverage the power of education and research to collectively engage with new ideas, to test, try and innovate to discover what is effective, and what isn’t, and to work to respond to the climate emergency. 

We’re calling our approach the Way to Sustainable, a name that reflects the journey of continuous improvement were all on together and the important elements of engagement, collaborative planning, learning and action we all need to take over time to achieve the most effective outcomes.   

Everyone in the world will have to find their way to a sustainable future and we know how important it is for organisations like us to step up and lead by example.

At Warwick,
we’re prepared to roll up our sleeves, get involved and prove that change can happen. It starts with our sustainable, biodiverse, campus initiatives and our integrated programmes of teaching and research, designed to prepare the next generation for a sustainable future.

Be part of it - handpicked events
Join us on this journey – we’ve handpicked some of our events, focused around the climate crisis, for you:
Food for Thought: the Climate Cost of our Eating Habits
Tuesday 2 November, 7-8pm  |  Online

Climate change significantly threatens modern lifestyles around the world. Its effects of food production are particularly worrying. From the comfort of your kitchen, join our experts for a discussion around the effects of climate change on food production and what you can do to help. Learn about the hidden and not-so hidden climate costs of the food in your fridge and pantries.
Get your free tickets

COP26 - Climate Creative
Thursday 11 November, 7-9:30pm  |  University of Warwick campus  
Everyone has their own slightly different view of climate change and sustainability. This is your chance to learn about and/or share your opinion on climate change in an informal 'open-mic' style setting. Attend as a guest or a participant and you'll be able to listen to researchers, creatives, musicians, poets, artists, and anyone else who believes they can contribute their perspectives. Prizes are on offer for the most creative performance or thought-provoking act!

Get your free tickets
A Nudge in the Right Direction
Tuesday 16 November, 6-7pm  |  Online and University of Warwick campus

Nudge theory believes that people make the majority of their decisions instinctively rather than through rational thought. How can our behaviour be influenced by subtle ‘nudges’? Join Warwick's Dr Lory Barile and guests for an online discussion and Q&A on Nudge Theory and how it can be used to influence recycling habits to help save the environment.

Get your free tickets
On campus for you

A greener, more biodiverse campus 

We’re on a mission to build and protect local biodiversity even better than before. That means supporting all the different kinds of life we find in our area – allowing animals, plants and everything in-between to thrive in their habitats. We want campus to be accessible for all, and ultimately be a sustainable community and parkland development.  

Over the last year, we’ve been hard at work making this possible by: 

  • Hedge-laying - 50 metres of hedge-laying which quickly creates a diverse habitat for wildlife.  
  • Coppicing - this involves cutting back trees or shrubs to promote growth and this extends the life of different species, plus the new growth can be used for more hedge-laying and natural wigwams. It also creates a unique attraction to different wildlife.
  • Installing bug hotels - these have been installed across the campus and are built by stacking pallets and packing them with straw, sticks, moss and other natural materials.
  • New mowing practices - different mowing practices were trialled in the summer with 60% reduced mowing in some areas and this management still takes place.  
  • Planting fruit trees - different varieties of fruit trees have been planted, which are great for insects and wildlife. 

But we’re not stopping there! There’s plenty more we want to do, including planting more trees across campus, increasing the number of ponds and lakes on campus, and adding living walls and green roofs to buildings across campus. If you want to read more about our future plans, you can take a look here

We feel it’s important to have outdoor spaces around the campus for our staff, students and visitors to sit and enjoy whilst protecting the wildlife. Our nature walks around campus explore many ‘hidden areas’ and we’d love for you to take part in our trails which have different points of interest along the way. 

Did you know?
Our campus at Wellesbourne covers almost 200 hectares of arable crops and field trials run by the School of Life Sciences and a number of local companies. 

West Midlands Cycle Hire now on campus

Coventry’s successful West Midlands Cycle Hire (WMCH) scheme has now been expanded to cover our campus and Coventry Railway Station. There’s now nine new docking stations on and around campus, and the bikes have proven a real hit five of our campus docks are in the top 10 in the West Midlands for starting journey points.   

The bikes are for visitors, staff and students to hire for trips around the campus, but can be used for a longer commute to and from Coventry city centre.

WMCH has been rolled out in eight locations covering town and city centres across the region since March and proved popular with over 100,000 journeys taken to date. More information available here

Before you go...
Hear from Margot James, Executive Chair at WMG, for her take on COP26 and what it means for Warwick, our region and the world in this video.
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