COP26 Community Engagement Programme announced

Wind farm (Rural Matters Flickr)
Katharine Johnston

With just over 50 days to go until COP26 comes to Glasgow, details of Scotland’s COP26 community engagement programme have been announced.

The programme of climate change activity will engage communities in the journey to net zero and empower them to take action.

It will include activity targeted at communities that have not previously engaged in climate action, helping to make Scotland’s COP26 engagement inclusive.

The programme also includes activity for young people, including schools and youth groups such as the guiding and scouting movements, to help ensure children and young people from all backgrounds can participate.

Scotland’s climate festivals will support local communities to plan and deliver their own festivals and events across the country.

Keep Scotland Beautiful and the Glasgow Science Centre will lead on delivery, backed with almost £500,000 of Scottish Government funding.

Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport Michael Matheson said:

“COP26 coming to Scotland is a unique opportunity to advance the society-wide transformation demanded by the climate crisis. That’s why we are determined to make sure the event reaches out far beyond the negotiations in Glasgow, into every community in the country.

“Scotland has made great progress in delivering its world-leading climate targets and is already over half way to net zero. To end our contribution to climate change within a generation, we will all need to play role. Our communities and young people will be at the heart of that action. This programme will help empower everyone to take action to tackle climate change – especially those that might have not previously engaged.”

Barry Fisher, CEO of Keep Scotland Beautiful, said:

“We’re delighted to be working with the Scottish Government and partners to ensure everyone is empowered to navigate the climate emergency challenges ahead. 

“COP26 happening in Scotland must be a catalyst to broaden and intensify climate conversations nationally and locally.  We want to bring the issues discussed at the summit to the heart of communities by unlocking opportunities for those currently not engaged in climate change action to make their voices heard, and to provide much needed energy and support.”

Dr Stephen Breslin, CEO Glasgow Science Centre, said:

“Our World, Our Impact aims to make climate science relevant to day-to-day life, inviting everyone to explore how we can all play a part in the discussion as Glasgow prepares to host COP26. We are also delighted to be working together with our colleagues from Scotland’s other science centres to look at how we can engage underserved audiences in the climate conversation across Scotland.”


Scotland’s Climate Festival will facilitate national and local festivals to be planned across the country. Keep Scotland Beautiful will support local communities, particularly less engaged new audiences, to plan, promote and deliver local climate festivals that will appeal to their community, drawing significantly on local enthusiasts and experts to run events.

Guides and Scouts Climate Programme will develop a range of climate change resources to feed into existing topics and deliver a programme of Climate Emergency Training for Leaders. 

Community Climate Action and Training Programme will support seven new communities to produce tailored community climate action plans.  Keep Scotland Beautiful will support them to begin their actions, signpost them to sources of further advice and funding relevant to their plan and help them evaluate impact.

Glasgow Science Centre’s ‘Our World, Our Impact’ Phase 2 programme’ builds on the success of the first phase of the programme. It aims to inform, inspire and empower people of all ages and backgrounds to engage with climate science, using COP26 as a springboard. GSC will create STEM content and provide learning experiences and resources, exploring the science of climate change for schools and communities. They will also work with the network of Scotland’s science centres across the country.