The British Council, the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, is showcasing highlights from its global Climate Connection programme – which supports people around the world to find creative solutions to climate change – during the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland from 1 to 12 November.
From the COP26 Blue Zone Pavilion, the British Council is engaging in discussions about the role of educational and cultural policy in tackling the climate emergency.
The Climate Connection, which launched in June 2021, brings people together through arts and culture, education, and the English language to address the climate emergency through a global programme of activity and engagement, with particular focus on young people aged 11 to 35.
Highlighting the British Council’s role in addressing climate change, Scott McDonald, British Council Chief Executive, said: ‘Young people have a huge role to play in shaping future climate change policy and the British Council is committed to including their voices in the climate discussion at COP26 and beyond. Through initiatives such as our Climate Connection programme, we are building on UK expertise to support them to gain the skills, experience, and connections they need to make positive change at local, national, and international levels. Connecting and building trust between the UK and countries, communities, and generations – and empowering young people globally to make that happen – is at the heart of the British Council’s approach.’
During COP26, the British Council is also supporting a number of partner-led events on site, while simultaneously engaging global audiences through a range of online offers – from an Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for English teachers who want to integrate climate themes into their teaching, to a Live at COP26 MOOC run in partnership with the University of Edinburgh, to the launch of another edition of the Destination Zero climate innovation challenge competition.
At the Bangladesh pavilion, on 3 November 2021, the British Council PROKAS team demonstrated that locally-led adaptation processes can effectively inform national and global policy and practice – resulting in better climate adaptation outcomes. The session was attended by AK Abdul Momen, Minister of Foreign Affairs Bangladesh, Saber Hossain Chowdhury, MP, Chairman, Parliament Committee on Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Md. Shahab Uddin, MP, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Bangladesh, and Shameem Patwary, MP, along with PROKAS delegates.
The next day, the Ministry of Disaster Management & Relief, launched their disaster management strategy titled ‘Minimising loss and damage of internal displacement in Bangladesh’. It was developed with support from our PROKAS programme. Dr Md Enamur Rahman, MP, State Minister, MoDM&R, Md Mostafa Kamal, Secretary, MoEFCC, Md Mohsin, Secretary, MoDM&R attended the session along with PROKAS delegates.
Other British Council initiatives include showcase of Bangladeshi film ‘The Salt in our Waters’ and selective photographs from the photography competition ‘A Better Tomorrow’, Creative Commissions exploring climate change through art, science and digital technology, a Green Careers Guide providing advice on education opportunities and routes into green jobs, and funding to protect global heritage from the risk of climate change.