Monitoring the lungs of the world from space – what satellites reveal about carbon storage in the forests of the Earth

Trees are a key nature-based mechanism for delivering on Net Zero commitments to meet the 1.5°C global warming target in the Paris Agreement. The role of forests and trees is vital because of their moderating influence globally on carbon, their impact nationally for carbon accounting and locally for people’s livelihoods. We have choices that can make a difference but these need to be informed by the right observations and by the latest understandings of nature.

Speakers at this event are experts on global and national forest carbon inventories, Earth observations from space and value for net zero. They will:

  • Explain how trees and forests make a difference to carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.
  • Show how exciting new measurements from satellites inform our knowledge of the carbon content of forests and trees.
  • Showcase the global status of forests and highlight examples of greenhouse gas removal in sustainable forest/tree developments.
  • Provide a scientific basis for climate action and verifiable greenhouse gas removal through carbon stock increases in forests and trees.
  • Bring the audience up-to-date on real world uses of satellite carbon data and plans to utilise this information for a low carbon future.

Speakers (in order of appearance):

John Remedios, Director of National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO), University of Leicester, UK
Frank Martin Seifert, Directorate of Earth Observation Programmes, ESA – European Space Agency, Italy
Paul Palmer, NCEO – University of Edinburgh, UK
Martin Herold, Wageningen University, Netherlands
Mathias Disney, NCEO – University College London, UK
Shaun Quegan, NCEO – University of Sheffield, UK
Laura Duncanson, University of Maryland, USA
Laurent Durieux, SDG Coordinator at Group on Earth Observations (GEO), Switzerland
Sylvia Wilson, US Geological Survey
Joana B. Melo, University of Sheffield, UK / Guinea Bissau


The Future of Wildlife Filmmaking – Beyond the Frame

In this session the filmmakers behind some of the most loved nature documentaries on the planet come together to discuss what role wildlife films could, and should, play to help create a safe and just future for the living world.

COP26 is an opportunity to have some brave conversations. It is time to explore if the films being made are doing all they can to help, if the large carbon footprint of making such films is justifiable, what these films are excluding from the frame and, most importantly, the potential they have to evolve and redefine success.

In a series of short films we will hear from wildlife filmmakers from across the globe that have witnessed the ecological crises unfolding and are exploring alternative paths. This will be followed by a panel discussion on next steps with some of the biggest players in the industry. Can the wildlife filmmaking industry rise to the challenge?


NATURE AIN’T A LUXURY – Why Young Black & Brown People feel alienated from Nature in the UK & the West Presented by Artist & Musician Louis VI

Expect a mixture of live music, film from Louis himself, talks, a diverse interactive panel of brilliant young POC Experts & Climate Activists exploring why people of colour in the UK & the West have been purposefully alienated & disconnected from the Natural world & what we’re doing about it.

Through music & film and discussion we will explore the delicate balance between destruction and harmony of humans with nature from a British Black, Brown & People of Colour perspective & how we can learn from the past to move forward. Curated by Louis VI a young mixed race musician from London, Zoology Graduate, film maker & presenter & quickly becoming known as a strong voice Climate Activism from a diaspora perspective after his Father’s ancestral island of Dominica was hit by Hurricane Maria in 2017.

Expect an open & exciting 90mins on what the young generation desperately feel needs to happen at COP26 and for Climate Change around the world with an emphasis on possibility, race, accountability & science

The Panel will include the incredible activists:

Nadeem Perera, (Flock Together) – A birdwatcher, who lends his 13 years of expertise to Flock Together, a birding watching group combating the underrepresentation of POC in nature. He has hit the seas with Greenpeace UK and works closely with underprivileged youth, showing them the benefits of nature. @birdnerdeem

Dr Mya-Rose Craig (Birdgirl) Environmentalist, climate and race activist @birdgirluk

Dominique Palmer, climate justice activist and student, an organiser in Fridays for Future, the global youth movement for climate action (@domipalmer)

Sumak Helena Gualinga, (Polluters Out & Tandari) Indigenous Environmental & Human rights Activist powerhouse from the Kichwa Sarayaku community in Ecuador, highlighting Indigenous and Environmental plights in the Amazon @helenagualinga

Chris Hines MBE Hon.D.Sc. (A Grain Of Sand & co-founder of Surfers Against Sewage), Environmental critic, Sustainability director at Eden Project, Environmental Activist and campaigner for over 30 years. http://www.agos.co/

As well as Louis J. Butler (Louis VI) himself, Musician, Environmental Activist & Filmmaker, Zoologist & Nature geek (@itslouisvi)


A just rural transition towards sustainable agriculture and halting deforestation and conversion from agricultural commodities – Working collaboratively to deliver for climate, nature and people

Food and land use systems currently contribute up to a third of greenhouse gas emissions globally. They are also the biggest driver of deforestation, conversion of natural ecosystems and habitats, and biodiversity loss.

Tackling these challenges whilst providing sustainable resilient livelihoods for food producers and nutritious, affordable food for a growing global population is therefore a critical challenge for this decade.

The Just Rural Transition (JRT) and Tropical Forest Alliance jointly present this technical event in support of the COP26 Nature Campaign. This event builds on two high-level events in the morning of Nature Day to announce ambitions and actions by members states and other stakeholders to reform agriculture and land use and take global action on forests and critical ecosystems.

It provides a platform for technical experts and representatives from governments, private sector, farmers, research organisations and other stakeholders to discuss options to contribute towards just rural transitions and deforestation-free commodity supply chains around the world. It showcases and celebrates our campaign successes and centres the perspective of producers, rural and indigenous groups, and the wider community.


Coastal Blue Carbon Panel – The vital role of mangroves for climate change mitigation and adaptation

Mangrove forests are the ultimate nature-based solutions for both climate change mitigation and adaptation. They capture and store carbon dioxide – coastal blue carbon – and they do this at rates far greater than most tropical rainforests. Protecting and restoring mangroves is a highly efficient and effective way to simultaneously reduce GHG emissions, and supporting adaptation to climate change . Mangrove protection and restoration is a vital component of achieving the large-scale carbon drawdown essential if we are to have a chance of limiting global warming to 1.5C.

Coastal tropical nations and their citizens hold the key to mangrove conservation and restoration.
This panel will bring together governments, civil society and world renowned scientists from Colombia, Madagascar, Costa Rica, Seychelles and Indonesia for an interactive discussion that will promote south-south knowledge sharing by:

  • Bringing to light the importance of mangroves in the context of global climate breakdown, from the perspective of coastal communities living on the frontline and governments working to ensure their countries’ blue economies are safeguarded
  • Demonstrating how the conservation and restoration of coastal blue carbon can help ensure that countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement are sufficiently ambitious to tackle the climate emergency
  • Explaining how, if the necessary policy and safeguarding frameworks are in place, carbon markets can be leveraged to fund and incentivise sustainable mangrove management and restoration
  • Highlighting some of the policy and implementation barriers that must be tackled if mangrove blue carbon is to reach its full potential, as well as some potential solutions to these barriers
    The panel discussion will be supplemented by mixed media and interactive audience Q&A.


Indigenous peoples of the Amazon and climate change: new solutions for energy from the indigenous territories

Classified as “clean energy”, large hydropower plants located in tropical forested regions may lead to significant carbon dioxide and methane. Running over human rights, profound impacts on biodiversity and traditional communities, violation of international laws and agreements and allegations of widespread corruption are some of the examples that have been observed about the construction of hydroelectric plants in the region. In addition to all these problems, Hydroelectric power plants installed in tropical forest areas emit considerable amounts of greenhouse gases as a result of the degradation of flooded vegetation and soil. With all these impacts on the scale, it is impossible to classify hydroelectric as clean energy. The Brazilian Indigenous people have denounced the impacts and risks in their areas, yet these same communities are often generating innovative, just, and scalable clean energy solutions.

This session is an invitation to hear from the front lines about the social, environmental and economic impacts of hydropower dams, that are being falsely portrayed as “clean and renewable” energy and a solution to the climate crisis. Indigenous leaders whose ancestral lands and lifeways are impacted by hydropower development in Brazil will tell their stories. Hear about how the Amazonian indigenous people are developing their own clean energy solutions contributing to the community development and at the same time tackling the needed energy transition. Hear how they are developing their own clean energy solutions contributing to the community development and at the same time tackling the needed energy transition.


Living-Language-Land – Listening to nature in languages not our own

The languages we speak shape how we understand the world around us, including our connections to land and nature. But as fast as we’re losing species from our planet, so we’re losing languages that offer different ways of seeing. What connections, ideas and wisdom are we losing as those languages are lost? What powerful strategies for sustainable living might they offer, to help look afresh at our environmental crisis?

living-language-land is a journey through endangered and minority languages that reveal different ways of relating to land and nature. Through 26 words shared in the run-up to COP26 we are giving a global audience fresh inspiration for tackling our environmental crisis.

Our contributors from across the world share, in their own voices, what their powerful words mean to them and their communities. And they explain how the environmental crisis is challenging the deep bonds with land and nature that their words express. Together the words form a rich word bank that offers a fresh, evocative perspective on our environmental crisis – one that’s beyond the scope of the Western-dominated conversation.

Our event includes films and visual content contributed to the project from communities across the world. It also includes conversations with some of our international contributors, allowing the audience to directly engage with the people and experiences that may lead us into a different relationship with our land and nature.

The project will be presented by creative producers Neville Gabie and Philippa Bayley, with contributions from our project partners and contributors.

Home Page

The living-language-land project is funded by the British Council COP26 Creative Commissions programme.



“Unlocking the nature/net zero balance” – exploring the twin challenge of tackling climate change while preserving and enhancing our natural environment

Nature is behind every drop of water that we consume, keeping us healthy and fed, powering industry and the economy. Our aquifers, lakes and wetlands provide us with water storage; our rivers and streams convey water along vibrant wildlife corridors; while our coastal saltmarshes serve as both a natural barrier against storms and as a sink for carbon.

In 2020, water companies in the UK spear-headed the industry’s low-carbon journey with the publication of the Net Zero 2030 Routemap – the world’s first detailed sector-wide plan to reach net zero by 2030. At the heart of the Routemap is a desire to move away from traditional concrete and steel solutions to a variety of nature-based solutions that bring wider co-benefits beyond net zero.

In this event, we will bring together representatives from the business and environmental communities to explore the opportunities and co-benefits of developing nature-based solutions in support of a Blue Recovery, and the key barriers to success. We will also offer insights around the challenge and opportunity of delivering net zero alongside nature recovery, providing attendees with leading examples from around the UK and exploring the role of regulatory frameworks and green finance in supporting the roll out and scaling up of nature-based programmes.

Hosted by: Christine McGourty, CEO, Water UK
Keynote: Tony Juniper, Chair, Natural England
Panellists: Douglas Millican, CEO, Scottish Water
Darren Moorcroft, CEO, Woodland Trust
Ronan Palmer, Associate Director – Clean Economy, E3G
James Robinson, Director of Conservation, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT)
Becky Speight, CEO, RSPB


Fairtrade Farmers: Our Food and the Fight for Climate Justice

Chair: Mary Kinyua, Oserian Flowers, Kenya and Fairtrade International representative to the COP President’s Civil Society and Youth Council


  • Benjamin Franklin Kouamé, Cocoa Farmer and Fairtrade Africa
  • Andres Gonzales, Sugar Farmer and Latin American and Caribbean Network of Fair Trade Producers and Workers
  • Muniraju Shivanna, Sugar farmer and Fairtrade Network of Asian & Pacific Producers
  • Cheryl Pinto, Global Values Led Sourcing Manager, Ben & Jerry’s

A live, interactive panel discussion with Fairtrade farmer representatives from the Producer Networks and business leaders to discuss what further action is needed from citizens, business and governments to scale-up global efforts to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change.

In order to achieve global climate targets, we need to transform the global food system and its relationship with global trade. Those already facing the harshest effects of the climate crisis must be a central part of building solutions for a just transition to a truly sustainable global food system.

Farming communities in climate vulnerable nations across the Global South are amongst those already experiencing the worst effects of climate change. We’ll hear some of the ways they are already taking action to adapt and support their communities and transition to more climate-friendly farming methods.


Climate Action – Harnessing the Power of Networks!

Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) is the world’s largest environmental education organisation, with 100 members in 79 countries. Through five ground-breaking programmes, we empower people to take meaningful and purposeful action to help create a more sustainable world.

The theme of COP 26, ‘Together for Our Planet’ provides an important platform to showcase the impacts being created by the network of FEE and explain how each programme is driving the agenda of Climate Action. FEE has prioritised Climate Change, along with Biodiversity Loss and Pollution, as key areas of urgent action for its 10-year strategy – GAIA 20:30.

Through panel presentations, the event will showcase stories of positive actions from around the world. It will bring together voices of different stakeholders such as youth leaders from Eco-Schools, managers of Green Key awarded establishments, municipalities with Blue Flag accredited sites, and Young Reporters for the Environment.

The event will explore how the FEE network is able to make an impact at a global scale with common principles and goals to achieve a sustainable world. It will connect the global impact FEE is creating through stories of change supported by local examples from stakeholders from the UK.

Keynote – Ms Lesley Jones, President FEE
Session Moderator – Mr Daniel Schaffer, CEO FEE


The Need to Be Cold

A conversation and artistic intervention on the effects of global warming that threaten the livelihood of Indigenous peoples in the arctic region. For this panel the Goethe-Institut invites experts to discuss ‘Green Colonialism’ and Indigenous self-determination in the North.

The hybrid event is part of the cross-border, interdisciplinary project focusing on the Arctic and Boreal regions “The Right to Be Cold”*: It negotiates questions of Indigenous rights, ecology, climate justice and culture. The project brings together the voices of those who stand up for self-determination and climate-justice and connects artists and institutions from Nunavik, Sápmi and Yakutia and other places in the Arctic region. Besides the multilingual online platform https://www.goethe.de/prj/eco/en/rbc.html , the residency relay and other activities contribute to share knowledge and connect discourses in the global North with those in the South.

* The title of the project comes from the long battle of Inuit to have their rights linked to climate change. The book of the same name by Sheila Watt-Cloutier (2015, Allen Lane Publication), testifies of her pioneering work in connecting climate change to human rights. Okalik Eegeesiak, Former Chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) used the expression in her discourse at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change COP 21 December 3, 2015 in Paris, France.


The Farewell Glacier by Nick Drake

Join us for a journey into the mysteries, wonders and climate emergencies of the high Arctic.

Scottish Composers, Emma Donald and Isbel Pendlebury, in collaboration with poet and playwright Nick Drake, have created a compelling, informing and emotionally powerful event of music and poetry for COP26. Award-winning Scottish actor, Peter Mullan will read the poems inspired by Nick’s voyage around the Svalbard archipelago. ‘The Farewell Glacier’ gathers together voices both human and non-human from across the Arctic’s past, present and future to tell a story of exploration, exploitation and imagination. From the first European explorers and whalers to ice-cores, mercury and even the Future herself, this is a story of the power and beauty of ice, the calamity of its loss, and a call to the imagination of every one of us to change the future for the better.

The Company

Peter Mullan – Reader

Nick Drake – Poet/Playwright

Emma Donald – Composer/Fiddle

Isbel Pendlebury – Composer/Clarsach

Serena Hill – Creative Associate

Edel Rae – Producer

The Farewell Glacier’ is performed by kind permission of the publishers Bloodaxe Books Ltd. Music copyright Emma Donald and Isbel Pendlebury We gratefully acknowledge the support and generosity of: The Pebble Trust The Highland Museum of Childhood The individual supporters who, for the sake of the climate, invested their trust and money in our story.


Are Religious Leaders Rising to the Climate Challenge?

The Commonwealth Jewish Council recognises that religion is one of the most potent and motivating forces in human society. Unfortunately, far too often the power of religious communities is overlooked in international affairs and only perceived as a source of trouble rather than idealistic action for the good of Humankind. If religions and their leaders are not on board with the need to address climate change, arguably, huge proportions of the world’s population will not be moved to take the matter seriously.

This panel will explore not only what religions have to say about the topic but, more importantly, what religions are doing and can do to improve the world on this front.

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth
The Rt. Revd Olivia Graham, Bishop of Reading
Chief Imam Sayed Ali Abbas Razawi, Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society
Chaired by CEO of the CJC Clive Lawton OBE JP



An Inter-generational Conversation Among Women and Youth in the Climate Change & Agriculture Arena

The event will bring together climate, agriculture gender experts and youth representatives both at the policy and grassroots levels.
The session will be an interactive discussion featuring female agricultural experts who are training to become UNFCCC negotiators and youth activists and contributors that, through their shared examples, aim at preserving the planet while increasing their resilience towards climate change.
It will be introduced by a high-profile expert and a moderator will then ask a rapid-fire series of questions to the female agricultural experts/scientists in agriculture about their realities as women advocates for the climate, the good practices they have experienced in their areas of expertise, hopes for the future and challenges they face. It is also foreseen to include an interview with women representing different generations who will share their experiences as female experts from LDC’s and youth explaining what obstacles women in their countries face and recommendations for young women.
The audience will be engaged through a virtual icebreaker using menti-meter polls and leaving time to ask questions to panel members, with final discussion on main challenges to access climate services and last-mile application in the agriculture sector.


Feminist Action for Climate Justice

Feminists and grassroots activists are at the frontlines of movements and solutions addressing the climate crisis around the world. They are forging pathways towards true climate justice, centered around human rights, gender equality and the integrity of the environment. In this session, they come together to share stories of fierce struggle, enduring hope and lessons on working in solidarity for change.