The Ashden Awards 2021: celebrating bold and brilliant climate pioneers

This year the annual Ashden Awards celebration will tell visitors to the Glasgow COP and a global online audience the inspiring stories of climate champions from around the world. Champions whose exciting initiatives can fire us towards a low-carbon future.

At 6pm on 4 November, the nine 2021 Award winners will be announced, and we will premiere a film highlighting and celebrating their personal journeys.

Join us in the Green Zone cinema or online to see ground-breaking initiatives in the forests and fields of Africa and India, among refugee camps brimming with energy and entrepreneurship, and in towns and cities up and down the UK. Hear what it takes to become a true climate champion – and how the world can boost these initiatives, and many others like them.

From clean and affordable energy to new jobs and green skills, Ashden Award winners show the awesome potential of climate action. So reserve your tickets now or register online for a whirlwind tour of wonder and inspiration.

From rainforests to renewables: The 2021 Ashden Awards are:
Humanitarian Energy
supported by the Linbury Trust; Alan and Babette Sainsbury Charitable Fund and a public appeal
Natural Climate Solutions
supported by the UK Government Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Energy Access Innovation
supported by the UK Government Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Cooling in Informal Settlements
supported by Clean Cooling Collaborative/ClimateWorks Foundation
Energy Access Skills
supported by The Ashden Trust
Regenerative Agriculture
supported by The DOEN Foundation
UK Climate Innovation
supported by Impax Asset Management
UK Green Skills
supported by Garfield Weston Foundation
UK Green Communities
supported by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation


How sport can help kick carbon, with Sky Sports

See how climate change will have an impact on sport, and how the immense power of sport can help to combat the climate crisis, with Sky Sports News presenter Mike Wedderburn and guests. Plus, an exclusive first look of a brand new short-form documentary created by Sky Sports – Cricket’s Climate Crisis.


Fast Forward, a series of short films that explore five artists’ dreams for a regenerative world

Founded by contemporary artist Olafur Eliasson, Little Sun is a nonprofit organization that works to deliver affordable clean energy solutions and inspire climate action. In this session, Little Sun will screen its latest culture project, Fast Forward, a series of short films that explore five artists’ dreams for a regenerative world.

Featuring voices from Ethiopia, Senegal, and the United States, the series turns an often data-driven and technically heavy conversation surrounding the climate crisis into an open, intimate dialogue, creating new motivation for change.

Following the screening, Fast Forward’s curator Alex McClure will host a conversation about the role of art in stewarding a just transition to a net-zero world.


How your wallet could save the world

Your money is so powerful. It could help tackle the climate crisis or fan the flames. It’s one of our biggest weapons in the fight against the climate crisis, and it’s time people unlocked that hidden superpower to build a better world.

Take pensions. Make My Money Matter’s research shows that having a green pension is 21x more effective at cutting your carbon than stopping flying, going vegetarian and switching energy provider COMBINED. Imagine if the $50 trillion in our pensions was helping tackle the crises our world is facing, rather than supporting business as usual?

So join Make My Money Matter, Count Us In and WWF-UK to hear from a range of exciting speakers who will give you real examples on how your savings, your bank and your pensions are impacting the world. And most importantly what you can do to ensure it’s having a positive impact.

Introduced by Richard Curtis, there will be a series of rapid-fire speeches followed by exciting short films to help you understand the power of your wallet. There will be a chance to quiz our speakers on everything you ever wanted to know about money but were too scared to asked. Then we’ll close with a screening of Our Planet: Too Big To Fail – a cinematic masterpiece inspired by the Netflix Our Planet series and created by WWF and Silverback Films – featuring the one and only Sir David Attenborough.

Many other events during COP26 will focus on the problems. Join us and learn how you can be part of the solution.


Generation Earthshot : Discover What It Takes To Win An Earthshot Prize

What does it take to win a £1m Earthshot Prize? Where
do ideas come from and how can you come up with
solutions to repair the planet?

All these questions and
more will be explored in an interactive event for school
students (aged 10-14) to meet and find out more about
some of the 2021 Earthshot Prize Finalists.

The Finalists will be interviewed by representatives of
“Generation Earthshot” – young climate champions.
They will also explore why learning should always be the
first step to action and share their own tips for getting
involved in the climate and environment movement.

This event will mix live and digital participation through
panels, interviews, teaching and film.


Reporting from the Front Line: Telling the stories of climate change

What is the role of factual, current affairs and news programming in telling the stories of climate change? With such a powerful platform to educate and inspire, how do broadcasters make global climate change stories relevant to audiences? Can you report the challenges our planet faces without overwhelming or demoralising viewers? And how can broadcasters maintain impartiality and inspire positive change?

We’ll hear from a range of presenters and journalists who will share their insights and personal stories, giving testimony to the climate issues they’ve witnessed around the world.

Tom Heap, Presenter, Countryfile and 39 Ways to Save the Planet, BBC
Liz Bonnin, Science, Natural History and Environmental Broadcaster
Rachel Corp, Editor, ITV News
Ciaran Jenkins, Scotland Correspondent, Channel 4 News
Sarah Whitehead, Deputy Head of Newsgathering, Sky News
STV speaker tbc


The Voiceless Revolution

Hosted by planetSHINE founder and CEO, Rachel McClelland and Scottish entrepreneur and Prickly Thistle founder, Clare Campbell, The Voiceless Revolution will be an entertaining, inspiring and inclusive mix of real talk,
film and action focused on the communities who, until now, haven’t had a voice amid the climate emergency.

We are bringing together a committee of real people; 21 st century heroes of all races, ages, genders and species, and with an emphasis on the working classes, to represent the planet and its diverse mix of people and other species. Young and old will be welcome to share their stories, their struggles, their hopes and dreams.

Our heroes – people from all walks of life – face a huge problem; a broken society and a devastated planet and they are the ones who will suffer the most. Not only that, but they have one thing in common – they have been powerless for too long. Overwhelmed by the scale of the climate emergency combined with sometimes living on the fringes of society, they haven’t had a voice…until now.

The Voiceless Revolution is a coming together of the disenfranchised, the marginalised and the unrepresented.

Whilst the greatest minds on the planet – governments, business leaders and entrepreneurs – have been trying in vain to solve the problem, there is still much to do and not much time in which to do it.

We now need to listen to the planet, to marginalised communities, to all species. We need to collaborate at every step of the way and we need to listen and learn from each other.

The Voiceless Revolution will ensure that everyone is listened to. The backbone of the world, of industry, of life is ready to take centre stage.

The grafters, the creators, the refugees, the cleaners, the sweepers, the homeless, the machinists, the miners, the care experienced, the child birthers, the taxi drivers, the lions, the worker bees, the companion dogs. We are bringing them all to the conversation and through a mix of discussion, film, the arts and a huge positive call to action, we aim to ensure that everybody, who is being impacted or will be impacted by the climate emergency, is included.

This is humanity, and other species, at their finest.

It’s time for drastic measures.

It’s time to listen to the voiceless.

Join us, be heard and be a part of a new revolution!


Climate and the Deep Sea World: Schmidt Ocean Institute’s Global Efforts – A Visual Journey and Panel

The backdrop of legends and movies, the deep sea has always been unfathomable because we had no idea what existed there. Once thought to be barren of life, we now know this couldn’t be further from the truth. Life exists under extreme conditions at these depths and with every deep-sea expedition we gain a greater understanding of the crucial services it provides our planet. Although seemingly remote, the deep sea plays a key role in our climate. Better understanding of remote and deep-sea biodiversity, offers insight into how these systems both influence the climate and are, in turn, influenced by climate change. These insights are made with the help of new technologies such as Schmidt Ocean Institute’s 4,500 meter capable underwater robot, ROV SuBastian. This two hour event will feature exclusive, award-winning, video content from deep sea waters showcasing new species and underwater features with interviews from scientists around the world discussing the impact of climate change on these fragile ecosystems. Footage will be shared from the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea Marine Parks in Australia, the Phoenix Islands Protected Area in Kiribati, the Mariana Trench in Guam, submarine volcanoes of Tonga, hydrothermal vents in the Gulf of California – Mexico, and white shark feeding grounds in the high seas. The film will be followed by a panel centered on climate impacts in the deep sea and how we can better understand and mitigate this in order to improve the overall health of our planet. The panel will include Ocean experts focused on high seas, biodiversity and seabed mapping.


A Beautiful Planet

The Award-winning IMAX film, A Beautiful Planet is a breath-taking portrait of Earth from space, providing a unique perspective and increased understanding of our planet and galaxy as never seen before. Made in cooperation with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the film features stunning footage of our magnificent blue planet — and the effects humanity has had on it over time — captured by the astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Narrated by Jennifer Lawrence, produced by IMAX Entertainment and Toni Myers — the acclaimed Canadian filmmaker behind celebrated IMAX® documentaries Blue Planet, Hubble 3D, and Space Station 3D.

Presented by the Global Climate Uprising Festival, the film contains warnings regarding climate change and environmental degradation using IMAX footage of Earth from space and time-lapse photography. While showing the impact of Earth’s warming climate, the film also offers positive reasons to take better care of our planet to depict how Earth’s warming climate is causing global disasters and how we are finding solutions in research from deep space to lunar explorations on the bottom of the ocean floor.

IMAX veteran Jackson Myers, son of the film’s director, the late Toni Myers, will join us for a post screening discussion and Q&A. Captain Samantha Cristoforetti, European Space Agency Astronaut has been invited to address the audience. Captain Cristoforetti holds the record for the longest uninterrupted spaceflight by a European and is the first Italian woman in space.


Be part of the solution: How research and innovation is tackling climate change

Talented people with bright ideas in the UK’s research and innovation system are coming together to drive a new green industrial revolution. This revolution is powered by collective expertise and the determination to achieve net zero carbon emissions, live more sustainably and ultimately tackle climate change.

The UK’s scientists, researchers and innovators, supported by UKRI investment, are creating new and exciting solutions to complex climate challenges. As well as technical solutions, their work provides robust, rigorous evidence to inform climate policy.

Did you know that hydrogen could power a plane, or that robots are inspecting wind turbines? Join us to discover how ideas are becoming reality to offer a more sustainable and certain future for us all.
In our 90-minute session, you’ll hear from scientists and innovators themselves.

  • Understand the role of science in identifying and understanding climate change and its impacts
  • Explore the latest in renewable energy, from the role of hydrogen to lighter wind turbine blades
  • We’ll be busting some of the myths around electric vehicles as well as considering flight and maritime innovation in our session on travel and transport
  • We will explore whether we will all be eating insects in the future
  • In food and packaging; will we all be eating insects in the future and how do we solve the problem of plastic?
  • Showcasing the diversity of talent including the work of women and young innovators and leaving you with some great ideas about how you can help to tackle climate change

Imagine a net zero world in 2050 world of possible solutions in our interactive and lively session. You will leave us knowing how to contribute to a brighter future by making everyday changes which help tackle climate change and its impact on our planet and people.


Anthropocene: The Human Epoch, a cinematic meditation on humanity’s massive reengineering of the planet

The High Commission of Canada in the UK presents an exclusive IMAX screening of the multiple-award winning Canadian documentary, Anthropocene: The Human Epoch, a cinematic meditation on humanity’s massive reengineering of the planet.

From concrete seawalls covering 60% of China’s mainland coast to the psychedelic potash mines of Russia’s Ural Mountains, Canadian directors Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier and Edward Burtynsky take us on a provocative journey exploring our species’ impact on the planet.

The Anthropocene Project is a multidisciplinary body of work combining art, film, virtual reality, augmented reality and scientific research to investigate human influence on the state, dynamic and future of the Earth.

For more details please visit https://theanthropocene.org/ Screening will be accompanied by introductory remarks and a post screening discussion. Details will be released closer to the event. Presented by the High Commission of Canada in The UK, with grateful thanks to Motion Picture Solutions and The IMAX Corporation.


Citizens from the Global Assembly present their proposals

Join the people involved in the Global Citizens’ Assembly to find out more about how a snapshot of the world population is being brought together to learn and deliberate on the climate and ecological crisis.

Global Assembly team members, Susan Nakyung Lee, Claire Mellier and Rich Wilson, will be joined live by citizens from across the world, who are taking part in the Global Assembly process to deliberate on the question:
“How can humanity address the climate and ecological crisis in a fair and effective way?”

The event will introduce the citizens’ proposals developed during the deliberative process in the run up to Glasgow.

It will be an opportunity to bring the lived experience of those citizens to the heart of COP26.

You will meet cultural figures from across the world who are lending their support to the initiative, including Oscar winner Sir Mark Rylance.

You will also find out how communities across the world can run their own local Community Assemblies, and how a ‘cultural wave’ will bring the Global Assembly into the lives of citizens through art and culture. There will be plenty of opportunities for interactive exchanges between the audience and the speakers.

To find out more about the Global Assembly in advance of our Green Zone event, have a look at our website, follow us on social media, and join us on November 1st to hear directly from the citizens making this initiative a reality.



‘Our Village, Community Corner ’ organised by ‘If Not Us Then Who?

‘Our Village, Community Corner ’ organised by ‘If Not Us Then Who?’ presents an immersive multimedia IMAX experience from inside indigenous minds to the soul of the climate justice movement.

Featuring a new theatre piece, ‘Can I Live?’ from Complicité & Fehinti Balogun. Fehinti tells the story of how, as a Black British man, his path was forever changed by what he learnt about our planet.

Following this will be a discussion by local community climate leaders from the Global Alliance of Territorial Communities – APIB, AMAN, AMPB, COICA; the Black & Indigenous Liberation Movement, the Hip Hop Caucus, including emerging indigenous storytellers and live music from Eric Terena, Brazilian Indigenous DJ.

All around the world local communities are responding to climate change with powerful resilience, innovative action, and a spirit that can profoundly impact our world. OUR VILLAGE invites people from all walks of life to belong to a community inspired by justice and our connection to the earth. www.ourvillage.us


Commercial Buildings: A real asset in addressing climate change?

The built environment is responsible for c40% of global carbon emissions. Significant investment will be needed to decarbonise commercial buildings and make real estate assets resilient to the physical impacts of climate change.

This event will provide an insight into the critical role that the commercial real estate sector plays in addressing climate change, highlighting some of the toughest challenges and exploring how meaningful progress can be accelerated through:

• Collective Commitment: Showcasing the Better Buildings Partnership Climate Commitment (covering over £370bn AUM), we’ll discuss how sector commitments can expedite action and investigate what is required to deliver on this ground-breaking commitment.

• Sustainable Finance: Focusing on the role of the finance sector in driving action, we’ll consider how financial instruments can be used to mobilise capital and scale-up investment in decarbonising commercial buildings and protecting them against climate risk.

• Collaborative Action: Emphasising the critical role that building occupiers play in driving demand, the event will bring owners and occupiers face to face to align their climate change ambitions.

Culminating in a panel discussion focused on urgent near term action, the event will bring together senior leaders from the real estate industry alongside investors and occupiers of commercial real estate assets to inspire cross-sectoral action on climate change.

Confirmed speakers:

• Neil Slater, Global Head of Real Assets, Abrdn

• Sarah Ratcliffe, CEO, Better Buildings Partnership

• Caroline Hill, Managing Director, Europe Head of Real Estate ESG, Blackstone

• Sam McClary, Editor, Estates Gazette

• Janine Cole, Social Impact & Sustainability Director, Great Portland Estates

• Miles Keeping, Chair, Green Property Alliance

• Stephanie Hyde, CEO, JLL UK

• Shuen Chan, Head of ESG, Real Assets, Legal & General Investment Management

• Bek Seeley, Managing Director, Development, Europe, Lendlease

• Michael Neal, European CIO, Nuveen

• Paul Dunne, MD Group Ops, SEGRO

Supported by The British Property Federation.



ACE and the Clean Energy Transition

Efforts to embed the environmental democracy principles of open government, citizen participation, and access to justice principles in environmental governance – have been ongoing since the 1992 Rio Summit. Yet the potential of these principles to enhance climate action has yet to be realised. Action on Climate Empowerment (ACE) and environmental democracy can strengthen the participation of citizens, local communities, women, and indigenous peoples in energy decision-making, creating powerful tools for convincing decision-makers to undertake ambitious, just clean energy objectives and orientate them to fulfil them with the widest societal ownership. Societal ownership can, in turn, facilitate the implementation of ambitious clean energy objectives and enhance legal certainty. The adoption of the Glasgow ACE Work Programme brings a unique opportunity to reinvigorate the clean energy transition.

WFD will convene a panel in collaboration with the World Resources Institute (WRI), International IDEA, Climate Action Network (CAN), E3G and the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee (BEIS) of the UK House of Commons to:

  • Provide views on how to ensure that climate empowerment is placed at the heart of national action plans on climate as a delivery mechanism of the Paris Agreement and its ‘ratchet mechanism’.
  • Highlight the role of Parliaments to serve as major hubs for innovative action for clean energy climate empowerment and demonstrate the example of the UK Climate Assembly in generating and integrating citizens’ views into policymaking as regards societal preferences for a zero-carbon energy mix.
  • Showcase examples of environmental democracy worldwide driving climate action including the transition to clean energy. (MPs from Costa Rica, Georgia, Pakistan).