Glasgow is currently playing host to a really important event: COP26. But what is it and why should we care?
Conference of the Parties, or COP as it’s often referred to, is a United Nations event that brings together nearly every nation state on Earth in the hope of answering the climate change challenge.
In its 26th year, COP will take place from Sunday 31 October – Friday 12 November, therefore, over the next few weeks you’re likely to hear world leaders, heads of international business, scientists and plenty of others from across the planet, sharing their opinions on the state of affairs and how things should proceed moving forwards.
We hopes to see a united ambition and collaboration from across the globe to tackle climate change and, so, we’ll be following the event closely. As far more important than the next two weeks of COP26 itself are the months of global action that we hope follows whatever decisions are made. This is a chance to update and strengthen the global plan to save Earth’s ecosystems, and thereby our own existence. We’ll be looking at some of our own upcoming conservation projects and research related to climate change and its solutions.
Below we highlight some of the topics that may come up at this year’s COP, the climate change challenges at the core of our conservation efforts; as well as what we’re doing with our partners around the world and how YOU can help too – no matter who you are!
Together WE CAN prevent extinction!
What is climate change?
Human-driven climate change is the all-encompassing phrase for the long term changes in Earth’s temperature and weather caused mainly by humans releasing lots of greenhouse gasses such as CO2 and methane. Here’s a quick overview of what climate change is.
Commodities & reforestation
A major goal of COP26 is to ‘curtail’ deforestation; which is the clearing of forests or other green habitats. It’s also one of the biggest causes of species extinction, and is a topic really close to our heart.
Another ambition of COP26 is to find ways to reduce the amount of waste that’s being produced and increase the percentage of the things we all consume that are recycled.
Biodiversity loss and climate change very much go hand-in-hand, and we’re busy working on a number of UK solutions that benefit both. In the UK we have huge power to make a real difference right on our doorstep.
Due to the rising temperatures, some of the most affected places on earth are becoming drier and hotter. These are the perfect conditions for fire.
Our actions and future proofing Chester Zoo
Modern zoos and aquariums have an enormous role to play in the fight against climate change, and this is something we take very seriously in planning our own future. As well as in-depth research, education activities, and support for global conservation, our ten year Conservation Masterplan outlines the ways we’re going to change.
As a responsible conservation charity, we’re committed to halting our use of fossil fuels, the single greatest cause of human-driven climate change. Our ten year plan will see us use only renewable energy, like solar and wind, by 2030. This also means replacing much of our infrastructure with environmentally friendly alternatives, and changing the way we work. We’ll monitor and report our progress to ensure transparency and show our long-term commitment to our carbon reduction.
We’re also on a journey to become a net zero waste organisation, working with other organisations and businesses to find ways to eliminate our waste across the zoo, and share our practices with others on the quest for this achievement.
Discover climate change TALKS & activities at the zoo!
HOW GREEN ARE YOU?
Take our totally utterly GARBAGE quiz and discover plenty of facts, tips and inspiration on how you can become even more sustainable!
EMPOWERING YOUNG PEOPLE
The climate crisis our planet is facing is of great concern for many young people and the education sector has an opportunity to play a vital role in the legacy of COP26. We believe that biodiversity conservation should be a core theme across all curriculum subjects.
Tony Fitzjohn (OBE)
Zoo Minister Lord Goldsmith pays a visit to Chester Zoo
Saving the world’s rarest species from extinction with cryopreservation
Empowering young people to get involved in real world issues
We’re launching our first ever animal apprenticeship scheme!
It’s twins! Adorable red-bellied lemur duo born at the zoo.
FREE LEARNING RESOURCES FOR EDUCATORS
We’re offering a collection of inspiring and thought-provoking learning resources to support educators to discuss the key concepts and messages during the COP26 conference and beyond.