With COP26 now fully underway, the climate crisis is at the forefront of everyone’s mind. And while you might not be able to make it up to Glasgow, there are plenty of ways you can engage with the conversation right here in the capital. From The Conduit’s innovative new studio, which is broadcasting straight from the heart of the Blue Zone, to the eye-opening documentaries on show at the UK Green Film Festival and Grosvenor Square’s striking new artwork, these are the best eco events inspired by COP26 in London happening this November.
Uplifting Eco Events in London
The UK’s annual environmental film festival is back, and this year they’re launching their new programme to coincide with COP26. With screenings across the country, from Aberystwyth and Coventry to Manchester and Sheffield, they’ll be taking over the Art Deco Rio Cinema in East London with special screenings of five feature documentaries that shed light on the ever-growing climate emergency around the world. Highlights include Norwegian director Erland E. Mo’s Journey to Utopia, which follows the Mo family as they embark on a new eco-life in Denmark, and Jim Rakete’s Now, which takes a closer look at the newest wave of climate activists.
The Conduit, the newly relaunched members’ club in Covent Garden that has positive social and environmental change at its heart, will be broadcasting live from its very own studio in The New York Times Climate Hub throughout COP26. Through a combination of live streams and podcasts, The Conduit will seek to uncover answers to one of the most urgent questions of our time: How do we adapt and thrive on a changing planet? From climate tipping points to the blue economy and the journey to net zero, the Conduit Studio will be gathering insights from high-level experts and special guests on the ground in Glasgow to deliver exclusive commentary on how all the most crucial negotiations are unfolding in the Blue Zone.
This two-week festival, scheduled by arts-based climate activists Rising Tides, brings together film screenings, recorded readings, workshops and performances designed to creatively engage with the climate emergency. From Luke Ofield’s darkly comic play, Accidental Birth of an Activist, in which two novice activists get jobs on a North Sea oil rig with the sole intention of staging a sit in protest, to a concert from Cornwall-based singer-songwriters Isyla, whose songs honour our connection to the natural world, the festival offers up an enlightening take on how artists should respond to the major issues the world is currently facing.
Dubbed as a ‘festival for food and farming’, this event hosted by food suppliers Natoora brings together some of the UK’s most exciting chefs, activists and agroecologists for a thought-provoking day out. Held under the arches in Bermondsey, there will be panel discussions held by the likes of TV presenter and Grow community farm founder George Lamb, Flor chef Pam Yung and ecological doctor Jenny Goodman, dinner provided by Shoreditch favourite Manteca and DJ sets from Groove Armada’s Andy Cato. What’s more, 100% of the proceeds will go straight to Farm Fund, Natoora’s new charity set up to raise awareness for ecologically sound farming techniques.
Made entirely out of recycled jeans and other sustainable materials, this gloriously-named sculpture is a collaboration between artist Billie Achilleos, eco streaming platform Waterbear and MUD jeans – the world’s first circular denim brand – and will be on show in Grosvenor Square in Mayfair throughout COP26. Five metres long and 15ft high, ‘Messy’ was created as a way to highlight the importance of extending the lifespan of our clothes, with it being estimated that £140 million worth of clothing ends up in landfill each year in the UK alone, and that 95% of this could have been recycled in some way.
This captivating performance piece explores how humanity is shaped by the land we live on and the elements that surround us, examining our place in the natural world and within the wider ecosystem of the planet. Set to a striking cinematic soundtrack with music by composer Liran Donin and featuring pared-back, earth-toned costumes and a minimalist set, Dance No 2 uses the power of the body to conjure up landscapes of oceans and deserts as it seeks to delve deeper into the reality of our planet and our bodies’ relationship with it.