Local councils joining fightback against climate crisis with COP26 events

NILGA supporting three events across Northern Ireland as part of the COP26 programme

Caption: NILGA President Cllr Robert Burgess

Local government across Northern Ireland is joining in with COP26 activities in November through a series of events, conferences, workshops, and festivals.

Following the Race to Zero Carbon hydrogen bus tour across Northern Ireland in September, the Northern Ireland Local Government Association (NILGA), with the support of the UK Government and the Northern Ireland Executive, is facilitating three ‘regional roadshows’ aligned with the Presidency Programme for COP26.

The regional events will run in tandem with the two weeks of the COP26 UN Climate Change summit in Glasgow and are focused on the practical steps we can all take as a region to reduce our carbon footprint and impact on the environment.

As well as participating in the conference itself in Glasgow and engaging with leaders and organisations from across the world on how to tackle the climate crisis, NILGA is supporting three local events throughout the COP26 fortnight:

• the RE[act] Festival;
• SmartEnergy Conference 2021;
• and an online Adaptation Day and Resilience Roadshow.

Beginning on 2 November, the RE[act] Festival will be held for 12 days across Belfast in partnership with Linen Quarter BID and Belfast City Council. The festival is a new and innovative one which seeks to inspire a more sustainable Belfast and is aligned in thinking with the main COP26 themes, to help integrate Northern Ireland into the global conversation.

RE[act] runs from 2 November until 14 November and is a mix of talks, workshops and experiential events dedicated to creating a more sustainable Belfast.

Also on 2 November, Renewable NI is hosting its SmartEnergy Conference at the ICC Belfast, a full day, hybrid conference available to both physical and virtual delegates. Focused on the ambition for low carbon technologies the conference will hear from a panel of experts on the role innovation will play in achieving the UK’s ‘net zero’ requirement.

A key industry event, there will be an opportunity to network with policy makers and influencers as well as the important figures within the energy sector. At the forefront of innovation, the RenewableNI Smart Energy conference 2021 will play a vital role in turning ambition into achievement.

Finally, on 8 November, four local councils are joining forces to host an online Adaptation Day and Resilience Roadshow. With support from NILGA, Belfast City Council, Derry City and Strabane District Council, Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, and Mid and East Antrim Borough Council are collaborating to host three important events across Northern Ireland aiming to deliver the practical solutions needed to adapt our communities, districts, boroughs and cities to climate impacts like flooding, wildfires, and excess heat.

Welcoming the series of events taking place across the region, NILGA President, Cllr Robert Burgess, said:

“I am delighted to demonstrate my support for the COP26 UN Climate Change summit in Glasgow. COP26 provides us with a unique opportunity to take stock and to find new ways to work together to tackle the climate crisis and to deliver workable programmes in transition to net zero.

“We have a long battle ahead of us but these significant events, taking place across the region bring together local government, departments, business, industry, charities and other organisations so we can take action in partnership. I welcome the funding secured by NILGA on behalf of the local government sector which has enabled this programme of events to take place.

“We can no longer afford to wait to act against the threat of climate change. We must work together to protect our planet and people and to ensure a more resilient future for us all.”



NILGA President Cllr Robert Burgess.jpg

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