Climate Beacons for COP26 is a Scotland-wide collaborative project between climate change or environmental organisations and arts, heritage or cultural organisations to stimulate long-term public engagement in the lead-up to and following COP26. Seven hubs known as ‘Climate Beacons’ are taking form in Argyll, Caithness & East Sutherland, Fife, Inverclyde, Midlothian, the Outer Hebrides, and Tayside. Bringing together shared resources and knowledge from cultural and climate organisations, the Climate Beacons provide a welcoming physical and virtual space for the public, artists and cultural sector professionals, environmental NGOs, scientists and policymakers to discuss and debate COP26 themes and climate action specific to each local area.
A collaboration between the National Mining Museum Scotland, the British Geological Survey, and environmental artist, Nicole Manley, the Midlothian Climate Beacon aimed to create a transformative journey through the carbon cycle, from Scotland’s past legacy of fossil fuels towards a future of decarbonisation, connecting local and international cultures through art and science.
Starting in September 2021, prior to COP26, the Midlothian Climate ran a variety of activities, events, exhibitions, and workshops for school pupils to adult community groups. One of our hopes for the Beacon was to not scream “climate crisis” and add emotional pressure to our participants, but rather focus on creating a space where those who would not normally engage in climate change discussions could not only learn about it but create, reflect, and, hopefully, be inspired to take action in helping to tackle the climate crisis.