COP26 Activities


The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) will be held in Glasgow on 1st – 12th November 2021. The Research Pools, Innovation Centres and Interface are all working on numerous interdisciplinary and cross-cutting activities in the build-up to COP26. Keep an eye on this page to stay up to date and get involved!

SAGES Stories: Scottish Science for a Climate Ready Future

Led by: SAGES

Date: January – October 2021

Target Audience: Lay Audience (Adults + Families)

Activity Summary: A diverse and exciting online events series showcases the breadth of scientific research across Scotland launches in January 2021. In the run up to COP26, SAGES are organising free monthly events to engage adults and families across the UK and beyond. From Arctic sea ice to Highland peatlands, members will share pioneering, positive stories of how researchers work together to understand our world and provide solutions to the climate emergency.


Scotland's Contribution to COP26: a joined-up Just Transition

Led by: The Herald in collaboration with over 20 organisations from across Scotland (including RIS members)

Date: Tuesday 26th October 2021 

Target Audience: Open to all

Activity Summary: A special, one-day, online conference on Scotland’s transition to net zero – Scotland’s contribution to COP26: a joined-up Just Transition. The event will not only examine the speed and scale at which Scotland must move to tackle climate change, but also ensure that no-one is left behind in the process. As Scotland gets ready to welcome world leaders to Glasgow for the COP26 Summit, the conference spotlights Scotland’s efforts in tackling climate change to achieve net zero carbon emissions. These efforts also have benefits and opportunities to create a wealthier, healthier, and more equal society.

This free, one-day conference will look at important just transition themes such as skills, circular economy, empowering young people, improving health outcomes and delivering sustainable economic growth to the Scottish economy.

Contact: Kirsty Loughlin, Events Manager –

Dive-In! Protecting Our Ocean

Led by: University of St Andrews; MASTS

Target Audience: General Public

Date: 8th October 2021 – 30th January 2022

Activity Summary: Dive In takes visitors to explore the importance of the ocean, threats it faces, and the changes we can make for ocean health and climate stability. This is public engagement, but also an experiment in methods and collaborations for behavioural change. Expertise has been drawn from the Museums of the University of St Andrews, environmental psychology and behavioural change experts, the Scottish Oceans Institute and the People Ocean Planet initiative.

Contact:Chris Leakey, MASTS –

Blue Carbon II – International Conference

Led by: St Andrews, Marine Scotland, Glenmorangie, SAGES

Date: 12-13th November 2021

Target Audience: Science & Policy Practitioners

Activity Summary: The Conference will gather an international audience (including COP26 delegates) to participate in a series of plenary sessions and workshops, addressing scientific and policy-facing issues, to address Blue Carbon developments in the context of the Global Climate Emergency. The meeting will include policy and science talks, workshops and discussions to highlight current best practice as well as emerging opportunities going beyond the current frameworks, challenges and threats to Blue Carbon.


Synthetic Biology Approaches to ‘Unnatural’ Natural Products

Led by: SULSA, Scot-CHEM, IBioIC and SAIC

In collaboration with: KTN

Date: TBC

Target Audience: Academics, Industry and Public Health

Activity Summary: The RIS Natural Products team (see our case study) have been active this year developing two workshops and a networking event for early 2021. Our 2 workshops will run as part of the IBioIC/KTN Bioeconomy Cluster Builder and be focused on Industry Challenges, representatives from academia, business and NHS are all welcome.

If you are from the industry sector, we are interested to hear what you think the key challenges are – help us by completing our online form.

Register your interest in this workshop.


Energy Innovation Emporium Webinar Series 2021

Led by: ETP

In collaboration with: WES; SRUC; CS-IC; ESC; OREC; SULSA; ZWS; ScotCHEM; SRPe; NMIS;  DataLab; MASTS; SG; SFC

Date: Multiple dates

Target Audience: Funders; Policy Makers; Academics and Innovators; Industry/End users; both at home and abroad

Activity Summary: This series of webinars will use COP26 as a springboard to greater collaboration and investment, especially international. It will inform the global energy community how Scottish R&I can help deliver carbon emission reduction targets, especially around Nationally Determined Contributions, to encourage collaborative activity between Scottish academic research base and external parties.

Learn more: ERAF Emporium Series 2021


COP26 Face the Facts: the faces behind Scotland’s Climate Science


Date: December 2020 – November 2021

Target Audience: Lay audience

Activity Summary: The Royal Society of Edinburgh, Scottish Science Advisory Council and Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment and Society, are collaborating to help highlight Scottish research and science and its contribution to understanding and tackling climate change. A broad range of researchers and practitioners in Scotland whose work relates to the Earth’s climate are being interviewed and we will publish new videos every month in the lead up to COP26.


CENSIS Conversations: Climate Change and COP26 Video

Led by: CENSIS

In collaboration with: Glasgow City Council, Scottish Enterprise

Activity Summary: A panel discussion exploring climate change and COP26 covering:

– How decisions made at COP will affect businesses and organisations in every market sector, and what they can do to respond
– Scotland’s COP mobilisation strategy
– Glasgow City and COP26
– How IoT, innovation and collaboration can help address climate change


COP26 Resources


Innovation Centres Countdown to COP26 Review

In, 2020, Scotland’s 7 Innovation Centres joined forces with The Herald Media Group to start a year of conversation, collaboration, and most of all, action, that will help Scotland reach net-zero targets.

Read the Countdown to COP Review Report from this virtual conference held on 3rd November 2020. A follow-up meeting between all RIS members will be held in late October 2021.


DHI Commits to Supporting Scotland’s Net-Zero Carbon Emission Targets

DHI has committed to supporting the Scottish Government’s Net-Zero Carbon Emission Targets by 2045. New thinking is required to challenge long-established patterns and procedures in healthcare, many of which are now outdated, inefficient and hindering common efforts to combat the climate emergency. Going forward, all new digital health and social care projects will include impact statements on how the digital solution will positively contribute to Net-Zero Carbon Emission Targets.

Learn more.