Book Creator

Countdown to COP - Clean Transport

by M Irwin

Pages 2 and 3 of 11

Countdown to COP challenge
What is the Countdown to COP challenge?
The countdown to COP challenge is a creativity and design project that looks for innovative ideas and solutions for issues that we face relating to climate change.

We are looking for imaginative and original ideas for the 5 themes of the Countdown to COP- Nature, Finance, Clean Transport, Energy Transition and Adaptation and Resilience.
These ideas and solutions can be about MITIGATION (actions to tackle the causes of climate change and minimise their impacts) or ADAPTATION (changing how we live to adapt to the impacts of climate change).

Examples of these would be to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by stopping burning fossil fuels (mitigation) and building flood defences and sea walls to combat rising sea levels caused by climate change (adaptation).
The Countdown to COP challenge is also about developing skills that are essential for us to thrive in our ever changing world. 

Skills such as collaborating and communicating, being curious and creative and being able to adapt and take the initiative are key to thinking afresh about climate change.
And of course it should also be fun and enjoyable! The following pages set out the challenge we want you to tackle as teams; and the recommended process for you to follow. 

There is no set time limit to do this, but we would recommend between 3 and 5 hours, which can be spread over a number of weeks.
When complete we ask that you share your solutions with us before the end of October; in order that we can share them with people from Scotland and beyond during COP 26. 

Send your video/presentation or reports/photographs of your work to or share on social media #CountdowntoCOP
What is COP 26?
COP 26 is the United Nations Climate Change summit; where world leaders will come to Scotland to work together and agree the steps we need to take to protect our planet and people. The event will take place in Glasgow in November, with up to 30,000 delegates attending from all over the world. The eyes of the world will be trained on Scotland and on the agreements that come out of the conference.

Climate change isn’t just something that threatens our future – it’s impacts are happening now. In 2021, we have seen reports of wildfires, hurricanes, flooding and droughts from every corner of Earth; and if we do not come together to tackle climate change as a global community, then these events will become more common and even more devastating.
We need innovative thinking and collaboration to tackle one of the greatest threats to life on earth. We need to think about adapting to live with the changes that are already here, and consider what we need to do to prevent further heating of the planet.

So let’s work together in your school or community to start to think about solutions to some of the everyday challenges we face where we live, study and work. Let’s be creative, imaginative and brave with our ideas.
Imagine a better future, 

Tell people about it,

Listen to what others imagine a better future to be.

If we work together we can make these better futures a reality.
Transport isn’t just about how we move ourselves from place to place.  It’s also about how we move goods around the country and the world.  In 2021 we have seen how important that system is, with the impact of HGV driver shortages in the UK and the global impact of the ship Evergreen getting stuck in the Suez canal.

Our transport system uses 25% of the world’s total energy consumption; from private cars and flights, to trains and trucks.  Moving the transport energy needs from fossil fuels to other fuel sources such as electricity and green hydrogen is essential for tackling climate change.

And it’s not just energy use that causes concern about our transport system.  Air pollution is the cause of 9 million premature deaths a year across the world  and is described by the United Nations as the world’s worst environmental health risk. 

However there is a mode of vehicular transport that many of use that doesn’t pollute our air, doesn’t emit greenhouse gases, is hugely beneficial to our health and is really fun – Cycling! 

In the UK only 1-3% of journeys to and from school are made by bicycle.  Whereas in the Netherlands most young people cycle to and from school.  If we increased the number of people choosing to cycle in the UK we could make a huge improvement in our health and our air quality and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Research shows us that the main barriers to cycling in the UK are the perception that our roads are dangerous for cyclists; a lack of facilities for cyclists and poor weather.
Think about the barriers to cycling and design a cycling system for where you live that tackles those three main barriers – road safety, poor cycling facilities (storage for bikes and clothes, and showers) and poor weather.  

We would like to see a project that tackles each of these marketed under one unifying  “brand” of your own design.
What would make cycling safer in Scotland?  

What do other countries like the Netherlands do that means they have a far greater uptake of cycling?

Could there be a reward element to encourage new cyclists and to retain those that already cycle?

Is there a digital aspect to this – a mobile app, or can we gamify it?

How will people find out about your system?  What are the key messages?

What does “lack of facilities” mean?  Is it just about storage for bikes/clothes?  Is it a lack of changing spaces once you reach your destination? 

We can’t change the weather, but are there design ideas we could add to combat this?  
Clothes? Bike Umbrellas?

What will you call it?

Be creative!
Working in teams is the best approach to trying to solve problems – we all have skills and knowledge that we can share and can look at the issues from different angles.

Think about the mix of skills and interests – what can you bring to the team?

What are the roles we are going to need for the project; Designer, communicator, builder, presenter?

Is there a leader for the team?

How will the team members be identified?

Plan out and agree how much time you will spend on each of the stages of the project outlined below e.g. 1 hour on research, 2 hours on prototype.
It’s really important that we research the issue we are looking at – you can carry out desktop research online and it can be really informative to carry out market research with your friends and family using surveys and social media. You can make a start to your research HERE
Find out more about the issue and the challenges – what are the causes of the issue; what are the parts in the process that your design could tackle?

What kind of solution is it – e.g. is it an engineering solution or social, behaviour change solution?

Who are the user groups for your product? What do they need to do to engage with it?
Are there alternative products or services already available? What will make yours different or stand out (its USP – Unique Selling Point).

What are the costs going to be? Can you ask for advice for this from local businesses, Developing Young Workforce groups?

How are you going to tell people about it? What’s your marketing strategy?