Book Creator

Countdown to COP - Energy Transition

by M Irwin


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.
At the heart of the climate crisis is our increasing need for energy.  Every aspect of our lives relies on energy; from the food we eat, the clothes we wear to our transport and heating our homes and buildings. We produce energy by burning fossil fuels (oil gas, coal), through nuclear reactors in power stations  and through the use of renewables such as Hydro, Wind and Solar.

When we burn fossil fuels to produce energy; greenhouse gases are emitted and these remain our atmosphere, trapping in heat and warming the planet, much like a duvet traps heat in our beds.  The increase in Earth’s temperature causes our climate to warm up, and in turn triggers changes in our environment, from rising sea levels to extreme weather events. 

To combat this, we need to move away from using fossil fuels to using wind, solar and hydro, and using low carbon technologies such as air source heat pumps and the electrification of vehicles.  This is a big challenge for us all, as currently over 80% of the world’s energy is from burning fossil fuels.  

We need creative, innovative and imaginative thinking around energy production and energy use .  We can see the move to renewables on a big scale with windfarms such as Whitelees just outside Glasgow, but can we think about this on a smaller level?  Can we think about buildings being their own mini power stations; generating and using energy as part of how they are designed and built?