About Us

COP26 and the Historic Environment

At this time of climate emergency, get involved in the international climate change conference, COP26.

aerial image showing ruined castle on curved coastline with sea behind it

Scotland has declared a climate emergency. But it doesn’t affect Scotland alone.

Between Sunday 31 October – Tuesday 12 November 2021, Glasgow hosted the prestigious United Nations global climate change conference – otherwise known as COP26.

This event was be the largest international summit ever hosted in the UK. Even though COP26 has now passed, we will continue to take action and use this opportunity to show how the historic environment can support climate change goals.

According to climate science, this decade is the most vital period to reach climate neutrality and prevent uncontrolled global warming and its catastrophic consequences across the globe. 

Find out more on COP26

What does COP26 mean for Scotland’s history and heritage?

We want to ensure COP26 leaves a positive legacy for the historic environment in Scotland and across the world. Our five aims for this legacy are:

  1. Maximise the potential of heritage-based solutions.
    The historic environment is a key part of the solution to the climate emergency and we will mobilise the heritage sector to tackle the climate emergency.

  2. Deliver climate action.
    Building on the momentum of our Climate Action Plan, we will show what climate action means for managing heritage. We will work towards this thinking and approach being embedded across all heritage organisations to demonstrate the range of ways the sector can contribute to transitioning to net-zero and building resilience.

  3. Learn from each other.
    Working together with partners both nationally and internationally, we will learn from COP26. We want to learn from others, take our expertise and share it more widely.

  4. Create future uses for old buildings.
    We believe that reuse and retrofit of historic buildings and infrastructure will have a global impact. By conserving the embodied carbon of our physical global heritage, we can make a substantial contribution to achieving net-zero.

  5. Listen to communities to mobilise the right support.
    We will work with communities and grass roots organisations to understand and make the most of their heritage and ensure it is managed for a sustainable future.
Find out more on our blog

A wind turbine by a green field. In the distance, smoggy chimney can be seen chugging out fumes.

Enter the competition

Explore the story of Scotland’s climate heritage, past and present, in this crowdsourced exhibition. Enter your best photographs and artwork for the chance to win a prize.

Visions of Climate Heritage

Attend an event

Browse cultural events related to COP26 from Museum Galleries Scotland (MGS), the Climate Heritage Network, Historic Environment Scotland, and collaborators from around the globe.

Culture At COP
A leafy cliff face, Tantallon Castle and Bass Rock at sunset.

Our Climate Action Plan

Discover how we are placing the environmental impact of our activities at the heart of our policy and strategy decision-making processes – and supporting others to do the same.

Our Action Plan in detail