The British Council is working with partners worldwide to support the success and legacy of COP26, creating opportunities for cooperation, dialogue and action in arts, education and science that address the shared challenges of climate change.  

The 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) will take place in Glasgow on 1 to 12 November 2021. Hosted by the UK, this international climate change summit will bring together over 30,000 delegates, including heads of states, climate experts and campaigners, to agree coordinated action to tackle climate change. From British Council, there will be an innovative and creative programme of activity and engagement which includes bringing together young Active Citizens from around the world to share learning, engage in advocacy and build networks.

British Council’s work with young people in South Asia over the past 15 years has brought issues related to climate change to the forefront in its programmes. This project will provide young people with an opportunity to creatively seek solutions to these challenges. In addition, it will provide an opportunity for young people to make a difference on issues that have arisen/been compounded by Covid-19 noting that ‘Active Citizens enables young people to develop social leadership skills and implement social action projects on local issues that have global resonance’ (AC evaluation report by INTRAC, 2020).

Three countries in South Asia that are selected for this project are Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka as these are some of the most adversely affected countries in the world by climate change. Ideas have already been generated for this project, ranging fromPakistan identifying priority themes: awareness raising on climate change, promoting sustainable and climate-safe lifestyles, environmental protection and promoting environment-friendly actions in local communities to  Bangladesh  digitally engaging and mobilising young entrepreneurs, innovators, and engineers to design innovative, technology-based low-carbon solutions to climate change.

There will also be joint initiatives and learning with UK Networks and Active Citizens with links to UK Partners such as All One Collective who provided participants with the opportunity to explore how the issue of climate change relates to local environmental issues and to their day to day lives in the UK.

Through the Youth Engagement COP26 Challenge Funds for Young People, the Active Citizens Programme will support Social Action Projects focusing on environmental/climate change and will provide seed funding of minimum 1000 GBP and maximum of 3000 GBP.

In Pakistan, eight grantees have been awarded grants to take forward their social action projects. These projects are being implemented in Sindh (Karachi, Hyderabad, Khairpur), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Peshawar), Balochistan (Noshki, Quetta) and Punjab (Multan – two projects).