As Scotland’s Climate Week 2021 gets underway and the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference draws ever closer, Glasgow City Council has announced the roll out of a special climate change training programme to some of its COP26 volunteers.

The Climate Literacy Course, which allows volunteers to think green and up their environmental knowledge in time for the global summit, was developed by Keep Scotland Beautiful in collaboration with Sustainable Glasgow – a city-wide partnership which aims to make Glasgow one of the greenest cities in Europe.

Carbon Literacy gives people the climate change knowledge they need to take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change.

This course, which is independently accredited by the Carbon Literacy Project, will provide a pool of volunteers with an introduction to climate change, its scientific basis, what it means both globally and for the city of Glasgow and what they can do to help reduce carbon emissions and help others do the same.

Taking place over four weeks, a cohort of volunteers will undertake a mixture of weekly live sessions and self-study homework tasks across four modules covering areas such as climate change impact, reducing emissions and taking action, before completing a short course assessment.

Attendees will receive a certification of completion, certifying them as ‘carbon literate’, meaning they have a level of climate change awareness that allows them to create a positive shift in behaviour.

The pool of volunteers will then train other volunteers in climate literacy and share their learnings with their peers ahead of COP26, which takes place from 31 October – 12 November.

All COP26 volunteers are also taking part in essential online training and drop-in sessions to ensure they have the skills and knowledge they need, to fulfil their role with confidence. They will also come together, in person, for an orientation event and final training next month.

Leader of Glasgow City Council, Councillor Susan Aitken said: “We want the effects of COP26 to be far reaching and go beyond the period when the conference is in Glasgow. Schemes like these allow our volunteers to share their ambitions for our planet far and wide and take their learnings into the future.

“This Climate Literacy Training Course is an exciting opportunity for our COP26 volunteers to upskill and receive a unique certification that sets their knowledge on climate change apart, whilst rightfully recognising and rewarding their efforts as part of this unique volunteer programme.”

Gavin Slater, Head of Sustainability at Glasgow City Council, said: “Carbon Literacy training will have a crucial part to play during COP. The course will give volunteers a unique understanding of the challenges we all face in tackling the climate emergency and the positive steps we can take as individuals. Furthermore, we hope that the training will encourage the COP26 volunteers to become climate ambassadors in their local communities post-event, particularly as the city looks to net-zero carbon by 2030.”

COP26 will bring together heads of state, climate experts and campaigners to agree coordinated action to tackle the climate emergency and around 1,000 volunteers will support Glasgow’s staging of the global climate summit this autumn in a variety of roles and locations across the city and beyond.

The COP26 volunteers come from a broad range of backgrounds, with the youngest aged 16 and the oldest aged 78. More than 40% of the volunteers live in the host city, with a third under the age of 26 and a fifth using the conference as an opportunity to volunteer for the first time. Together, they will provide delegates with a warm welcome at key transport hubs, accommodation hubs, active travel routes and at the conference’s Green Zone.

Scotland’s Climate Week 2021 will run until 19 September and is an annual Scottish Government initiative to develop understanding of the global climate emergency.

This year’s Climate Week centres on the run up to COP26, encouraging further action before, during and beyond the conference that demonstrates collective endeavours to protect the planet.