ONE of the first large public indoor events in Ilkley since March 2020 will be held in the Clarke Foley Centre on Monday, September 27 at 7:30pm.

Professor Tim Benton will be talking about ‘Climate politics and COP26; what’s at stake for the UK, and the world?’

In only six weeks time the UK will host a conference which has been described as the most important ever held in this country – the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow. More than 190 world leaders are expected to arrive together with tens of thousands of negotiators, government representatives, businesses and citizens. Every country should come with a plan which, when put together, will minimise further global heating.

These plans will be informed by scientific reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and one of the authors is Wharfedale resident Prof Tim Benton of Chatham House International Affairs Think Tank.

Steve Peel, trustee of Climate Action Ilkley, and Dr Gwen Pilling, convener of the U3A Environment Forum, said: “We have decided, at this crucial time for the UK and the world, to hold a public meeting where people in Ilkley can get the inside track on climate negotiations. And we are delighted Tim Benton has agreed to speak.”

Prof Benton will explain why the stakes are so high, what is the UK’s role as host, what has to be negotiated and agreed, what will be the sticking points and how we as citizens and voters can help our politicians. There will be plenty of time for questions and reactions.

Mr Peel said: “The event will be in the large hall at Clarke Foley and we hope that the great majority of people will be comfortable with this and that all attendees will be double-vaccinated. We plan to have windows open, space out seats and reduce capacity to half, ie 70 seats. Tickets are free but people need to register via our website or direct on Eventbrite.”

Tim Benton, who also holds a professorship at Leeds University, has worked with UK governments, the EU and G20. He has been a global agenda steward of the World Economic Forum and is an author of the IPCC’s Special Report on Food, Land and Climate (2019), and the UK’s Climate Change Risk Assessment. Most recently he was involved in hosting John Kerry, United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, for his major speech at Kew Gardens.

The United Nations Conference of the Parties, COP26, will take place from 31 October -12 November in Glasgow. Sir David Attenborough has been appointed People’s Advocate for COP26. He said: “It is crucial that these meetings in Glasgow, COP26, have success, and that at last the nations will come together to solve the crippling problems that the world now faces.”