WHAT IS COP26?
COP26 is the next UN Climate Change conference taking place in Glasgow from 31st October to 12th November. COP stands for "Conference of the Parties" and 26, because it’s the 26th session of the talks (the first one was held in Berlin in 1995.) Every year, delegates from every country meet to discuss how we can advance global efforts to prevent climate change. With recent ‘code red for humanity’, the main objectives of this year’s meeting are to improve climate action and limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius (as agreed by 197 countries in the Paris Agreement in 2015).
- Reduce emissions deeper & faster
- Adapt to a new era of climate impacts
- Scale up financial support for developing nations who need to build low-carbon and resilient economies
Boris Johnson has summarised the COP26 agenda as ‘coal, cash, cars and trees’. Trees are one of our best natural defences against climate change. Firstly, they play a huge part in reducing global warming by absorbing atmospheric carbon through photosynthesis and storing it for centuries. They also fight many other effects of climate change including:
- Prevent flooding
- Lower air temperature
- Reduce pollution and clean our air
- Improve soil nutrition
- Support our wildlife
As a paper packaging company, protecting trees is something we’re particularly concerned about at Flexi-Hex. That’s why all our products are made from either recycled paper or FSC certified paper, which are far better for our environment than making new paper from raw materials. Recycled paper is the greenest option as it uses 70% less energy and water than virgin paper and lower carbon emissions. Where we cannot use recycled paper, we use FSC certified paper. The FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) label ensures that the materials we use to make our packaging have been harvested in an environmentally friendly and socially responsible manner from FSC forests that are committed to protecting the environment, wildlife and the people who live and work in them.
We also work with a rewilding and reforestation project called Mossy Earth, who offset our carbon emissions by planting native trees in Ireland. To date, we have planted 525 trees which equates to removing 130 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
PLASTIC & CLIMATE CHANGE
Plastic pollution also plays a big part in climate change. A recent study by the Zoological Society of London and Bangor University revealed that the plastic pollution and climate change crises exacerbate one another and can no longer be viewed as separate issues but must be acted upon together.
- Plastic contributes to global greenhouse gases
- Extreme weather worsens the distribution of microplastics
- Marine life and ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to both
IT’S NOT TOO LATE
Climate change is a huge and complex issue and it’s easy to feel helpless and hopeless about the future of our planet. But it’s not all doom and gloom – we know what’s causing the climate crisis (us!) and if we all work together, we can absolutely avoid the worst of it. By reducing waste and pollution, cutting carbon emissions, circulating products and materials, and regenerating nature, we can ALL make a difference to protect and restore our planet.
On Saturday 6th November, peaceful protests will be happening around the country to call for ocean and climate action now. If you're an ocean activist and you'd like to join this Global Day of Action, you can find more information on the Surfers Against Sewage website.