Countdown to COP26

Countdown to COP26

Published: August 20, 2021

The countdown to COP26 is on! It’s ten weeks until the world’s biggest climate conference takes root in Glasgow.


COP26 is the 2021 United Nations climate change conference.

From 31 October to 12 November, the UK, together with partners Italy, will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow.

It’s an event many believe to be the world’s best last chance to get runaway climate change under control.

The summit will attract major names and US President Joe Biden, Pope Francis and climate change activist Greta Thunberg are expected to attend.

For nearly three decades, the UN has been bringing together almost every country on earth for global climate summits – called COPs – that stands for ‘Conference of the Parties’. In that time climate change has gone from being a fringe issue to a global priority.

In the run up to COP26, the UK is working with every nation to reach agreement on how to tackle climate change. More than 190 world leaders will arrive in Scotland. Joining them will be tens of thousands of negotiators, government representatives, businesses and citizens for twelve days of talks.


The arts have long been a powerful vehicle to inspire and influence change. As Scotland’s national conservatoire, we want to engage with these important conversations through creativity and performance. Here’s a snapshot of what the RCS community is up to and look out for more exciting events in the coming weeks.


A gold shipping container that will act as a global portal to creativity, collaboration and conversation – connecting Scotland to the world – has taken up residence at RCS.

Climate Portals is an ambitious arts and digital exchange between RCS, artist management agency HarrisonParrott, Shared_Studios and Scottish Ballet. The converted container will use immersive AV technology to bring together people in the UK with communities and portals around the world and will feature new artistic commissions, masterclasses and knowledge exchange around the theme of climate change.

Here’s the portal arriving on campus, captured by RCS photographer Robert McFadzean. A programme of events will be unveiled soon, stay tuned for more info!


In May, the Etch Festival launched at RCS, a student-led initiative that showcases music, performance and the natural landscape of Scotland. Created as a response to climate change and the COP26 conference, it hopes to bring together conversations around live art and nature, and change the perception of what music is and where it can be performed.


Hope Springs Eternal is a new series of original digital performances designed to bring moments of joy, positivity and light to audiences around the world.

Presented in a partnership between the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the Scottish Government, the Hope Springs Eternal performances focus on the themes of climate, nature and resilience as Scotland prepares to host the COP26.

We invite you to come on this creative journey with us as we premiere a new performance every month until November. Each short video will encourage you to take a breath, relax and join together to let music, drama and dance rejuvenate your day. This series is curated by artists from across the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland community and includes music, drama and dance performances.


Art-Making in the Anthropocene was a series of eight free online talks/discussions culminating in an online concert, which brought together Scottish and international artists, activists, and academics from across disciplines to explore what art-making can be in this time of ecological emergency.

The Art-Making in the Anthropocene Concert originally premiered in April, performed by Katherine Wren and Nordic Viola.

Art-Making in the Anthropocene was funded by a Royal Society of Edinburgh Research Workshop grant and co-organised by RCS’s Dr Emily Doolittle, Dr Sarah Hopfinger and Dr Stuart MacRae.

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