The 26th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change.
COP26 & Rotary
The COP26 summit will bring parties and observers together to assess progress
towards meeting the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement, and commit to higher ambition to keep global warming below
an additional 1.5ºC – a more demanding goal than the 2.0º max warming.
Our commitment to the climate
Epitomizing the best of civil society, Rotary International’s nearly 46,500 Rotary and Rotaract clubs with a network of 1.4 million community and business leaders, scientists and problem-solvers, actively serve communities in 190 countries.
The environment is now one of Rotary’s causes, which includes commitments to address the causes of climate change and climate disruption and support solutions to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.
Rotary projects also seek to strengthen the resilience of ecosystems and communities affected by climate change and climate disruption in alignment with the SDGs. Thus empowered, Rotary is an important ally to inspire ambition to address the climate crisis.
ESRAG exists within the Rotary family to employ our expertise to develop best practices to protect the environment. Our 1400 members in 80 countries guide Rotary clubs and districts to design and implement impactful service projects in support of Rotary’s humanitarian mission and the lives of all living things/flora and fauna.
Rotary takes action for the environment
Rotary empowers people to take measurable action to protect the environment with informed, sustainable and community-based solutions across the globe; and to prevent and address the causes and impacts of climate change.
- Rotary has long been committed to protecting the environment.
- Through our existing areas of focus, we’ve supported sustainable, community-based solutions with $18 million in global grants over the last five years – ranging from beekeeping in Germany to rainwater harvesting at schools in Jordan.
- Adding a new area of focus formalizes and expands our commitment to protecting the environment, and will provide another way for our members to address important issues based on their priorities.
- On 1 July 2021, The Rotary Foundation began accepting applications for global grant funding to support projects including: integrating renewable energy strategies to combat environmental degradation, sustaining food production, protecting oceans, waterways and water resources and much more.
- Global grants can also support graduate-level scholarships for professionals interested in pursuing careers related to the environment.
- For general tips on how to submit a successful global grant application, visit MyRotary – Global Grants.
- By combining our ability to identify local needs with resources and science-based solutions, we will create cleaner and more resilient communities around the world.
- Gifts and commitments are currently being sought to provide global grant support to protect the environment.
Watch this space for updates during the event.
Where we work
We look to collaborate and work together with organizations around the world to solve environmental issues. The 5 project areas we would like to highlight and bring to the attention of the attendees of COP 26 are:
Trees and shrubs that live in intertidal zones – are found along tropical and sub-tropical coastlines. Mangrove forests form a unique wetland ecosystem, inhabiting the edge of land and sea, rooted and thriving in seawater.
Mangroves play a vital role in coastal ecology and in sustaining and securing coastal communities. They reduce the harmful effects of coastal erosion, storms and flooding and are one of the most cost-effective methods of managing disaster risk along coastlines.
Mangroves provide a safe nursery – food and protection – for young marine life before they are ready to move further out to sea or populate coral reefs. As well as supporting and protecting marine life, mangroves provide nesting and migratory sites for hundreds of species of birds which flourish among their branches.
Mangroves make a critical contribution to climate regulation through carbon capture. Unlike terrestrial forests, which store most of their carbon in the trunk and branches, mangroves store most carbon in their root systems and neighbouring soil – acting as carbon ‘sinks’, locking it away for generations. Also, unlike terrestrial forests, the risk of fire – and the accompanying loss of stored carbon – is much less likely to occur, making them a safe long-term carbon ‘investment’.
Economically, mangroves provide livelihood opportunities for coastal communities through fisheries and ecotourism. The fish, shellfish and other food sources obtained from them play a vital role in the food security of neighbouring communities.
GRETA THUNBERG, Pre COP26 Youth summit, September 30, 2021
“Climate change is not only a threat, it is, above all, an opportunity to create a healthier, greener, and cleaner planet which will benefit all of us. We must seize this opportunity.”
Rotary is uniquely positioned to make a difference
Rotary members have spearheaded thousands of community-based solutions across the globe to protect the environment, often through our existing areas of focus – ranging from beekeeping in Germany and rainwater harvesting at schools in Jordan.
Combined with expertise and resources, we address challenges and empower communities to develop solutions to their most pressing issues.
Throughout our fight to end polio, we’ve shown what we can do when we draw on the collective strengths of our partners and national governments – and this is an opportunity for us to learn new ways for making meaningful and measurable impact.
We can apply the lessons we’ve learned fighting polio to build awareness and inspire action around projects that promote environmental sustainability.