‘PopCOPs’ to pop up across UAE to make climate action cool

Through the initiative, residents can share their thoughts and hopes for action with the negotiators and leaders at the climate change conference

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A Staff Reporter

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Published: Tue 14 Nov 2023, 2:27 PM

Last updated: Tue 14 Nov 2023, 3:14 PM

Schools, companies, community groups, and government departments in the UAE are being urged to organise climate action events called 'PopCOPs' — where residents can learn about sustainability, mobilise solutions, and be part of the collective impact needed to mitigate climate change.

The initiative — which is organised by the Year of Sustainability team and COP28— will see residents share their thoughts and hopes for action with the negotiators and leaders at the climate change conference.

Entities can host their own PopCOPs through the Year of Sustainability website.

Designed for groups between 10 and 15 people, PopCOPs will feature immersive activities and meditative experiences. It will encourage visitors to conduct a personal assessment of sustainable behaviours; and learn design principles and application methods to achieve climate impact. Participants then share their reflections, along with their hopes and plans for action with the climate leaders and negotiators at COP28, through video messages.

According to the PopCOP guide, the activations can be conducted “almost anywhere” — from a meeting room to a day in the park. What organisers would need to keep in mind is have a comfortable space for a majlis or a workshop; have useful materials like post-it notes and whiteboards; and a video screen.

“A typical PopCOP can take anywhere between 60-90 minutes but you are free to incorporate any extra activities as you see fit,” the team says in the guide.

The UAE is marking 2023 as the Year of Sustainability, with a dedicated team organising activations from January to December.

“COP28 marks a pivotal moment in the UAE’s history, as the world will come together for the first time since signing the Paris Agreement to conduct a global stocktake of its progress,” said Eisa Al Subousi, project lead at Year of Sustainability. “Carrying on our deep-rooted legacy of sustainability, we want to continue fostering a nation of Actionists: problem solvers with an action mindset who will design a sustainable future for all. Our efforts focused on empowering all those who call the UAE home to tackle climate change and build the next generation of environmental leadership,”

The 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) will be held from November 30 till December 12 at Expo City, Dubai.

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