Hundreds turn out to talk about the climate emergency at Three Rivers COP26 event

19th October 2021


VIDEO: We spoke to a number of attendees to get their views on the climate crisis, and what needs to change to address it. Watch here

The climate change emergency and what actions can be taken locally to combat it were the hot topics raised at a special film screening and panel discussion in Rickmansworth this week.

A panel of local experts took questions from the audience and debated key environmental issues in front of more than two hundred residents on Monday evening at Watersmeet Theatre.

Panellists invited by hosts Three Rivers District Council included Tim Hill, Conservation Manager at Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust, Gareth Dunsmore, Chief Marketing Officer for McLaren, Dan Meredith, Energy Policy Expert for E.ON, Mark Kemp, Director of Environment and Infrastructure at Hertfordshire County Council, and Rose Lewis, Programme Manager from Woodoaks Farm/Soil Association.


Questions ranged from what actions people could take in their daily lives to tackle climate change to what the council is doing to ensure new buildings are sustainable and how biodiversity can be helped in Hertfordshire.

The question and answer session followed a free screening of the feature length documentary, 2040, which looked at what the year 2040 will look like for the next generation if we succeed in preventing the worst impacts of climate change, and what technology and innovation is already available to help us do this.

Cllr Phil Williams, the council’s Lead Member for Environmental Services, Climate Change and Sustainability, who chaired the discussion said: “The idea of this evening was to invite as many people as possible to join the climate conversation as we strive to get Three Rivers district to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2045. I was delighted to see so many people on Monday night, engaging with this most important of issues and to have such a high calibre of conversation and debate among our panellists. But the conversation doesn’t stop there, we must continue looking at this issue every day in our own lives and our actions as a council – and that is exactly what we will do.”


The event was held in the build up to the twenty-sixth UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), which takes place in Glasgow from 31 October to 12 November. The COP is perhaps best known for The Paris Agreement, which was signed at COP21 in 2015. COP26 aims to agree to: reduce global emissions to net-zero by 2050 and limit global warming to 1.5 degrees; adapt to protect communities and natural habitats, and commit to at least $100bn in climate finance every year.


To find out more about how Three Rivers is tackling the climate emergency, see this page.