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Somerset's Own 'COP26' – a short report from Councillor Matt Geen

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On Saturday 6th November 2021 the SCOP26+ conference was held in the Edgar Hall, Somerton. It was arranged by members of Somerton and Langport Town Councils, under the banner of the Levels Climate Forum, which is a forum of local councils around Langport.

The conference was, of course, timed to coincide with the UN COP26 in Glasgow. The aims were similar, but on a very local scale.

26 local councillors were present, together with many other interested people. Representatives of Curry Rivel Parish Council and members of the public who work on local climate and biodiversity initiatives attended and contributed.

A variety of speakers gave very relevant and interesting presentations.

A member of the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG) described how the Somerset Levels are ideal for producing grass-fed meat, and how farmers are working together to meet the problems of reducing profits and increasing challenges.

A representative of Carymoor Environmental Trust explained how they are inspiring a new generation by hosting school visits.

Glastonbury Town Council described how it is working to reduce its own carbon footprint, being committed to being carbon neutral by 2030.

Justine Mallinson is a retrofit assessor. She visits homeowners in Bruton and Castle Cary and gives detailed advice on making their heating more efficient, starting with simple and cheap. She is working with local builders, builders' merchants, and building colleges to provide the expertise and materials needed to do insulation correctly in typical Somerset houses. Using the wrong insulation materials can cause damp in older properties. It will be very useful for the climate (and our bank balances) if we could access expertise like this in Curry Rivel. Justine is the first of her kind in England. In the meantime, she recommends contacting the Centre for Sustainable Energy in Bristol
For more information on Sustainable Energy visit

Curry Rivel Parish Council is running a Heating Initiatives project, and is about to contract a consultant to advise the village. More on that soon!

We all left the conference feeling just a little more hopeful for the future.

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