In a series of interviews on the lead up to COP26 in Glasgow, we are chatting with academics whose research is focused on sustainability and tackling climate change.
Dr Mohammad Aminur Rahman Shah is a Research Associate in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies at the Dumfries Campus of the University of Glasgow. He is coordinating an activity organized by Professor Fabrice Renaud’s research team for the COP26 event in Dumfries Campus. The team mainly focuses on how individuals view potential greenhouse gas emission reduction policies and actions that can help us to reach our climate targets.
Could you briefly describe the main topics/themes of this event, which research areas does it cover?
The Views from the Veranda event will showcase a selection of research undertakings. For us, greenhouse gas emission reduction is the big issue – everyone is campaigning on this internationally and politically. We want to understand how people are thinking locally here outside of the state negotiations. What activities and options do local people know of to aid in reduction?
Essentially, what are the ideas of the local people and how would they do it?
To find this out, we would offer visitors to the stall 2 sets of 10 boxes with suggestions of sectors (transport, renewable energy, agriculture, food, waste, etc). Visitors vote on the 1st set to choose which one they would want to act upon (reduce travel, energy etc), the 2nd set is a vote on what they hear the most about in terms of strategies to reduce GHG/carbon emissions.
How does it relate to the COP26 agenda? Why is it interesting and what is its geographical reach?
COP26 is all about state action. With countries debating on emission reduction and main relationships for how they would do it.
The stall would allow us to focus on the local level and see how people’s perception of policies relate to the government’s actions.
This is particularly interesting for us in Dumfries. The Government isn’t highlighting much about smart agriculture in Net Zero campaign. Dumfries and Galloway has an economy focused on forestry and agriculture, which have big influence on greenhouse gas emission.
How do you think the attendees can enhance their knowledge and engagement with the topic before the event? Any sources of interest to read before the event?
We were going to have Leaflets and booklets but as this would be a waste of paper this idea was scrapped.
There will be a couple of posters on the back of the stall, and we will provide website links – as well as QR codes for the website – on the poster.
What do you hope the outcomes of this event to be? Is it simply educational or with the purpose of influencing the policy-making process, etc?
We want the main outcomes to be two things. First, gaining information from the activities on the stall to better understand what the public think they would do to reduce GHG emission. Second, we want to know what suggestions they get from government or media about reduce GHG emission reduction.
After we collect the information, we want to write articles and blog posts to be uploaded to the website. This could be shared with policy makers to indicate how the public feel about policies.
How can attendees follow up after the event and engage with the topics raised?
I think that hopefully there would be more events in the future out with COP26 and more in the community.
Views from the Veranda is an all-day festival of stalls and activities highlighting the University of Glasgow’s work on sustainability and climate change. Stalls are for all ages – families, students, and everyone is welcome.