COP26, Local Climate Action and TV: What can be done in Liverpool?

Dr Elke Weissmann

Many people concerned about climate change will say that COP26 ended up being a bit of a disappointment.

We do want to do something. The problem is that we do not always know what we need to do, or perhaps how simple it is to do something, not just as individuals, but as communities.

Edge Hill University’s Television Studies Research Group is currently working with Love Wavertree to examine what the community can do to tackle climate change through the medium of television (through a local, community-led channel). The aim is to follow the local community as they undertake climate change projects and to record this for community-led television programmes, made available as online videos.

In so doing, we draw on the experiences of German local television which is community-led, but often struggles to find content. German ‘Offene Kanäle’ (open channels) are run by small teams or even individuals on very limited budgets and with a remit for locally produced content by community groups or individuals.

Fortunately, in Liverpool we can draw on the talent of local students, studying on film, television and journalism degrees, who can support the development of more regular programming in this area. This programming is also inspired by the British history of public service broadcasting which is not only meant to educate, inform and entertain, but also to bring the community together.

On Sunday, 7 November, we screened The People v Climate Change at Wavertree Town Hall. This was then followed by presentations from the Heseltine Institute at the University of Liverpool and a Q&A. Three of Edge Hill’s students, Cara Gaskell, Bobbie Scanlon and Chloe Clover, filmed and edited the event.

We are now making this film available to the larger community, including you, so you can find out about the specific climate change challenges and opportunities in Liverpool and surrounding region.

The People v Climate change can be watched on the iPlayer, while the recording of the post-screening talks and Q&A can be watched here.

Watch and be inspired!

Dr Elke Weissmann is Reader in Television and Film in the Department of Creative Arts at Edge Hill University. Her research is focused on television, transnational relations, and gender and the media.

Photo by Anete Lusina from Pexels

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