A Devon farmer helped a community spell out SOS COP26 to send a message to leaders meeting in Glasgow to discuss climate action and launch their own action plan.
John Tucker, who grows organic veg, cereals and raises lamb and beef with his daughter Cathy Case and supplies organic veg box company Riverford, drove his tractor onto the beach to spell out the message as the community gathered on the beach.
Held on the middle weekend of COP26, the climate talks taking place this fortnight, the stunt was designed to “create a visual display of their support for climate change legislation” and to demand the funding needed to keep the rise in temperatures below 1.5 degrees before 2030.
A spokesperson for Bigbury Net Zero said: “By taking climate change personally, individuals will not only make a positive contribution to global efforts to reduce emissions but will inevitably improve their understanding of the big issues around climate change.
“The vast scale of the problem and the way in which all aspects of our lifestyles are contributing to climate change, means communities need to work together to make a difference big enough to have meaningful impact.”
Around 500 people from families around the South Hams gathered on the beach and stood on the letters carved by Tucker, with their umbrellas unfurled, symbolising the increased winter rainfall expected due to climate change.
Speaking about her dad’s contribution to the event, farmer Cathy Case said: “Dad is no climate change warrior, however he is passionate about growing and linking people to where their food comes from. He’s seen so many eras of farming, but throughout all of them he’s been about the people that make it happen and growing food in the most efficient way.”
Bigbury is a rural town that fills with tourists in summer but has limited access to public transport or infrastructure for electric vehicles. Bigbury Net Zero plans to bring together people to host or invest in more local charging points and will be promoting car-sharing schemes.
It will also look into local food and producers, community composting, renewable energy and biodiversity.