COP26 in Glasgow is just weeks away and presents a fantastic opportunity for the world’s global powers to set ambitious targets to reduce our carbon output. There is immediate urgency for Governments to come together and act and to stop the Climate Emergency.

In the Arts there’s a unique pressure to do our part to achieve net zero carbon in time. This has to come by 2030 (Glasgow City and City Of Edinburgh Council’s target), 2045 (Scottish Government) or 2050 (UK Government). Many organisations in the sector work in old, unfit buildings. There are many energy efficiency challenges. With support however, we believe we can get there.

Where we can make real change though is through our art, films and performances. All arts organizations are story tellers in one form or another, whether that is film, music, dance or sculpture. We can reflect the challenges of the world and the hope that we can steer things on a different course.

At Belmont Filmhouse we’ve made huge steps forward in our energy efficiencies within our building – installing LED lights almost completely throughout; reducing the speed of our air handling units so they consume less power and recycling as much material as we can. But we know that we can far outstrip those carbon reductions by getting our audiences to consider how they might make change in their lives and within their businesses.

We’ve worked with partners across the city to put on a programme of environmentally focused films for COP26, which started on Friday, October 15 with hybrid documentary 2040. Over the next few weeks in the run-up to COP we’ll be showing seven films which tackle the themes that we need to understand to run the planet more sustainably.

When programming our cinema we always try to include films which challenge the here and now, reflect our world and culture and raise questions for how we might do it better. For COP26 we’ve made a real effort, which is exactly what the situation requires.

Also in the run up to COP26 we’ll be hosting the Take One Action (TOA) Film Festival - Take One Action! Film Festivals | See the change you want to be. TOA do fantastic work on films, both fiction and documentary, that concern social justice issues, many of which are environmentally themed. This year the focus is solely on the challenges of the Climate Emergency. We’ll be hosting four wonderful films with them on the weekend of October 22-24, including Living Proof, put together by Scottish archivist Dr Emily Munro, who will be joining for a discussion.

We hope you’ll join us too.