Landmark is cycling to Paris for COP21

Care for our environment and concern about the effect of climate change on people and the environment are at the heart of our business at Landmark.

In our 30th year of practice in Bristol we are both supporting and taking part in Le COP Crusade – Bike Ride to Paris.  We are doing this to demonstrate our commitment as a company and as part of the Bristol business community to taking local action on climate change and delivering a clear message to global leaders. The project is being hosted by ‘Love the Future’, a not for profit community interest company which previously operated under the title ‘Big Green Week.’

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The Challenge

Landmark Planner Rachel Bird is part of the team that will be delivering the Bristol Manifesto for Change to Paris on her bicycle. The team is made up of businesses and individuals from across the city.  The ride will span 4 days and cover over 240 miles, crossing over the channel at Portsmouth.  Rachel will be keeping us updated with both her training and progress along the way.

Why cycle – COP21

We are now just a month away from the Paris climate summit, or to give it its formal title, the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21).  From November 30 to December 11, nations will meet to agree a global climate deal in Paris.

On 30 October the UN released its assessment of the146 plans submitted by nation states to limit climate change (the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs)).  The INDCs will form the foundation of the mandatory, global treaty on climate change to be agreed in Paris in December.

Blog_COPCycle2COP21 is, therefore, a crucial conference:  it needs to achieve a new international agreement on the climate, applicable to all countries, with the aim of keeping global warming below the critical threshold of 2°C. The UN has already confirmed that the INDCs, in their current form, are not enough – taken together there will still be rises in global temperatures of 2.7C above the pre-industrial level.  Even at this apparently modest 0.7% increase, the UN predicts significant and dangerous climate impacts.  Whilst the entire world must adjust to the economic, social and environmental effects of temperature increase, there is no doubt that they will be far, far worse for less developed nations and the world’s poor.

The UN assessment of all 146 Plans is that they will cover around 86% of global emissions, which is, however, a huge step forward on previous efforts.   As such, and given that the INDCs of even small and poor nations, such as Ethiopia, Bhutan and Costa Rica, have identified ways of making extensive and meaningful limits on emissions, the focus must be on developed nations, of which the UK has hitherto been a leader, to push COP21 over the line to achieve the essential 2% target.

2015 has so far seen a woeful lack of initiative from the UK Government to commit to a low carbon economy, and substantial backtracking on previous domestic commitments and incentives, ostensibly in the pursuit of short term cost considerations.

Leadership and statesmanship is now needed rather than partisan domestic politics (see our blog in March ‘Election 2015 – The Landmark ‘Manifesto’).  Without an ambitious agreement between negotiators and ministers, the chances of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and eliminating poverty will be lost.  Paris offers the chance to build on the innovations in climate compatible development in cities, districts and countries around the world, including in many Least Developed Countries, to forge a more secure and resilient future for us all.

Bristol’s role at COP

As the 2015 European Green Capital, Bristol has a key role to play. Bristol City Council and Bristol 2015 will, with the city of Paris, be co-hosting the COP21, ‘cities lounge’ in the Cities & Regions Pavilion, which is part of the International Local Government Climate Roadmap to Paris. The Cities lounge is an opportunity to raise the city’s profile and seek investment on a global scale.  At Landmark we want to show our support for the city and demonstrate that the people and businesses of Bristol really care about climate change, adding our voices to the millions around the world.

The Bristol Manifesto for Change

Love the Future is drafting the Manifesto in discussion and engagement with the public.  The Manifesto will set out a vision for the city we would like to live in. Please take a moment to have your say by completing the short survey here

Please give your support

As well as supporting Bristol at COP21, we would like to take this opportunity to do more. We are therefore inviting colleagues, friends and clients to sponsor Rachel’s cycle ride by donating to Re-Cycle (Bikes for Africa) through the Just Giving website (

Blog_COPCycle3We have selected our sponsorship recipient very carefully. Transport and development go hand-in-hand. Virtually everything traded, must be transported, and almost everyone needs wheels to get to work or school. Simple, affordable transport generates income opportunities in developing countries, as well as saving back-breaking work. Bicycles significantly lighten the burden and can consequently dramatically improve people’s wellbeing, as well as work and education opportunities, to help bring social change.

Re-Cycle deliver unwanted bikes from collection centres in the UK to countries in Africa where they are desperately needed. Since the charity began, over 70,000 bikes and countless spare parts have been sent to eight different countries. Sustainability is embedded at the heart of Re-Cycle where donors, organisers, distributors, recipients and the environment as a whole, all benefit in a complimentary and sustainable way.

To find out more follow this link for a short introductory video.

By supporting Re-Cycle we help communities and encourage sustainable development, travel and growth in developing nations. Thank you for your support.