Dippy inspires COP26 pledges

29th September 2021

From cycling to work every day to recycling more and using less water, more than 9,000 visitors to Dippy on Tour in Norwich Cathedral have made individual pledges to help protect the planet for the future – and some of these pledges will be presented at CoP26, the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow this November.

Written on leaves and placed on trees next to Dippy, these COP26 pledges are an integral part of Dippy on Tour.

The visit of the Natural History Museum’s Dippy the Diplodocus cast to Norwich Cathedral aims to spark conversations about our planet and how we can protect it for the future, and the tour includes Norfolk-based artist Mark Reed’s installation Your Waves Go Over Me.

Mark has created a 10-metre wave of 3,000 individually sculpted metal fish through which visitors walk. On first look, the striking shoal of fish is an installation of great beauty but, on closer inspection, litter can be seen scattered among the fish – a stark reminder of the damage being done to our planet to spark conversation and dialogue.

Dippy inspires COP26 pledges

Mark said:

“The work invites the viewer to think about the central themes inherent in both the Dippy exhibition and the venue in which it is held. The work is a meditation of life on earth, from its origins in the very distant past to Dippy’s time and our own day, and a reminder of the total dependence all life on this planet has on the generative powers of water.” 

A special Reflection Zone has been created in Norwich Cathedral where people are asked to think about what they can do to help protect our planet and make their pledges. The Reflection Zone links with the Cathedral’s support for the work of Christian Aid which works with those impacted by climate change around the globe.

Some of these pledge-filled leaves will be delivered to CoP26 in Glasgow by the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham Usher, the Church of England’s Lead Bishop for the Environment, when he joins fellow delegates at the conference.

He said:

“I believe it’s so important to allow people’s concerns and hopes concerning our climate emergency to be heard. Jesus took time to listen before taking action. I’m delighted to be able to carry some of these pledges from Norfolk to the COP26 meeting in Glasgow. Visitors to Dippy in Norwich Cathedral have been inspired to consider what part they can play, and Christian Aid challenges us to consider the impact of our actions on the lives of some of our brothers and sisters around the world, who contribute the least to global warming, but are affected the most.”

Dippy inspires COP26 pledges

The Revd Canon Andy Bryant, the Cathedral’s Dippy Project Manager, said:

“It has been wonderful to see so many of our Dippy visitors wanting to make a pledge to help our planet. We have had people of all ages having conversations about the changes they can make to address the issues of climate change. The sheer number of leaves on the trees are a real dinosaur roar of hope for our planet – people really do want change and want to play their part in bringing about that change.”

Some of the pledges people have made so far have included:

  • Put a jumper on instead of whacking up the central heating
  • Plant vegetables and fruit in our garden to decrease food miles
  • Stop running water when brushing my teeth
  • Plant wildflowers to help pollinators like bees
  • Walk to school every day
  • Not be a slave to fast fashion – charity shops all the way
  • Buy eco-friendly cleaning products
  • Buy loose vegetables and fruit and use less plastic packaging
  • Walk, scoot or cycle if you can. Don’t drive if you don’t have to.
  • Stop drinking bottled water

Chris Hull, volunteer campaign organiser at Christian Aid, said:

“The scale and breadth of these pledges that have come from peoples’ hearts and imaginations, shows the real drive of many Norfolk residents of all ages to change personal behaviour to respect and protect our earth. Christian Aid and its partners are working on the ground with people in very poor communities across the world who suffer the direct consequences of climate change now. They see the changes themselves and many have sadly lost loved ones and livelihoods. Uncomfortably, such changes are predominantly created by us in the richer countries. These pledges are a sign of solidarity with the world’s poorest, and an invocation to the decision makers to take bold and imaginative action at COP26.”

More of the Season of Creation here.

Photos courtesy of Norwich Cathedral.

A Prayer for COP26 read by the Dean of Chichester, under the Museum of the Moon at Chichester Cathedral.