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The Community Radio Station covering Central-Southern Dorset, run by volunteers and not-for-profit

Inaugural Community-led Dorset COP Spurs Community into Action Against Climate Change

The first-ever community led Dorset COP, uniting the local community in urgent action to combat climate change, was held on Saturday the 9th of September at the historic Corn Exchange building in Dorchester. The carbon-neutral event hosted a variety of workshops and keynote speakers, welcoming visitors from across the county.

Zero Carbon Dorset, Dorset Climate Action Network (Dorset CAN) and Sustainable Dorset, three of Dorset’s leading climate action groups, came together to organise this pioneering event, hoping to raise awareness of the need and desire to act locally, in a way that puts people at the heart of the climate crisis on a local level.

Jenny Morisetti, the Chair of Sustainable Dorset commented: “The event was a huge success with over 100 businesses and organisations in attendance. It was gratifying to see so many people from our county coming together to support the fight against climate change and work towards a greener Dorset. I hope that the knowledge gained and shared experiences will contribute to the continuing success of the organisations here today.”

A series of talks, workshops, short talks, panel discussions and break-out workshops for organisations to collaborate took place throughout the day with keynote speakers including Laura Baldwin, environmental campaigner and former Olympian who opened the event, Founder of Future Earth, Catherine Allinson, Alice Favre, the Custodian of the Alice Favre Chettle Estate, Alex Moore, Assistant Head Teacher of Shaftesbury School, Sara Arnold, Founder of Fashion Act Now, two of the first Youth Tedex speakers, Olivia Bowditch and Henrietta Love, Prof. Rick Stafford, Marine Biologist from Bournemouth University, and Bob Ward from Grantham Research Institute & London School of Economics as well as a surprise comment from Bournemouth East MP, Tobias Ellwood, the only MP from Dorset to attend the event.


To hear interviews with some of those attending the COP, including Laura Baldwin and activist Louis McKechnie, follow this link:

UPDATED: Dorset COP – the Conference of Parties


Lizzie McManus, Founder of Warrior Agency, commented: “I’m hardly ever lost for words, but I am struggling to find the right ones to sum up Dorset COP. It felt momentous. The sheer number of people that came to our county town, arriving in their hundreds, streaming through the doors for hours, all there because they want change. They want to fight for our planet, our environment, and our county.

Attendee, Kim Creswell, said: “There were loads of powerful, inspiring addresses, some extremely moving, some hard to hear, some very positive.

The day closed with discussions over the powerful declaration of intent to mirror those issued at the international COPs. The proposed ‘Dorchester Declaration’ was to be a commitment to act, advocate, and lobby for action on climate change and the environment across the county. The Declaration however was not completed on the day as not everyone agreed with the wording, most noticeably young climate activist, Louis McKechnie, who during his address to the assembly said that he would not put his name to something that did not demand immediate action.

COP 2023 - Laura Baldwin, Climate Science Communicator, keynote speaker. Photo credit, Ben Tettmar

COP 2023 – Laura Baldwin, Climate Science Communicator, keynote speaker. Photo credit, Ben Tettmar

COP 2023 - Louis McKechnie, Climate Activist speaking on the Youth Activism panel

COP 2023 – Louis McKechnie, Climate Activist speaking on the Youth Activism panel

COP 2023 - Audience, Photo credit Ben Tettmar

COP 2023 – Audience, Photo credit Ben Tettmar