Doncaster’s Hird Rail Group to support COP26 event: We Are Watching

A striking image of a giant eye flown on a monumental flag will be seen across Doncaster ahead of this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP26, in Glasgow.

Internationally acclaimed artist, Dan Acher’s “We Are Watching” artwork will be displayed at Doncaster Racecourse on Friday 8th October showcasing a giant image comprising of thousands of digital portraits, contributed by people from 190 countries across the globe.

Michael Hird, Owner-Director of the Hird Rail Group, which is sponsoring the event, explains: “Sustainability is at the heart of all we do, and as the rail industry is becoming more and more pivotal in the country’s decarbonisation strategy and in attaining Net Zero, it seemed only natural for us to support such an important event, and the message it conveys.  We firmly believe that as custodians of the planet, and thus the future of generations to come we couldn’t not be involved.”

The 10-storey high flag will be seen far and wide across the town and has been designed to send a clear message to world leaders with the power to affect decisions about climate change that the eyes of the world are upon them.

Dan’s globally participative work first flew at Madrid’s COP25 UN Climate Change Conference. Its ongoing mission is to take the eyes of the world around the globe.  Ahead of the flag’s arrival in Doncaster it was also flown over the Old Royal Naval College this summer as part of Greenwich and Docklands International Festival.

At this truly unique event, which will be British Sign Language interpreted, delegates will hear from Ed Miliband MP, Shadow Business and Energy Secretary, Labour MP for Doncaster North and Mayor of Doncaster, Ros Jones, as well as experiencing performance poetry from young people in the town, all to add to Doncaster’s voice to the message that change is needed now.

We Are Watching will fly over Doncaster as one of the presentations across the UK before ending later this year at the planned COP26 in Glasgow.

Mayor Ros Jones said: “Since declaring a Climate and Biodiversity emergency in September 2019, we have set ourselves challenging targets to ensure we play our part in reducing carbon emissions, and meet our net zero targets by 2040. This will be no easy task and will require significant investment from government and businesses.

“We all need to play our part, reducing our energy consumption, using more active travel and public transport, as well as reducing levels of waste by recycling and re-using wherever possible.

“We must do this, to ensure that we leave a safe and habitable planet for generations to come. As part of Doncaster Delivering Together 10-year strategy, our focus is on People, Place and Planet.


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