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Bill Gates, New Brighton, and COP26

Ahead of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, former Microsoft founder Bill Gates took to social media to share a photo of New Brighton and to set out his priorities for increasing 'clean technology innovation'.

In his 'message to the world' blog post, the Microsoft founder who now works full time with his charitable foundation, used a photo of New Brighton and wrote: "If we’re going to avoid the worst effects of a climate disaster, it’s not enough to invent zero-carbon alternatives—we need to make sure they’re affordable and accessible enough for people all over the world to use them."

But why New Brighton and what's written in the sand?

The photo shows sand art, created earlier this year by Sand in Your Eye along with volunteers and local children. The sand art, stating "COP 26. Net zero by 2050. Make a plan for our future"  included hopes and visions that children had for the future in relation to climate change. In addition, there were 26 ice sculptures each depicting a child as a metaphor for the fragility of our young people’s future in the face of climate change.

As the ice children melted in the hot summer sun, they symbolised the melting ice caps, and rising sea levels as the tide comes over them.  Each ice sculpture was joined by a child holding a plaque with the name of a global leader of the top 26 polluters in the world, to encourage them to consider greener solutions at the COP 26 conference.