You may have heard a lot of chat about COP26, a climate summit taking place in Glasgow next month. It’s where world leaders and policy makers meet up and discuss how to combat climate change, following the Paris Agreement in 2015.

The Climate Briefing podcast by Chatham House has a good explainer on what is and isn’t going to happen at the summit. “COP26 isn’t going to negotiate any new treaty, like what we did in Paris,” says sustainability expert Bernice Lee. “It will assess where we are with climate mitigation.” The Paris Agreement was a commitment by more than 190 countries to keep the rise in global temperatures under 2°C.

The Anthill, a podcast that showcases new ideas coming from the world of academia, has a special series on how much action needs to be taken to combat climate change (spoiler alert: it’s a lot). Their first episode also looks at whether money pledged to poorer countries to help combat our changing climate is actually making a difference. 

The Economist newspaper has launched To a Lesser Degree, a podcast that looks at the technological innovations that need to be enhanced to stop climate change. One recent episode looked at the challenge of carbon, highlighting that carbon needs to be sucked out of the atmosphere to stop global temperatures from skyrocketing. 

Meanwhile, artist Brian Eno is the first guest on the new series of Sounds Like A Plan, a podcast that explores how musicians and key figures in the industry are taking action to combat the climate crisis. In his episode Eno talks about a new organisation he co-founded called EarthPercent, which encourages the music industry to allocate a small portion of their funds towards climate causes and lower their ecological footprint. 

NOTABLE NAMES ON PODCASTS THIS WEEK

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  • Life on a Plate, a podcast by Waitrose, featuring interviews with well known names about their love of food, has a new presenter = Yasmin Khan! In the first episode, Khan speaks to food writers Yotam Ottolenghi and Noor Murad.
  • Paralympian Kadeena Cox is on Better Begins Here, a podcast about how people remain driven this week. She talks about the importance of not pushing yourself too much all the time, as well as her MasterChef win.
  • Comedian and writer Tom Davis and ex-England footballer Lianne Sanderson are both recent guests on The Proper Class Podcast, a show that celebrates individuals who are working class or have a working class background.
  • In Writing, a podcast where Hattie Crisell speaks to writers about their work, has just returned with a new series. She spoke to the celebrated novelist Elif Shafak.
  • Dave Grohl is in a new episode of Chris Evans – How to Wow, where successful people talk about how they were able to get to where they are today.

Here are our podcast picks for the week ahead

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Grief KindThere are already some great podcasts to listen to if you are experiencing grief, from Griefcast (where a guest talks to the broadcaster Cariad Lloyd talks about a someone they are missing) to On the Marie Curie Couch (which is similar, but consists of a conversation about a missing loved one with a trained grief counsellor). 

A new welcome addition to this topic is Griefkind. Created by the charity Sue Ryder, this new podcast is specifically created to provide advice on how to support someone who is currently experiencing grief, helping to reduce any anxiety you might have over what you think you should or not do or say. A guest talks about their grief, but specifically the help they received from others at that time and how they found it useful. 

The first guest is the actor Lisa Riley, who emphasised the importance of showing that you are there for them, without forcing your help too much.

We Were Always HereThe Russell T Davies drama It’s A Sin not only received critical and public acclaim when it was released earlier this year, it also sparked a national conversation about the HIV epidemic in the 1980s and the inhumane way that people and communities were treated by governments and institutions.

Now in this new documentary series by Broccoli Production, the social justice activist and health campaigner Marc Thompson interviews the most marginalised voices, perspectives that have tended to be absent from mainstream narratives about the epidemic to this date. New episodes are out every Wednesday.

Spotify Podcast of the Week – Internet Sensation -YouTuber ImAllexx is the host of new Spotify exclusive video podcast Internet Sensation, where each week Alex sits down with a variety of digital influencers and content creators. Get the scoop on what a day looks like to these internet sensations, and find out what makes them tick! Check out Episode 1 now, where Alex chats to guests Niki “Nihachu” and Rhianna “AmaRhana’  about their rise to internet fame through Minecraft. The show is available exclusively on Spotify. 

My Favourite TakeawayAt times it feels as if there is a podcast for absolutely everything. So when I heard that there was now a series where guests talk about their favourite and ideal takeaways, I hardly bat an eyelid. Comedians Tom Craine and his friend Cimran Shah head to their guest’s house each week to try out their favourite takeaway and discuss their food habits. For the eagle-eyed among you, the concept sounds strikingly similar to Off Menu by Ed Gamble and James Acaster, apart from that Gamble and Acaster ask their guests for their favourite imaginary meal rather than eat a real one. Thankfully though, the conversations and vibe feel different and better still, Acaster is set to be a guest later in the series. Get me a chicken bhuna, lamb bhuna, prawn bhuna, mushroom rice, bag of chips, keema naan and nine poppadoms.

Feed Me FemaleThere will always be a place in my heart for advice podcasts, especially when that advice is honest and based on lived experience. This new podcast by Hope Flynn and Chloe O’Connell has had a good reaction for the way the hosts chat about different issues many of us face, from failing into a victim mentality mindset when something bad has happened to us, to the need to always push forward through difficult times. Six episodes so far (warning: this is not a listen for young ears).

Finally sticking with the environment theme in this week’s newsletter, Prince William was on the BBC’s Newscast podcast this week, to talk about the launch of the new Earthshot Prize. It is an initiative that incentivises individuals and organisations to find technological innovations to help in the climate crisis.

“‘If we’re not careful we’re robbing our children’s future through what we do now,” he told the show’s presenter Adam Fleming. He also said that leaders and policymakers at COP26 should “communicate very clearly and very honestly about what the problems are and what the solutions are going to be and that’s why The Earthshot Prize is so important, because we’re trying to create action.’You can hear the interview in this Newscast episode.

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