• Phil Packer

Environmentalist and former GB Rower, Melissa Wilson, challenges World Leaders at COP26

We are delighted that Melissa is part of our BRIT Ambassador family and will be championing the annual BRIT Challenge that will be launched late this month. With the COP26 conference ongoing, we wanted to raise awareness of Athletes of the World and their athletes' appeal video "Dear Leaders of the World".


In the autumn of 2021, Melissa and double Olympic Sailing Champion, Hannah Mills, brought together over 50 Tokyo Olympians and Paralympians from around the world, including flag bearers from 35 different countries, challenging World Leaders about the urgent need for ambitious climate action.


In November 2021, delegates from around 200 countries attended the COP26 conference in Glasgow. COP26 is the global climate summit with leaders from around the world coming together to agree their climate commitments for the coming years.


The athletes’ appeal is made in a video called Dear Leaders Of The World for the COP26 global climate summit;

Melissa retired as an elite athlete in 2021 and led several campaigns as part of Champions for Earth, working to unlock the potential of athletes as advocates for the planet. In September 2020, Melissa wrote to the UK government calling for a “green recovery” to the pandemic, in a letter that was signed by more than 320 British Olympic and Paralympic athletes. After the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Melissa teamed up with double Olympic Sailing Champion, Hannah Mills, who in 2019, founded the Big Plastic Pledge to reduce single use plastic in sport. Hannah and Melissa founded Athletes of the World and believe that athletes have a unique opportunity to make positive change in this world, using sport's platform and its capacity to unite people behind an ambitious goal; by channelling the qualities athletes use all the time; resilience, teamwork, courage, ambition, adaptability and staying focussed under pressure, they believe we give ourselves the best chance of success. To find out more about Athletes of the World, please visit their website. You can follow Melissa on Twitter.