By Kenneth Gibson MSP
Glasgow will be host city for the 26th Conference of Parties (COP26), at which the future direction of global efforts to avert the climate crisis will be determined.
The conference will take place in Glasgow’s Scottish Events Campus (SEC) in November 2020 and is set to be the largest summit the UK has ever hosted, lasting two weeks. It is anticipated that 30,000 delegates and 200 world leaders will descend upon Glasgow.
Scotland is a world leader in the fight against climate change, while Glasgow has a great track record when it comes to hosting large international events. It is also one of our most sustainable cities, set to be the UK’s first carbon neutral city by 2030.
Glasgow hosted 25 conferences related to energy and carbon reduction in 2018/19, boosting the city’s economy by £8 million.
Scotland was amongst the first countries to acknowledge the climate crisis and has some of the toughest climate change targets in the world, having committed to eliminating greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, five years earlier than the UK and the earliest date deemed technologically feasible.
Arran has done its bit too!
In Issue 96 of this magazine, the island was nicknamed “Solar Island” on account of the great work done by Eco Savvy and their installation of solar panels across Arran. If you missed it, Eco Savvy are a voluntary organisation committed to achieving zero waste on Arran. They did all the heavy lifting when it came to researching installers and were able to advise residents on the financial implications of the installation of solar panels in their homes.
Although the key COP26 event will be held in the SEC and preparatory events in Italy, the Glasgow Science Centre will host a series of inclusive events for the public and community groups.
The SNP government has explained that these events will engage people to inform them about the most pressing climate change issues. It will give campaigners, community groups and young people the chance to make their views known and have their voices heard, said Climate Change Secretary, Roseanna Cunningham MSP.
The summit is expected to take place just after the US Presidential Election, when most governments must review their promises to cut down carbon emissions.
It is anticipated that this conference will be the most important since the Paris Agreement of 2015 that dealt with such matters as greenhouse gas emissions and Scottish Ministers will take a progressive tone at this and future summits.