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COP26, one year to go until the eyes of the world are on Glasgow

16/11/2020

By Keith Anderson, CEO

There’s just one year to go until the eyes of the world are on Glasgow for the UN Climate Change Conference – more commonly known as COP26 – which will provide a major opportunity to promote Scotland’s role in contributing to a carbon-free world.

Keith Anderson

This will be the most important international meeting on the environment since 2015, and Glasgow has the chance to go down in history as providing one of the most significant milestones on the journey to Net Zero.

A ‘Glasgow Agreement’ that delivers a strong commitment to change and a clear pathway to how that change will be delivered to meet Net Zero targets must be the outcome of COP26, with innovation, progress and leadership at the heart of tackling climate change and delivering Net Zero.

COP is the ideal opportunity for Glasgow, Scotland and the UK to showcase this in abundance and demonstrate just what can be achieved by working together towards a common goal and a shared vision.

By showing how we’re making a swift and just transition to a cleaner and greener future not just a possibility, but a reality, we can get the global buy-in needed to achieve a collective and collaborative response to the climate emergency that simply cannot fail.

Let’s not underestimate what’s at stake at COP26. This is our future we’re talking about and we all need to be on the same page about what needs to happen if we’re to have any chance of unlocking Net Zero and hitting the 2030, 2045 and 2050 targets for our cities, regions and country.

So, it’s a tremendous opportunity to effect real and lasting change that really will make a difference for generations to come.

Encouragingly, we’ve now got complete political consensus about what we need to do and how we need to do it. At a wider societal level, there is also demand for change – the whole population of the country now absolutely understands the issues and knows what we need to do.

But we need to ensure we don’t leave anyone behind. The transition needs to be fast, but fair and equitable, providing clear and tangible opportunities for all – whether that’s about access to cleaner and greener energy, or ensuring people have the skills and knowledge to embrace the new technologies and the green jobs that will help deliver Net Zero.  

It’s vital we keep up the pace of change now and continue the momentum that’s already building up so that, by the time we reach next November, we’ll be much further forward than we are now.

For ScottishPower, that means walking the walk and looking at what we can do better, what we can do differently.

Yes, we only produce 100% renewable electricity; but we also need to look at how we can make our wider operations, our buildings, our vehicles cleaner and greener.

That’s all part of our efforts to reduce our own carbon emissions over the next 12 months in the lead-up to COP26. Think about the changes you can make in that time.

Scotland is becoming a world leader on Net Zero; a country where the political and the public appetite to green our environment and our economy are converging; and where businesses like ours are leading and innovating their way towards Net Zero.   

It’s difficult to overestimate the significance of COP26 and what will happen in November 2021, and ScottishPower will be playing an important role in ensuring its legacy is both positive and lasting. 

We all want a better future, but if we get things right and use COP26 as the starting point for a lasting legacy that will change lives forever, we can make sure we arrive at that better future, quicker. 

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