6 months to COP26

By Keith Anderson,
Chief Executive, ScottishPower

With just 6 months to COP26, I was delighted to welcome Channel4 News and its presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy; Chris Stark, Chief Executive of the Climate Change Committee; and Professor Kirsty Park, Biological and Environmental Sciences expert at the University of Stirling to our Whitelee Windfarm – the largest and arguably most beautiful onshore site in the UK. And let’s not forget home to the cheapest form of electricity generation in the UK today.

Whitelee is already delivering the changes needed to help achieve the UK’s world-leading climate change targets and it demonstrates the ways we’re making this happen for people, for businesses and for the communities where we live and serve.

As was rightly mentioned, there is global ambition to get going but the issue can still be putting those pledges and targets into action and delivering on the ground.

In the UK we have all the tools and all the technology, we just need to get on with it.

I’ve talked to senior politicians repeatedly about why we need to electrify the hell out of everything – whether it’s electric cars and EV chargers or electric heat pumps for our homes. All of this will create the jobs our country needs to support our economic recovery from the worst pandemic the world has seen.

But we still need to be enabled to go faster: that means Government supporting businesses like ours with the right policies – whether its supporting the development of more renewable power or helping us increase the capacity on our power networks, and not least speeding up our planning processes.

To meet the UK’s demand for all the green electricity it will need, we know we have to quadruple the number of windfarms we have right now. We need more just like Whitelee.

However, time is running out. That’s why we’re investing a total of £10 billion over five years – that’s £6 million every working day – to deliver that better future, quicker.

With the COP26 conference getting under way in just over six months, we have a fantastic opportunity here in Glasgow, Scotland and the UK to lead the green industrial revolution and take the world with us as we showcase not just what we need to do, but just how well we can do it.