By Councillor Susan Aitken,
Leader of Glasgow City Council
In one year from now, Glasgow will host the United Nations Climate Change Conference, better known as COP26. An event of global scale and generational significance, our city will be the focus of the world’s efforts to address the climate emergency.
Just as the Kyoto and Paris Agreements have been staging posts to a more sustainable and just future, a “Glasgow Agreement” in 2021 can provide the momentum towards carbon neutrality that our planet demands. An event of this importance cannot simply happen to the people of Glasgow. It must happen with us. COP26’s aspirations and benefits must directly impact upon and be shared with Glasgow and its communities.
The intention remains that we hold COP26 in person and only closer to the time will we be able to estimate the extent of the immediate boost to the city economy. Yet whatever the format, we have a platform to help attract the investment, expertise and innovation our ‘Race To Zero’ requires, to position ourselves as a global demonstrator city for sustainability, and to promote ourselves to new and influential audiences. We have much to build on. Glasgow’s tremendous strides in overcoming the legacies of its past and our commitment to building better lives and better places for all our citizens is now internationally recognised. So too, our 2030 carbon neutrality target and the Team Glasgow partnership working together to shape a cleaner, greener and prosperous future.
As our reputation as a city of talent, ambition and potential grows, COP26 is an opportunity to show the world that Glasgow is where the solutions to the challenges of the climate emergency can be found. We will be ready for COP26, for the challenges and opportunities which emerge, and for the legacy we demand from it. As the world meets in Glasgow to discuss the issues of our times, we can show the world we are the city of our times on those issues of our times.