On 31 October, the eyes of the world will be on Glasgow as it plays host to one of the most important climate action events of our generation – COP26.
It’s not the first time that Glasgow has hosted an event on the international stage either. In 2018 the city was home to the European Gymnastics Championships and before that, the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Dear Green Place
Glasgow has a history of protecting its green spaces, making it quite fitting that the ‘Dear Green Place’ be chosen by the UK as the backdrop for the 26th United Nations Climate Summit.
Recently awarded the status of Global Green City, Glasgow has an ambitious target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2030.
The city is currently ranked number 4 in the world in the Global Destination Sustainability index (GDS-Index) and aims to be one of the greenest cities in Europe through its Sustainable Glasgow campaign.
What are the green and blue zones?
COP26 activity will take place in two different zones – the Blue Zone and the Green Zone.
In the Blue Zone, delegates from countries and organisations will meet for both formal and informal consultations as part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) - the UN body tasked with coordinating the global response to the threat of climate change.
The UNFCCC will run a series of events, including technical briefings, which will support the negotiation process. Delegates will attend events to clarify their positions with the aim of reaching agreements. This included reporting back on progress from the Paris Agreement.
In the Green Zone there’ll be a wide range of events open to the general public including workshops, art exhibitions and installations as well as presentations, demonstrations of technology and musical performances for everyone to attend.
The COP26 legacy in Scotland
COP26 is a massive opportunity to promote climate action in Scotland.
With around four-fifths of Scotland’s carbon footprint coming from the products and materials we manufacture, use and throw away we need to rethink how we consume in Scotland to make an impact on the climate crisis.
The average Scot consumes 18.4 tonnes of materials every year – that’s the equivalent of 50kg per week on average. We need a system-wide change that enables us all to choose more sustainable ways to live, use the things we need and share resources.
We know that a circular economy, where resources are kept in use for as long as possible rather than our current ‘make, use, throw away’ linear economy, is one of the solutions.
The average Scot consumes 18.4 tonnes of materials every year – that’s the equivalent of 50kg per week on average. We need a system-wide change that enables us all to choose more sustainable ways to live, use the things we need and share resources. #COP26 #ConsumingResponsibly
Moving to a circular economy at a scale needed to tackle climate change and global resource scarcity will not be easy.
The systems and financial mechanisms that have evolved to support the linear economy have been in place for a long time and moving to circular thinking requires a combined effort from all sectors – from individuals to designers, industry, and governments – and can help us build back better, generate new opportunities for Scotland from inward investment to new, ‘green’ jobs.