The UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow on 1 – 12 November 2021 and this is a huge opportunity for Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom to develop and expand on their ambitious plans to decarbonise our economy and build toward a carbon neutral future.
This is the first time the talks have been held in the UK and these climate negotiations will be the biggest international summit the UK has ever hosted; bringing together over 30,000 delegates including heads of state, climate experts and campaigners to agree coordinated action to tackle climate change.
The Paris Agreement signed in 2016 dealing with greenhouse gas emissions, mitigation, adaption and finance was agreed by 189 nations with a target to ensure that the increase in global average temperature is kept well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels with a focus ideally to limit the increase to 1.5 °C
The challenge at COP26 is not insignificant and organisations in Scotland and the UK such as Kaitiaki Consulting must combine with governments, organisations, and communities globally and step up to save the environment we all live in. The UN Climate Change process is central to that collective action.
The Scottish Parliament has set a target of reducing Scotland’s emission by 75% by 2030 and achieve net zero emission by 2045 and the December 2019 UK Committee on Climate Change Report has highlighted that one of the most important ways to achieve this is to:
‘Support the necessary changes in Scottish land use that will underpin net zero. Changing the use of agricultural land is a major goal for Scottish policy, delivering meaningful emissions reductions on farms, and supporting the promised rapid and sustained increase in the rate of tree planting and peatland restoration’
The report continues to recommend that Scotland ‘plants between 15,000 and 24,000 hectares of new trees each year from the mid-2020s.’ and that a ‘minimum of 18,200 ha of peatland re-wetting should be carried out in Scotland annually from the mid-2020s to 2045’ and that from 2017 to 2050 Scotland restores ‘over 450,000 hectares of unimproved grassland’
These are huge and ambitious goals and Kaitiaki Consulting has been established to help Scotland achieve these targets which will also help protect and enhance biodiversity and create much needed greenspace for recreation.
We will be working with other conservation organisations, investors, local authorities and the Scottish and UK Government to achieve these vital climate change targets.
Scotland must play its part in the climate emergency and with COP26 in Glasgow next year this is an opportunity for Scotland to lead the way.