COP26 will change the world – it has to

The leader of Scottish Renewables says that this year’s Cop26 summit in Glasgow must prove pivotal in preserving the planet – insisting nation’s cannot simply “buy our way out” of the climate crisis.

Claire Mack, CEO of the organisation, insists those involved in the renewables industry have a “deep conviction” of wanting to help change the world.

But she said Scotland had to not just play host to the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties this November, but lead the world in action.

She said: “COP26 is now a topic that comes up in most conversations with our members, with government and even with our own families when we talk about our work.

“COP will change the world – it has to.”

“And we here in Scotland won’t just be the host nation, we will be the nation that shows the world how it can be done.

“There are no simple solutions to climate change. It’s not something we can buy our way out of. As industry we are very aware that there have been, and will continue to be, many bumps in the road along the way.

“We’ve all heard naysayers: “Why bother, Scotland going net-zero isn’t going to make a jot of difference”.

“And of course the kind of energy and fuel choices the current and future powerhouses of China and India choose  means that the bigger picture is never far from our minds.

“But we didn’t give up using CFCs because there was a hole in the ozone layer over Scotland, and the same goes here. It took research, development and deployment of new and better technology and products to help create a solution to the ozone problem.

“Just because the actions of one small country won’t shift the dial doesn’t mean it won’t change the world.”

She also went on to warn over policy decisions impacting on work aimed at reducing climate chaos.

“The last five years have seen damaging action taken against the policies which underpinned our sector, but the hope is that we will see a reversal as quick as the initial blows,” she said.

“With both the UK and Scottish Governments signed up to net zero targets and the clock ticking ever faster as the undeniable effects of climate change hit us and those on the other side of the world even harder, we all know that we need every tool at our dispoal to adapt and mitigate the awful reality of climate change.

“We have the capacity to be active agents rather than collateral damage in this. We have the ability not to be bystanders. What a great position to be in.

“We’re contemplating how Scotland and the rest of the UK can use their knowledge and experience to bring the rest of the world with us in the future.

“But we also need to concentrate on the decisions here and now which will impact how far – and how quickly – we can develop projects that will meet our clean growth ambitions.”

She also heaped praise on young activists for their part in not only leading the debate, but spurring on action.

“The voices of the next generation – think Greta Thunberg and youth climate strikes – have been helpful to raising awareness of what we do and why we do it, and to making sure that the wider public understand the significance of renewables,” she said.

The CEO’s comments came ahead of preparations for the Scottish Renewables Annual Conference taking place in Edinburgh on March 24 & 25.

 

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