Press Release: COP26 Begins in Glasgow

  • 31 Oct 2021
  • General News

As world leaders arrive in Scotland for the start of the COP26 UN climate summit, a group of over 60 Scottish organisations says the Glasgow talks must be remembered for delivering climate action now, not simply more vague, long-term promises.

Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, a coalition of charities campaigning together on climate change in Scotland, has published a policy paper in advance of COP26, to outline what they would like to see from all rich, developed countries, including the UK and Scottish Governments.

This includes detailed commitments to deliver the deep, fast and fair emissions cuts needed to limit global temperatures rises to 1.5°C. It also includes dramatically increasing support to those communities already facing devastating climate impacts from a crisis that they did little to cause. This must include more support to people to adapt their lives and livelihoods, while addressing the impact of irreversible climate-induced losses and damages.

“With the planet already on fire and with temperatures on track to rise by a devastating 3°C or more, there is no more time to waste and COP26 is a moment of truth. Climate change is already affecting millions of the world’s poorest people and fuelling a linked nature crisis. The commitments made at COP26 in Glasgow must therefore be a turning point for global climate action.

“We’ve already had 25 UN climate summits, and yet the planet has continued to get even hotter, so Glasgow’s COP must be different: instead of producing more vague, long-term promises, it must be about delivering climate action. No more excuses, no more delay.”

Jamie Livingstone, Head of Oxfam Scotland, and a Board member of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland

On the Scottish Government’s role at COP26, Jamie Livingstone added:

“The First Minister says she wants Scotland to be a ‘bridge builder’ at COP26 by connecting those whose voices are too rarely heard, with those making the decisions. That’s a really positive goal, but we must ensure that our bridge is as strong as possible, and crucially, that we do all we can to cross it first.

“We have already seen promising steps from the Scottish Government, such as increasing the financial support to communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis, with welcome commitments to help them also address irreversible damage.

“However, we must also do more to achieve our own emissions targets after missing them three years in a row while also showing global leadership by supporting a ban on all new fossil fuels. The Scottish Government must do all they can to set this good example, and continue to build on what they have done already.

With COP26 having been delayed for a year due to the pandemic, concerns have been raised that it will not be a truly inclusive and open event for all participants ‒ especially those from the Global South who are most often marginalised at the COP talks.

Jamie Livingstone added:

“Unless COP26 acts upon the priorities of the Global South, it cannot possibly deliver climate justice. At the Glasgow Climate Dialogues events ‒ co-hosted by Stop Climate Chaos Scotland and the Scottish Government ‒ delegates called for more to be done to ensure fair, equitable and safe participation at COP26. But it is no use giving people from developing countries a platform, unless they’re now listened to. So this conference cannot be an ‘about them, without them’ event and this will be a key test for the success of the talks.”

Notes to Editors

Stop Climate Chaos Scotland’s policy paper, ‘Delivering climate justice at COP26 in Glasgow: Seizing Scotland’s unique opportunity to shape global action’ can be found here.

Stop Climate Chaos Scotland will host three events during COP26 to cover the findings of the Glasgow Climate Dialogues: two in the Blue Zone and one at the Scottish Government space at The Lighthouse. More information about the Glasgow Climate Dialogues, including the full communiqué, can be found here.

A video summarising the Glasgow Climate Dialogues can be found here.

Scotland is the European Co-Chair of the Under2 Coalition, a global community of state and regional governments committed to ambitious climate action in line with the Paris Agreement.

About Stop Climate Chaos Scotland:

  • Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS) is a diverse coalition of over 60 organisations campaigning together on climate change.
  • We believe that the Scottish Government should take bold action to tackle climate change, with Scotland delivering our fair share of action in response to the Paris Agreement and supporting climate justice around the world.
  • Our coalition members range from environment, faith and development organisations to trade and student unions and community groups.
  • Our work is led by our members and is normally focussed on lobbying decision makers in Scotland, but we also work on UK-wide campaigns when appropriate with our sister organisations in England (The Climate Coalition) and Wales (Stop Climate Chaos Cymru).

Media requests and interviews: Stop Climate Chaos Scotland spokespeople will be available for comment and interview throughout the two weeks of COP26, with representatives inside the talks and outside at events and protests.