What is COP26 and why should you care about it?

Written by
June 12, 2024
5 min read

It’s the second week of COP26, also known as the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference. The event is currently taking place in Scotland, Glasgow until the 12 November, bringing together parties to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

COP26 is important for SKOOT because it looks at how we can come together to change our behaviour to improve the state of the climate. Not only is it important but it reflects what SKOOT is trying to do for the way businesses and communities travel. Not only do we want to consider agreements that are put into place to enforce sustainability, but we want to focus on what can be done today to make a change straight away.

Getting all travel to net-zero by 2050, and hopefully much sooner than that, will require that more people make use of green tech like SKOOT to decrease their mobility carbon footprint. It’s all about ACTION! One of the agreements that has been pledged so far saw more than 100 world leaders promise to end and reverse deforestation by 2030. This is music to our eyes, and although it is a step in the right direction, we wait to see action being taken, and real change starting to take place.

SKOOT can help everyone who travels by car to offset their journey through the app by planting trees or to avoid carbon by carpooling. Planting trees is not the final answer and we are also looking for other ways to offset your carbon, but it at least buys us time and will start to restore nature and habitats that were lost so we can find other alternatives that are sustainable and work to avoid carbon altogether which is the ultimate goal..

COP26 and the agreements drawn up will hopefully be the start of a completely changed, more sustainable world. It is not likely, but certain, that what is decided there will impact your business. You will need to think around ways to make your company more sustainable and decrease your impact on the environment. After all, your company’s success should not come at the cost of the planet’s wellbeing.

The demand for travel around COP26 itself has been huge with approx. 140 world leaders, plus 25,000 delegates and climate activists attending. With the influx of people visiting Glasgow for the conference, there is a huge demand on transport. This presents the perfect opportunity to carpool and not only share a ride to reduce congestion, but avoid creating CO2. Travelling to an event focused around sustainable change, and not making use of sustainable transport options does not make sense to us. If you share a lift with someone where you can, and offset your travel when you cannot, you are part of the movement towards changing mobility.

A recent article by Sharing Economy UK recommending carpooling to COP26 said, "By changing consumer habits in our daily lives, everyone can make an impact in helping accelerate action towards the COP26 goals. Whether it's a journey shared or an item rented, you become part of the mass movement of people taking action and making a visible difference". If you’re interested in not impacting the environment around the summit, then be sure to give it a read here.

Sadly, some of the world leaders do not exactly lead by example as I’d class the way many of them are getting to the summit as greenwashing. The irony of the world leaders travelling by a fleet of electric cars to the conference but then needing to bring in large external generators to charge them because of a lack of power points… I think it is also sad how many world leaders have travelled by private jet to get to the summit. Do you agree?

A journey from Italy to Glasgow will produce around 5.9 tonnes of carbon. We have leaders staying around Scotland and then being dropped off into Glasgow via their jet. These journeys will be less than 30 minutes and it’s such a shame how they are trying to fix the current climate but are using the means of travel that have the most impact on the planet! Why do they think this is acceptable?  

There is a huge behavioural shift that needs to take place. The first thing we need to be thinking of when making decisions is the planet and the environment. As humans we were smart enough to come up with concepts like plastic, we are smart enough to come up with other sustainable alternatives and actually choose to use them.

COP26 presents an opportunity for all businesses and communities to consider what changes they can make to become more sustainable. But for many people there is still confusion around what COP26 actually is and what can be done to help. Nobody says it better than Sir. David, who in his climate address said, “Humans are releasing carbon into the atmosphere at an unprecedented pace and scale and it needs to stop today. Our motivation to change our habits should not be fear but hope for a more sustainable future for all.”

We get that the complex carbon problem might feel overwhelming, but actions as simple as offsetting your carbon can help make a difference right now. And sadly, it might not be the big corporate companies leading the way. The people who will be leading the way in this behavioural shift are you guys - individuals, communities, innovative businesses. We can work together to change the world for the better. Let’s not wait. Let's be the change!

Hopefully, this blog might  inspire those people who are still travelling to COP26 to make a switch as simple as carpooling rather than driving alone, that would have huge benefits for the planet. The sooner you shift your behaviour the quicker it will kick start the climate into undoing the damage that we have all caused. We teach children to pick up after themselves and not be messy so let’s follow our own advice and start to clean up the mess we have made.

If you’re a business that needs help reaching net zero, then get in contact with SKOOT - [email protected] We can provide you with the green tech you need to identify, offset and avoid car carbon emissions today!

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Written by
June 12, 2024
5 min read