As the pivotal climate change conference draws closer, Scotland is ramping up to host visitors and dignitaries from all over the world. Though I do not plan to go through to Glasgow for events, I will be keeping a close eye on happenings, and will certainly be checking out plenty of fringe events online. There is already lots going on, both locally and of course around the world.
It is vitally important that we keep up the pressure on world leaders, and make sure that we send clear and strong messages about the urgent necessity of real action and not just words. Of course most of the decisions will be made before the conference, but these conferences focus the attention and keep important issues in the press, and in the public’s mind, as well as bringing divergent views and disparate groups (hopefully) closer together.
But much as we can and should expect a lot from our leaders at COP26, and need the conference to meet its goals, it is important to remember that this is just one more step on a long road. It is important that we do not focus too narrowly on this conference itself. The conference might be described as a wedding, (with promises to do certain things) but the marriage is what really counts.
We’re likely to hear plenty of political soundbites (and likely see some finger pointing) in the coming weeks. But what we really need to see is world leaders putting policy and promises into practice and actually meeting targets and making a difference. Words are not enough.
We should make sure that we look beyond the conference to what comes next, and continue with the real work of actually changing the world for the better, and actually getting things done.