Scotland launches climate change pledge as COP26 nears

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WITH it being 100 days until COP26 comes to Glasgow, the Scottish Government has published how it will help meet global Paris Agreement goals on climate change.

The indicative nationally determined contribution (NDC) published today (July 23) outlines the country’s contribution to preventing warming of more than 1.5 degrees.

The blueprint includes a multitude of pledges, including those relevant to construction – with the COP26 event scheduled to have a day dedicated to cities, regions and the built environment.

As part of the Paris agreement, net zero should be achieved by the second half of the 21st century. In order to reach this, the Scottish Government said that ‘significant’ upfront investment will be required in modernised infrastructure, capital projects, the preservation and restoration of Scotland’s natural capital, and the modernisation of existing building stock.

It adds that, the green growth accelerator, which was launched in 2020, will unlock an additional investment for emissions-reducing infrastructure to support the transition – with outcomes focussed on carbon emissions reductions, unlocking net-zero and targeted growth in green jobs.

Mention of Scottish Water’s 25-year strategic plan is also made in the plan, with it outlining how future investment in vital infrastructure and assets must be combined with innovative and sustainable ways of dealing with climate change and supporting economic growth.

The government added that nature-based solutions form a key part of its overall approach to action on climate change by bringing together infrastructure, planning, land use, marine and economic strategies to promote and enhance new opportunities for generating multiple benefits from future land management and land use change.

The submission of the NDC was made as the Scottish Government looks to commit to joining, and leading, the international effort on tackling climate change – with it acting as a 100 day commitment.

Cabinet secretary for net zero, energy and transport, Michael Matheson, said, “With COP26 coming to Glasgow, Scotland has a unique opportunity to show leadership on climate action on the international stage. I’m proud to publish this pledge, setting out how Scotland is contributing to the global aims of the Paris Agreement. By highlighting our own action, we hope to inspire others to raise their ambition.

“COP26 represents the world’s best chance – and possibly one of our last chances – to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. We are working hard with our delivery partners to make sure the event is safe and secure and to create a platform for agreeing decisive climate action.”