THE COUNTDOWN TO COP26
100 Days to Go
23rd July 2021
In November, the UK hosts COP26, bringing world leaders together to tackle climate change. Today marks 100 days until the start of this important event hosted in Glasgow with the support of ATCM members Glasgow City Council.
What is COP26?
COP26 is the 2021 edition of the United Nations annual climate change conference. COP stands for Conference of the Parties. Every year, world leaders meet to make important decisions about how humanity tackles climate change. In November, the UK will host this year’s meeting – COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference. COP26 will be a decisive moment – climate change is a clear and present danger to all people and our planet. The real-world consequences of rising temperatures are already all too visible.
COP26 is the biggest summit the UK has ever hosted and is the most significant climate event since COP21, the 2015 United Nations climate conference which resulted in the Paris Agreement. With the anxieties around climate change rising, one Guardian article referred to COP26 as the most important international summit ever.
Why it Matters to Town and City Centres
Climate change matters to our industry. Extreme weather events including heatwaves, droughts, flooding, and severe storms can have a profound impact on society, not least the areas we rely on most for commercial and community life. In the past few years, we have already seen the impact flooding can have on business viability.
We must acknowledge that the climate is already changing which means we need to invest in our resilience for the sake of business continuity. But this alone is not enough.
The built environment contributes around 40% of our carbon footprint. By facilitating, and sometimes even leading, on climate action we can limit the impact of climate change in future years.
Positive change will not just bring environmental benefits, but much more. Greater resilience and a better environment can strengthen local economies and support town centre businesses. There are strong economic benefits to climate action as highlighted by Dr Neil Jennings, the Partnership Development Manager, Grantham Institute - Climate Change and the Environment at Imperial College London during our 2020 Place Management Conference, Green High Street 2050. And our industry’s role in coordinating local government, businesses, landlords, transport operators, planners, public health and others means we have a valuable contribution to make.
COP26 is an opportunity to get the ball rolling, so we are asking our members to support the campaigns designed to build momentum, increase stakeholder engagement and coordinate action.
Here’s what you can get involved in today.
Race to Zero: Businesses, towns and cities can join the UN’s Race to Zero campaign aimed at cutting carbon emissions and limiting the impact of climate change.
Race to Resilience: Towns and cities can join the campaign to adapt places to the impacts of climate change-induced heatwaves, flooding, sea level rises etc…
Small Business Case Studies: Small businesses can inform the UK Government of their efforts to cut carbon emissions.
Place Management Case Studies: Local authorities, BIDs and other place management organisations can inform the UK Government of the work they are doing in the run up to COP26.
Together for our Planet: The #TogetherforourPlanet campaign is aimed at increasing engagement with a broad range a stakeholders through the sharing of information, events, and campaigns such as the recruitment of climate ambassadors.
ATCM is continuing to work with Glasgow City Council, the Cabinet Office, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy the International Downtown Association and others on COP26 and develop a longer-term climate action strategy for urban place management.