Cllr Steven Heddle participated today in a Ministerial Dialogue with Local and Regional Governments to prepare for the Glasgow Climate Summit next year.
The “Strengthening Coordination Towards the Review of the Paris Climate Agreement” was organised by the United Nations and COSLA’s worldwide membership body United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG).
This builds upon Cllr Heddle successful participation at the COP25 Climate Summit Madrid “Road to Glasgow” seminar last November.
Cllr Heddle provided the Scottish perspective at a roundtable with Environment Ministers from South Africa, Ivory Coast and the mayors of Accra (Ghana), Konya (Turkey), Soria (Spain) and among others.
Speaking on Scotland’s environmental ambition, Cllr Heddle said:
“Scottish Local Government and COSLA has given firm backing to the Scottish target of net-zero emissions target by 2045 net-zero target, and for a 70% emission reduction by 2030”.
Each United Nations member must submit Nationally Determined Contributions to meet the Paris Climate Agreement the goal of keeping the planet temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The Glasgow COP26 summit, which has now been postponed to the first two weeks of November 2021, is expected to confirm these plans.
But National governments cannot do it alone, as Cllr Heddle said:
“Inclusion for Local Governments in the Nationally Determined Contributions is not just important politically, it is essential to ensure the delivery of climate ambition coming from the successive Climate Summits”.
Scotland is a good example:
“Scotland is a country which has mandatory emission reporting obligations. Many Scottish Councils have developed Local Energy and Climate Plans”
Looking ahead to Glasgow Cllr Heddle concluded:
“The extensive sustainability work of Glasgow City Council and indeed all of Scotland’s local authorities will be a visible reminder at COP26 in Glasgow that Local Governments are crucial in delivering on the ambition of the UN Paris Agreement.
We hope to work with many of you in the year ahead before Glasgow summit to ensure the most ambitious local activity at COP26.”
The year 2020 was going to see the new set of NDCs, that different countries were to prepare for the COP26 due to happen this November in Glasgow. In occasion of the Fifth year of the Paris Agreement, countries had been asked to present new more ambitious commitments to reach the goal of keeping the planet temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, or below. These national commitments, or pledges, known as Nationally Determined Contributions, or NDCs – represent the national effort to reduce GHG emissions and, in many cases, to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Individually, NDCs represent each country’s climate priorities and vision for a pathway toward a more sustainable future. Aggregated, they represent the nations’ collective efforts to fight climate change.