Time for action after COP26

Now that the dust has settled on COP26, we turn our attention to the actions we must take following the conference. 

After months of effort, we can celebrate our success in getting recognition of the importance of local government in tackling climate change into what was agreed. 

It showed the LGA’s cross-party working as the ‘voice of local government’ at its best.

I would like to say a big thank you to Cllr Pippa Heylings, our climate change lead, who was amazing at COP26 last month; she’s driven the argument, in so many ways.

But even with recognition of local government, we cannot pretend that the world is suddenly saved. This agreement falls way short of the action that was needed. 

This disappointment is hardly surprising. Despite the importance of the conference, the Prime Minister and his Government were distracted, preoccupied with trying to help their friends out of lobbying and corruption scandals. It is simply not good enough. 

The Paris Agreement set out the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C. That is the tipping point beyond which the world is set to see billions of people facing extreme weather events, countless millions displaced from their homes and, quite possibly, societal collapse. 

COP26 was supposed to chart the course to meet this target: instead, it has barely been worth the excess emissions caused by the flights to Glasgow.

I know my Liberal Democrat colleagues in power in councils up and down the country are doing their bit, are others? 


The human impact on climate change

Local government’s climate role recognised