COP26: The UK’s Role in the Fight Back Against Climate Change

The UK population has become more aware of climate change over the past few years, especially as the COVID pandemic has held the world to ransom.

Thanks to the fascinating yet petrifying Blue Planet documentaries, the Extinction Rebellion protests in London, Sir David Attenborough’s world status, Greta Thunberg’s sudden media prominence and the reduction of carbon emissions during lockdown, the public has now started to see how our choices can impact the world around us.

COP26 is an event created to address exactly these issues. Taking place in Glasgow, it  brings together world governments to discuss how we can help protect the planet we love.

But it’s not just about world leaders. If we really want to achieve climate change goals, we all need to accept the responsibility- governments, local councils, businesses and individuals alike. Together we can make that change.

In this short article, we’d like to highlight just how important COP26 is, what the UK and Birmingham City Council is doing to implement change and how Woodbourne Group will also be playing its part.


What is COP26?

COP26 is the annual climate summit that is coming to Glasgow in November. Organised by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) it takes place for the 26th time between 31st October and 12th November 2021.

The event is expected to attract around 36,000 delegates and up to 200 world leaders who are driven to keep the global temperature rise within the limit of 1.5 degrees as per The Paris Agreement.

Together, nations will work to bring climate change under control, focusing on how to address their net-zero emissions target, how to pay for it and how to help vulnerable communities adapt so we can create a brighter future for us all.


What is the UK doing to address climate change?

The UK has long been one of the key players when it comes to addressing climate change with numerous policies in place to control our impact on the planet.

In addition to existing targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050, they also outlined brand new commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 78% by 2035 in April this year, potentially putting them ahead on the global stage.

Through this visionary Net Zero: Build Back Greener strategy, they set out their net steps to “…cut emissions, seize green economic opportunities, and leverage further private investment into net-zero,” with an increased focus on ensuring that reliable, clean energy is available to all.

This includes greater investment in renewables such as hydro, solar and wind and plans to install heat pumps in homes around the country, offering a £5,000 grant to qualifying households in the UK from April 2022. They also aim to reduce the sale of petrol cars, boost the sale of electric cars, freeze demands for flights, plant more trees, optimise agriculture and invest further in carbon storage initiatives.

Yet, as encouraging as these strategies may be, change also needs to happen on a regional level if we are to achieve these climate change goals.

Birmingham, our home city, is doing exactly that, having declared a climate emergency in June 2019 and outlining plans of their own to tackle climate change. With their visionary Route to Zero Taskforce (R20), they bring together individuals, the community and local businesses to become carbon neutral by 2030, well ahead of UK targets.


How Woodbourne Group is making a difference

Woodbourne Group has long worked alongside Birmingham City Council to boost the local economy, push sustainability and create greener, cleaner working and living spaces for us all.

“It’s about fostering a sustainable, and above all responsible, approach through everything we do. Any business serious about creating long term value has to place ESG at the heart of its operations. In development terms, that means that sustainability has to be more than just a box-ticking exercise.”

Our ground-breaking Curzon Wharf development– the world’s first mixed-use net-zero carbon masterplan was announced earlier this year and aims to set the stage for other similar visionary property developers. By consulting with environment and regeneration specialists, we have been able to use technological innovation to benefit the local community and reinforce our ‘green’ credentials.

Committed to the UN Principles of Responsible Investment and working closely with the local community, we like to think that we are playing our small part in “helping to pave the way for the UK’s Green Revolution” and help our country reach the net-zero goals as soon as possible.

Cop26 is probably one of the most important meetings the world has ever seen.

The future is in our hands.