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COP a load of this…

You might have missed this (we hope not) but a timely event is happening in Glasgow, Scotland which will bring together leaders from around the globe to try and find the antidote to an ever-increasing global carbon emission issue; enter stage left, COP26. As we near the end of 2021, this meeting is one of a series of ongoing conversations about the climate crisis, recycling infrastructure and building a global green economy.

But is it all talk and greenwashed action?

The challenging targets set at the Paris agreement set back in 2015 are still a long way off, with targets of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees, still an ever-challenging ambition. If we do not achieve this, global flooding, rising temperatures, destruction of species and bush fires will continue to increase. The science shows, the primary way to combat this is to reduce global warming and the world needs to “half emissions over the next decade and reach net zero carbon emissions by the middle of the century”* if we are to get to the 1.5 degree target. The gathering at COP26 plans to face these issues head on.

In the run up, businesses have been building coalitions (great) and making pledges all over the place (great) but the timelines and details on action plans leave a lot to be desired. If you kick the climate-can down the road it just becomes the next CEO’s problem. Not good enough really. We stand by anyone pushing uphill to drive meaningful change, we can’t help feel this is all a bit of jazz hands for LinkedIn and Instagram. But let’s get back to COP26.

What is COP26?

COP26 is the UN climate change conference 2021 held in partnership with Italy and brings parties together to address and inspire action on the issue of climate change, how we drive forward the goals of the Paris agreement and the UN convention of climate change.

Glasgow has been chosen to host the conference due to it being one of the greenest cities in Europe. The city has committed to be carbon neutral by 2030 and is 4th in the world in the Global Destination Sustainability Index. It was also home to multiple global events such as the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2018 Glasgow European Gymnastic Championships.

COP26 has 7 sustainability governing principles which underpin their framework for the approach of the event. They are as follows:

  1. Actively manage potential impacts on the environment and local community and identify opportunities to deliver environmental and social value
  2. Provide an accessible and inclusive setting for all
  3. Encourage healthy living
  4. Ensure a safe and secure atmosphere
  5. Encourage more sustainable behaviour
  6. Promote the use of responsible sources and responsible use of resources throughout the supply chain
  7. Leave a positive legacy

Primarily the function of the event will be to progress negotiations, incorporating science and inclusivity throughout, covering mitigation, finance and adaptation throughout the program. The event is not only open to world leaders; The Green Zone will host the general public with a large array of events, exhibitions, cultural performances and workshops curated by youth groups, civil society, academia, artist and businesses from the UK and all over the world.

What are the COP26 goals?

There are 4 primary goals for the COP26 as follows;

  1. Secure global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach
  2. Adapt to protect communities and natural habitats
  3. Mobilise finance
  4. Work together to deliver

These goals if addressed and agreed, should go a long way to help achieving the worlds carbon emission targets. Points 3 and 4 are key to the successful delivery of 1 and 2 because markets and shareholder gain limit the ability for most businesses to truly invest, stop or pivot production and regenerate the systems they touch. Society and governments can do a lot to drive 2 and hold those who fail to deliver to account.

What is Belu’s environmental position?

Belu is committed to ensuring our products set the standard for sustainability and we have always led the way in ensuring our production processes and distribution are not carbon intensive. We do not export our drinks and we do not import our bottles or water for that matter. Think about it, when you pick up a can of water, you’re drinking water shipped from another country. The same for household brand names from the Alps. A small step would be to just stop, read the production label and decide if it is worth the carbon mileage. While we believe in action over accreditation, given there are multiple “clubs” to join to claim you’re green, we have chosen to set our carbon neutrality bar to a PAS 2060 specification – it is the only British Standard for carbon neutrality. Have a look and see why we chose it.

Who are we championing during COP26?

Belu’s purpose partner, WaterAid’s Chief Executive Tim Wainwright, will be speaking in the water pavilion at COP 26 to put water access for vulnerable communities on the top of the agenda.

WaterAid is also hosting two events at the water pavilion that can be accessed on the links below.

We wholeheartedly support WaterAid as part of our purpose to change the way the world sees water and we urge you to, also. Reversing the clock won’t just take a village it will take the whole world to shift the dial.

We’d also like to shout out the brilliant action taken by Toast Ale and partners. Toast Ale’s new Companion Series is a limited-edition collection of 26 beers from 25 breweries in the UK and Ireland, all brewed with surplus bread.  £26 from every box will be invested into conservation and regenerative agriculture projects by two non-profits, Rainforest Trust UK and Soil Heroes. £13 will protect 1,300 trees in threatened tropical rainforests with Rainforest Trust UK, and £13 will capture 144kg CO2 by improving the health of soils on UK farms with Soil Heroes. Bravo! More please.

*Source – https://ukcop26.org/cop26-goals/mitigation/

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