Scotland and the UK should not yet be boasting about their “world-leading” action to save the planet after Glasgow was selected as the venue for next year’s prestigious United Nations climate change conference, environmentalists are warning. On winning the bid to stage the summit, international development secretary Alok Sharma said the decision was “testimony to the UK’s leading role in the global fight against climate change”. But campaigners have pointed out that landing the Conference of Parties (COP) is not based on a country’s environmental credentials and more to do with the depth of its pockets. The 2013 and 2018 summits were held in Poland, a country powered by coal, and in 2012 in oil-rich Qatar. Conversely, although Fiji presided over the 2017, meeting the event itself was held in Bonn, Germany, as the South Pacific island could not handle the logistics and expense of staging such a large-scale gathering. Campaigners have welcomed the international event, which is seen as the most important since the Paris conference in 2015, but warn that much tougher action is needed if catastrophic climate change is to be avoided. “Hosting the UN climate negotiations should not be thought of as a reward for leadership but rather as an opportunity to demonstrate true leadership,” said Friends of the Earth Scotland director Dr Richard Dixon.
Scotsman 14th Sept 2019 read more »