With under 50 days to go until COP26, momentum is growing ahead of what could be one of the most important Climate Conferences since the Paris Agreement in 2015. After a summer of floods and wildfires and a major UN scientific report acting as a “code red for humanity”, it feels as though we’re entering dire straits, and when you take a step back, it’s sobering, depressing and perhaps overwhelming. The urgency to act on the climate crisis couldn’t be clearer.
People across the country, the government and businesses of all sizes are asking what role they can play and what actions can make a difference. Businesses want to do the right thing for the environment and show customers that they are doing so. Some are creating sustainable supply chains, while others, are improving their recycling ambitions or being more energy efficient. With the right support, businesses are playing a critical role in helping the UK reach its net-zero targets.
But it’s not just about how they are doing business – it’s the new solutions and companies that are being created. We can see good examples of this in all parts of the country. From sustainable fashion pop-ups to the increase in meat alternatives to the rise in electric vehicles, progress is being made. On a daily basis new solutions that are being put forward, with new businesses emerging and new products that can help our planet. While there is undoubtedly still lots to do, tackling climate change is possible.
The saying goes “Action speaks louder than words”. But I wonder if that always rings true. For all the good examples of solutions that help fight climate change, are people’s voices being heard?
COP26 is seen as a platform for world leaders and for big decisions to be made. But surely there needs to be a place for everyone else to be heard? For businesses and consumers. For children and teachers. Entrepreneurs and engineers. Climate change affects each and every one of us, so every voice and opinion matters.
But it can’t be a lone or disparate voice. We need to bring together the voices of everyone who cares about climate change in a totally unique way, giving everyone from the CEO at large international companies to the sole owner of a shoe shop the chance to ‘sit at the COP26 table’ – a unique opportunity to have your voice heard by the decision makers at COP26.
In the lead up to the summit, National Grid is encouraging you to share your ideas, thoughts and concerns and have their say in the fight against climate change. We want to hear about your hopes and fears for the future. What’s the one thing that governments should be focussing on? Where do you think more effort needs to be placed? How do you want to see world leaders tackle climate change? What can you say that will make them sit up and listen?
Using cutting edge artificial intelligence technology, the messages will be turned into a keynote speech and delivered at COP26. There is no opportunity like this to have your voice heard on this international stage. Your voice has power. So, we want to invite every one of you to join the conversation because together we can make a difference. You can find out more and submit your messages here.
If you’re interested in hearing more from National Rail, join the CBI's Annual Conference on 22-24 November.