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COP26: ‘Thinking global, acting local’ is way ahead, says Sustrans

Sustrans Scotland, alongside the Sustainable Transport Alliance, will be at the United Nations global climate summit, COP26, to talk about greener and healthier travel on 10th November. The Green Zone session, starting at 5pm, sets out to demonstrate how local initiatives can engage and empower communities to enjoy more sustainable mobility.

COP26, the global climate change conference being held in Glasgow, runs from 31st October to 12 November.

The “People Make Transport: communities enabling greener travel” COP26 event will look at the social side of sustainable transport and enabling ‘sustainable transport behaviours’ as a way to achieve what they term as meaningful change. The interactive session also aims to demonstrate practical examples whilst also looking at the policy changes and funding needed. The ‘Green Zone’ sessions will be streamed to YouTube.

On the topic of ‘thinking global, acting local’, Sustrans say: “There’s a third more traffic on the road than 10 years ago. Yet car journeys are 20% shorter. Most car trips are less than five miles, but in town, they take longer as traffic is more congested and slower. And more polluting. We know that traffic is bad for us – our health, our communities. And that has to change. We all recognise the need to use the car a bit less and get out into our communities more.”

“We believe there’s a better future for local transport. One that puts people before cars, brings our neighbourhoods back to life, and improves our experiences of where we live and our quality of life.”

A Cambridgeshire community last week highlighted their retrofit move from oil to renewable heat by organising an e-bike ride from Cambridge to the village of Swaffham Prior to mark COP26. The ground source and air source heat pumps heating homes in the East Cambridgeshire village is one of the projects helping Cambridgeshire County Council reach their target of cutting carbon emissions.

Cambridgeshire County Council Coucillor Lorna Dupre said: “As a council we are making huge strides to become net zero carbon, whether through retrofitting our public buildings such as schools and libraries, investing in solar farms or innovative schemes such as the one at Swaffham Prior which is UK-leading.”

Dr Nik Johnson, Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough added: “I am delighted that this COP26 Bike Ride is able to highlight some of the excellent local activities already going on in our county. We know we need to do so much more but by showcasing good practice be it community heating or using bikes and e-bikes to actively travel, we show what the norm is becoming and we can encourage change.”

Earlier this year, Nicola Sturgeon was reported to be working with United Parcel Services (UPS) to roll out an electric bike courier scheme for final mile deliveries in Glasgow to coincide with COP26. UPS, the world’s largest package delivery company, delivered 6.3 billion packages in 2020. A recent Bloomberg article, “We Are Going to Need a Lot More Electric Delivery Bikes” pitches the hotbed of e-cargo growth in Europe against their still ‘rare sight’ in US cities.

The 26th UN Climate Change ‘Conference of the Parties’ has been billed as the ‘last chance saloon’ to convert words in actions by Prince Charles.




Image credit: Cambs & Peterborough Combined Authority