The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) will be hosted in Glasgow on 1-12 November 2021, in partnership with Italy. The Government is committed to working with all countries and joining up civil societies, companies and people on the frontline of climate change to inspire climate action ahead of COP 26.
By uniting behind a green recovery from coronavirus, countries can build back better by creating sustainable jobs and address the linked challenges of public health, climate change and biodiversity loss. The UK’s four goals for COP26 are:
- A step change in commitments to emissions reduction
- Strengthening adaptation to climate change impacts
- Getting finance flowing for climate action
- Enhancing international collaboration, including for the COP26 campaigns on energy transition, clean road transport and nature
If you are interested in attending COP26 as a representative of an observer organisation, or want to get involved with volunteering at the event, you can find more information here - https://ukcop26.org/the-conference/get-involved/
The Chancellor announced in the 2021 Budget that Thames will be the site of a new freeport, a specialised economic zone with different rules to make it easier and cheaper to do business.
The Thames freeport will be a joint venture between London Gateway and Tilbury Ports with Ford in Dagenham. It will be an automotive hub, focussed on developing electric and autonomous vehicles.
Not only will this bring jobs and investment into the region, it reflects the transition from petrol and diesel cars to hybrid, electric and autonomous vehicles. The Government plans to bring forward to 2030 the date at which sales of new petrol and diesel cars will end, as part of the drive to reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Thames Chase and reforestation
The past year has shown us all how important our local community green spaces are to us and we are fortunate to have the Thames Chase Community Forest here in Upminster.
The Thames Chase Trust, which covers East London and South West Essex, has been designated one of ten community forests in the country to receive funding from the Government’s Trees for Climate scheme.
Trees for Climate will see trees planted in community forests across the country over the next few months. Over 500 hectares will be planted with trees across ten community forests, backed by £12.1 million of investment, the Government announced in December 2020.
When mature, the trees will eventually store over 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, playing an important role in meeting net-zero by 2050.
Projects such as these also reduce flood risk, increase sustainable UK grown timber, provide more places for nature and biodiversity to thrive, and increase people’s access to and enjoyment of woodland. Trees for Climate will deliver against goals I the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan and support Nature Recovery Networks throughout the country.
Building upon the Government’s determination, the £640 million Nature for Climate fund will help deliver the English portion of the government’s manifesto commitment to increase tree-planting to 30,000 hectares per year across the UK by 2025, alongside peatland restoration.
To find out more about Thames Chase and how to get involved, see - http://www.thameschase.org.uk/
Green Industrial Revolution
As part of its ambition to build back better, the Government looks to seize the post-pandemic era to support sustainable and green jobs and accelerate the country’s path to net zero.
Britain will lead the world into a new Green Industrial Strategy and the Prime Minister has outlined the following ten-point plan on the Government’s priorities and foci:
- Advancing offshore wind
- Driving the growth of low carbon hydrogen
- Delivering new and advanced nuclear power
- Accelerating the shit to zero emission vehicles
- Green public transport, cycling and walking
- Jet zero and green ships
- Greener buildings
- Investing in carbon capture, usage and storage
- Protecting our natural environment
- Green finance and innovation
For the full plan, please see - https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/936567/10_POINT_PLAN_BOOKLET.pdf