Greenock Telegraph 19th November 2021

COP26 has come and gone from Glasgow but did it make a difference? Much was made about people flying in and out, the disruption to traffic and the protests but was it all worth it? The expressed ambitions from the combined governments were not as ambitious or binding as I would have liked but outside the blue (political) zone there was a massive engagement of people and organisations. The green and yellow zones were where it was happening. Networks were made and strengthened. Collaborations forged and shared ventures planned. It’s the planting of these seeds that may just save us from ourselves.  We have heard before of crisis and conflicts which apparently, we were all in together, although it never feels that way and inevitably the richest in society weather these storms better than others. Given the undeniable evidence even the richest and most insular must surely now be aware that we all share a planet and once it’s gone it’s gone for good. There will be no hiding place from the climate crisis, all the wealth and privilege won’t stop the inevitable. We have to ensure that is understood and that we don’t delay until it’s too late. Once we pass the tipping point there is no way back. We need to convince governments, multi nationals, global players that we won’t forgive them if they walk away from COP26 with a pocket full of promises and nothing else. And we must do everything we can within our own communities to plant seeds, encourage change and when necessary lead by example. We should make Inverclyde an exemplar of a community willing to change. And if that’s too ambitious for some folk, then move aside and let those willing to lead, take centre stage.