Glasgow is the perfect city to host COP26. In addition to its strengths in terms of hospitality, the city was named a Global Green City in 2020 by the Global Forum on Human Settlements, a United Nations programme. “It has transformed from an economy based on polluting construction and shipbuilding to an industrial, service-based, diversified economy – a useful symbol for a climate conference,” said Anthony Salamon, analyst and managing director at Scottish firm European Merchants. The city has also committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2030.
The Scottish nation, for its part, plans this transition in 2045, which makes it a good student of the United Kingdom, with a target set for 2050. Scotland is full of assets: it has 25% European offshore wind resources, 25% tidal resources and 10% wave power potential. As Boris Johnson dreams of making the country the ‘Saudi Arabia of the Wind’, Highwind Scotland’s offshore farms broke world peak production records in March.
union support. But if Scotland represents the ideal showcase for selling the virtues of renewable energy, the nation’s growth also serves Boris Johnson in his desire to unify the British Union, as evidenced by the rebalancing between London and the rest of the kingdom. shown by his plan. . “Maintaining people’s support for the Union in Scotland and against Scottish independence is a central objective of the current government,” said Anthony Salamon. The government has undoubtedly chosen Glasgow to show the strength and prestige of the United Kingdom. The city, which is also Scotland’s largest, was favored for a more widespread message than Edinburgh, more to thwart the capital. “
However, even if the Scottish government sits in the capital, Glasgow remains a stronghold of Nicola Sturgeon and the city is more pro-independence than the capital. During the 2014 independence referendum, Edinburgh voted overwhelmingly against independence (61.2%) and while Glasgow voted in favor of leaving the British Union (53.4%).
indirect effect. “The Scottish Government and the UK Government will use COP26 to influence the Scottish national public on independence – but mostly indirectly,” said Anthony Salamon. Trying to politicize COP26 for local government by openly promoting Scottish independence will do no good, but Nicola Sturgeon and her entire team will try to demonstrate the virtues that a nation can have if it becomes independent. It would, according to his vision, be a small progressive state, committed to the EU and ambitious on climate change. “
Nicola Sturgeon also defended the leadership of smaller nations at a TED conference held in Edinburgh in mid-October. “It is often provinces, territories and smaller nations that can intervene if larger countries do not act,” she said. Pro-independence groups can also take advantage of the global gathering to make their voices heard,
Anthony Salamone, however, underscores the limited interest of the approach. “To this day, we do not know how much the free movement will want to promote its cause during the conference,” he continued. If the whole world sees Glasgow in this COP that Scotland is only talking about, it will not be a good image for the country. “
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