Volunteering at COP gave me hope that we can achieve our goals
As the world looks to Glasgow for the COP26 conference on climate change, we’ll be discussing some of the changes our industry needs to make and reflecting on the COP debate on the AECOM Blog. Join the discussion on social media by following us on Twitter and LinkedIn. Find more information in our special COP26 edition of our “Future of Infrastructure” report: https://infrastructure.aecom.com
One of more than 10,000 applicants to be a volunteer for COP26, I was delighted to be one of the lucky 1,000 people chosen to welcome delegates to my hometown of Glasgow. Working with the sustainable transport team, I directed visitors to conference venues all over town and helped them make use of our public transport infrastructure.
It was a brilliant experience meeting people as they were coming to COP, as well as other COP26 volunteers and AECOM colleagues. We all hail from different places and perspectives, but we all share the same passion for positive action to help mitigate climate change.
Over the past few weeks and in the lead up to COP26, I’ve had lots of conversations and it really does feel like the momentum for climate justice is gaining traction. People are getting increasingly involved with initiatives that tackle the crisis and are aware of the role they play. This provides me with hope that we can achieve the goals our leaders have been setting through partnership and collaboration.
In Scotland, and possibly elsewhere, however, one conversation keeps cropping up that isn’t helpful. There’s been a lot of chatter about world leaders arriving to Glasgow via private jets and travelling with large convoys emitting high levels of carbon dioxide emissions. While I understand world leaders have tight schedules, I would encourage them and their delegates to opt for sustainable travel methods where possible in an effort to provide the correct signals through thoughtful climate conscious considerations. This way they can lead by example to encourage others to take positive action.