Why Scotland is the perfect fit for COP26

With abundant natural resources, a thriving business environment and a nation committed to positive change, Scotland is the perfect place to host COP26.

The UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties 26 (COP26) will take place in Glasgow from 1-12 November 2021. The climate talks will bring together heads of state, climate experts and campaigners to agree co-ordinated action to tackle climate change under the Paris Agreement.

Watch David Rennie, Head of Global Energy at Scottish Development International, explain why Scotland is the perfect place to host COP26.

It’s in our blood

Scotland has a proud history of engineering and innovation and is celebrated for its high-quality food and drink. In all these areas, Scottish businesses are looking towards renewables, circular economy and more.

There are many firsts in Scotland’s history – from the invention of penicillin and television to MRI scanners and automated teller machines ( ATMs). Today, we have the world’s first tidal array, the world’s first floating offshore windfarm and one of Europe’s largest hydrogen bus fleets. We are already putting ideas and innovation into practice to help reduce climate change.

By taking these actions, Scotland can act as a testing ground, a place to prove that renewables can sustain towns and cities and that heat can be low carbon. With the right infrastructure, assets, creativity and determination, a green economy can thrive.

It’s in our landscape

Scotland is a beautiful place to live with dramatic rivers, wild seas and remote, clear skies. All of which can be harnessed to make energy while protecting our precious natural resources. By doing so, we protect our country and protect the world.

We can even build on our industrial past. Coal mines, once places dedicated to fossil fuels can be re-purposed to a greener ambition - mine-water geothermal.

Scott's View, overlooking the River Tweed and Eildon Hill © VisitScotland/Kenny Lam

It’s in our brains

With several world-class universities in Scotland, there are multiple opportunities for successful commercial collaborations and partnerships. By bringing business and academic minds together, projects benefit from access to advanced knowledge and skills, academic research and individuals from diverse business backgrounds. It creates a perfect circle of communication and success.

And researchers at the University of Glasgow’s Centre for Sustainable Solutions are developing new technologies and methods to help achieve ambitious net zero emissions targets. For example, future solutions for low carbon heat could include technologies such as heat pumps, electric heating, hydrogen, industrial waste heat, geothermal, heat from waste and biomethane. 

It’s under our seas

For over 50 years North Sea oil and gas production has created internationally renowned engineering expertise and a reputation for innovation. Many companies are taking their oil and gas expertise, skills and vision and applying them to renewables. The engineering assets developed from the oil and gas industry could be the key to building the capability required for low carbon energy.

In fact, the rapidly expanding fields of robotics and AI in the subsea sector, have created additional benefits for renewable energy, security, defence, aquaculture and climate science. Robots can monitor subsea conditions and infrastructure and provide high-quality data for human engineers and scientists.

It’s in our inward investment opportunities

Among all these exciting developments there are vast inward investment opportunities. Scotland is inviting investment into a new Green Investment Portfolio with £3 billion being invested in projects covering:

  • Low carbon energy
  • Power and fuel
  • Low carbon transport logistics and distribution
  • Eco-friendly business space
  • Circular economy and recycling
  • Innovation and technology

Scotland's resources, expertise, drive and ambition make it an attractive location for investments. When you include reliable and progressive regulation, local investment partners and clear planning, there's never been a better time to do business in Scotland.  

It’s in space

The University of Strathclyde has one of the largest academic space engineering clusters in Europe and Glasgow has emerged as a global hub for satellite manufacturing. Space technology can provide a valuable contribution to the protection and sustainability of the environment.

For example, using space data to help manage deforestation and track weather conditions. This data is already helping manage and protect vital resources around the world.

Earth from space - photo from NASA on Unsplash

It’s in our whisky

And you can never think of Scotland without thinking of one of our biggest exports – whisky. Yes, even here there is room for renewables and innovation. Celtic Renewables is making use of the low-value by-products of whisky production to produce biofuels. It has revived the Acetone-Butanol-Ethanol (ABE) process that was first developed during the First World War to make biofuels – namely biobutanol, that can be used in place of regular diesel or petrol without any modification to car engines.

The Scotch whisky industry has also committed to a sustainability strategy to reach net zero emissions and to dramatically reduce the environmental impact of Scotland’s national drink.

All this and more is being worked on. Right here. Right now. In Scotland.

Get in touch with us to learn more about Scotland's green economy. We’re here to help.

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Set up your business in Scotland

Famous as being a hub of innovation with a global reputation in tech, digital and data to boot, it’s no surprise that a growing number of ambitious businesses are choosing to set up in Scotland.

Get regular updates from us about the companies who choose to do business here.