Ahead of the much anticipated COP26 summit in Glasgow, Changeworks Chief Executive Teresa Bray sets out what the organisation wants to see from this meeting of political and climate leaders. 

COP26 is now just a few weeks away, after years of preparation and anticipation. For Changeworks, we want to use this heightened focus on the climate emergency to help Scotland continue on the vital journey to Net Zero.

As Scotland’s leading charity for low carbon living, and an expert in delivering energy efficiency and fuel poverty reduction projects across the country, the just transition is a huge focus of our work. That transition means moving away from carbon-intensive industries and towards greener, more energy efficient work.

For us, this means ensuring that moves to make homes more energy efficient and to decarbonize our heating by moving away from gas, do not exacerbate the already significant problems of fuel poverty.

Yes, we must decarbonise homes – and we have to do it in a way that is not just the preserve of those who can afford it.  Where the cost of heating is expected to rise there have to be mitigating measures, such as the installation of PV and battery storage to offset increased costs to make sure no home is left behind.

These issues become even more urgent in the current energy crisis, as householders struggle with rising heating and electricity bills. We can use our experience to deliver programmes to make homes more energy efficient, and work with householders to reduce their usage and change their behaviour to low carbon ones – yet that only works if governments have the support in place to make sure every home can benefit.

In all the excitement and noise to come in the next month, I hope to see from our own governments the funding and support to make their goals and ambitions a reality. Organisations like ourselves, housing providers, householders, and everyone else involved need certainty on the roadmap to Net Zero in order to deliver the change needed to get us there.

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