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COP26: Community Engagement

Volume 701: debated on Wednesday 20 October 2021

I have met a range of society and youth groups in every country that I have visited in my COP role. Alongside that, I co-chaired the COP26 civil society and youth advisory council. Last month, I attended the Youth4Climate: Driving Ambition conference to hear at first hand almost 400 youth climate activists representing 186 countries.

The big disappointment for me is the chaotic and shambolic way in which SNP-led Glasgow City Council has approached this major global event that is coming to Scotland. Can the President reassure me that, whatever the inadequacies of the council, it will not detract from the event or its ability in future to positively reflect on communities in Glasgow and across Scotland?

We have had a good working relationship with delivery partners across the piece and it is very important that that continues. Obviously, my right hon. Friend has highlighted a number of local issues. If he wants to get in touch with me, I would be very happy to see what we can do to try to solve the problems.

Two weeks ago, I saw Harrogate High School, St Joseph’s primary school and Zero Carbon Harrogate promote their walk-to-school day. Talking to pupils, I found that their interest in environmental progress was very strong, so has my right hon. Friend shared the feedback on his consultations with other Government Departments to promote work such as sustainable transport both domestically and internationally?

I pay tribute to my hon. Friend and, of course, Harrogate High School and Zero Carbon Harrogate for promoting sustainable travel initiatives. He will know that the COP unit is working very closely with other Government Departments to try to support business on sustainable transport initiatives. I want to give him one example: the Zero Emission Vehicles Transition Council is working with Ministers representing leading car markets across the world to accelerate the move to electric vehicles.

As MP of the constituency where COP is taking place, I look forward to welcoming you all to Glasgow in the coming weeks. However, many businesses will be affected by COP and forced to close. They are finding it very difficult to get answers from the Cabinet Office on how much compensation they will be entitled to for the closure of their businesses. I would be grateful if the President could meet me to try to resolve some of these matters because businesses are very worried that they will lose out significantly as a result of COP coming to Glasgow.

As the hon. Lady will know, I have written to local Members of Parliament to tell them that businesses within the secure perimeter will be compensated for any loss of revenues. Of course, the number of people coming means that this is also going to be an opportunity for businesses across Glasgow to benefit, but I would be very happy to meet the hon. Lady to discuss the matter.