There are more cars and trucks on Glasgow roads this post-COP26 morning. The noise and intensity of rush hour are back.
Cyclists cast active eyes in all directions. On the side, a few EVs remain plugged into the newly installed riverside charging points and the SEC, while larger battery-powered buses dance between the lanes with their diesel cousins.
Pedestrians brave the return to the city center by pulling their coats against the gray rain. It’s 50-50 on wearing the mask on the subway, but hand sanitizers stand stoically, like a sentry, at every takeout.
Granted, even though light floods two-thirds of the empty office facades, it looks less colorful without the national attire of visiting climate delegates, protest banners, or lines of police officers.
The media seem uncertain whether to cover domestic politics or the UK government’s claim that the UN Climate Change Summit was “a historic achievement”.
The end of coal as an energy source is near. If Old King Coal gradually makes history, sooner or later eyes will turn more and more to other fossil fuels, notably oil and gas, and their brethren, hydrogens or carbon capture.
Today it seems normal. As detour signs are removed and the city streets return to normal, as Scotland’s national football teams contemplate the World Cup qualifiers and thoughts turn to Christmas against the blockades, some might wonder why all the fuss was.
Why it took 40,000 people from nearly 200 countries, prime ministers and presidents to come here and debate a deal that aims to keep warming “well below” 2 Â° C, with pressure to limit any increase to 1.5 Â° C by the end of next year. What prompted 10,000 children one day and 150,000 marchers the next day to take to the streets to demand action?
But you just read most of the reasons. The way we travel, move, work, educate, debate, protest, plan and meet has been influenced by COP26 and what has happened before. The era of the renewable society is upon us.
This has an impact on decisions made at Scottish and UK government levels, which ultimately spill over into our daily lives as we embrace the tools at hand.
Smart meters, for example, are part of an upgrade to Britain’s energy system that will help it reduce the use of fossil fuels and increase the use of renewables. They are now in around 25 million Go homes and businesses.
The devices come with a convenient home screen that displays near real-time pound and penny consumption and helps you identify wasted energy, which can help you reduce your consumption and therefore your costs.
Smart meters also help build the flexible and modern energy system we need to fully integrate our variable renewable energy sources. A system that could help us better plan the energy we need nationally, and that can more quickly identify where faults are occurring. A system that, together with smart meters, will help consumers take action to reduce their carbon footprint.
Switching to an electric car, for example, seems likely to many, as experts predict it will cost the same as traditional cars within five years, after a deal to ban gasoline and diesel vehicles by now. 2035.
With more than 40 countries signatories to the coal phase-down, a similar number, including the UK, have pledged to ensure clean energy is the most reliable and affordable option for homes and households. companies.
This could see heat pumps and solar panels becoming the norm in our homes as part of a smart energy grid. Nearly 500 financial institutions have pledged more money for clean technology to help make things like this happen.
Ultimately, a more secure, flexible and greener energy system, supported by smart meters, is part of our smarter, cleaner future.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said within hours of the end of COP26 that he has armed nations with the tools they need to make the transition. But he also spoke of the influence of individual choice. How we, the consumer, can effect change through our own actions.
Johnson said: âPeople ask me if I’m more optimistic now, yes I’m a lot more optimistic. Because I sincerely believe that this thing is now being propelled by a force that is greater than business and greater than governments, and that is the choice of people and consumers and what citizens around the world want.
Perhaps after COP26, the most important impact is a new realization that the power for change can lie in the individual actions of people themselves.
Join the energy revolution. Research: “Get a smart meter”.