As COP26 takes place in Glasgow we are highlighting walking as a carbon-saving, nature-protecting, health-improving force, that must become part of daily lives.
Climate change and nature loss are the most important issues facing the world today
Many of our actions produce greenhouse gases which raise our planet’s temperature and cause climate change. We’re already seeing the impact in Scotland. Rising global temperatures will cause catastrophic changes around the world, with more heatwaves, floods and rainstorms.
This change is impacting on everything natural around us; rivers, trees, plants, animals... everything! It is affecting where people can live and how we produce our food, and access water.
There’s been a lot of talk about COP26 and Net Zero, but what are they?
Scotland welcomes COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference to Glasgow from 31 October to 12 November. It brings together global leaders, climate experts and activists to agree coordinated action to tackle the ‘Global Climate Emergency’.
'Net Zero' means the amount of greenhouse gas emissions we put into the atmosphere and the amount we’re able to take out will add up to zero. Scotland plans to reach net zero by 2045, with interim targets of 75% by 2030 and 90% by 2040. Find out more on the Net Zero Nation website.
Walking can help us get to Net Zero
In Scotland, we must change how we travel. Transport is the biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in Scotland, with cars responsible for 39%.
Research has also shown that active travel (walking or cycling for transport) are the most sustainable and low carbon ways to get from A to B.
Given that 2019 data shows that 41% of journeys in Scotland were under 3km, it is feasible that walking could replace cars for many of these shorter trips.
Now is the time for everyone, from governments, businesses and to us all in our daily lives to take steps to reduce our carbon emissions as we travel.
Footsteps to reduce your footprint
There are lots of ways that we can travel differently in our everyday lives to tackle climate change. Walking or wheeling more for short journeys are just two of these.
Humans of the Walk
We've commissioned stunning portraits and personal stories from people who have experienced the life-changing impact walking. Check out our Humans of the Walk gallery to read individual stories of overcoming challenges, connecting to our natural world and feeling our best.
Take steps to reduce your business footprint too
Employers can make greener long-term changes to their organisation to reduce their carbon emissions, boost green credentials, and look after staff health and wellbeing.
- Get your workplace walking with the Walk at Work Award, or staff activities, like our Step Count Challenge. It's fun, team-building that calculates carbon savings for you!
- Check out our Our Smarter Choices Smarter Places fund which supports organisations to change travel behaviours.
Helping Scotland travel susutainably
Our new Smarter Choices Smarter Places COP26 Legacy Fund is open for applications. The grants suppport organisations with projects that have environmental outcomes as a result of increasing walking, wheeling, cycling & public transport use.
Champion the change
We want to see increased support for change at a local and national level to make it easier for everyone to live actively and travel sustainably.
Look out for our social media posts and help us champion a future on foot.