Declan’s policy blog: The inaugural Staffordshire and Stoke 2024 Conference of the Parties (COP)

It was very deflating to read that February 2024 will go down as the world’s warmest February in modern times.

The news links with data from the EU’s climate service, confirming that each each month since June 2023 has seen new temperature highs for the time of year.

The world’s sea surface is at its warmest on record. Antarctic sea-ice has again reached extreme lows.
Temperatures are still being boosted by the Pacific’s El Niño weather event. According to Prof Celeste Saulo, Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organiz,: “Heat-trapping greenhouse gases are unequivocally the main culprit”.

Any action to reverse the impact of climate change has to be collective and needs to start at a local level. Conference of the Parties (COP) brings parties (governments) together, to assess global efforts to advance the key Paris Agreement aim of limiting global warming to as close as possible to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels. COP26 took place in Glasgow at the end of 2021.

At a local level, I’m really looking forward to attending the inaugural Staffordshire and Stoke 2024 Conference of the Parties (COP) or Celebration of the Possible, on Friday 15th March.

Staffordshire and Stoke COP is being co-ordinated by Kate Copeland-Rhodes of The Globe Group CIC, with the aim of creating an accountable and transparent process of a shared 10-Year Vision for Staffordshire & Stoke-on-trent, charting a sustainable and equitable future for all to live, work & thrive.

I recently joined Kate and a number of other stakeholders to carry out a Deep Dive with a ‘first look’ at the output gathered through a number of consultation sessions, to explore some of the solutions for the priority themes. The workshop was guided by Cara Santos of Keele University, discussing Doughnut Economics, which proposes a change of economic model as a response to humanity’s major challenge of eradicating global poverty within the means of the planet’s limited natural resources.

Through the use of Doughnut Economics, a shared roadmap will be developed, to improve the future for people, place & planet. Our discussions have looked at the definition of sustainable development being “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

The Staffordshire & Stoke 2024 COP is more than just an event. It is seen as a chance to be part of something bigger and a catalyst for change. Places at the Staffordshire & Stoke 2024 COP have now sold out but you can get yourself added to a waiting list which will fill any cancelled bookings. Click on the dedicated website where you will find a wealth of information about the COP and have the chance to share your ideas. Global change can start at a local level, so please get involved and make sure you and your Staffordshire business plays its part.