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Glasgow CLIMATE CLOCK Puts Spotlight on World Leaders ahead of COP26

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By Christopher Appleby
Jun 5, 2021
Climate countdown clock Glasgow

A light projection in Glasgow city centre will show the rising percentage of the world’s energy generated from renewables, and how fast we need to get to 100% to stay below the 1.5°C warming “tipping point”; it will run every night for next five months until COP26

Glasgow, UK — Glasgow City Council and UK youth climate activists will light-project a CLIMATE CLOCK onto Glasgow’s landmark Tolbooth Steeple. Like its famous counterpart in Union Square, New York, the Glasgow CLIMATE CLOCK will track the rising percentage of the world’s energy generated from renewable sources, and how fast we need to get to 100% renewable-powered to stay below 1.5°C of warming. It will run continuously every night for the next five months in the lead up to COP26, focusing the eyes of the world onto the upcoming UN Climate Summit in November.

“As Glasgow prepares to host COP26, the Tolbooth Steeple is the perfect location for Glasgow’s CLIMATE CLOCK,” said Graham Hogg, core member of CLIMATE CLOCK’s Glasgow Team.

“For centuries, it was here that important proclamations were read out to the people of Glasgow. It stands at the convergence point where people from all points on the compass entered the city; and it is unmistakably Glasgow.”

“Monuments tell people what we value as a culture,” said Katie Peyton Hofstadter, one of the artists behind the original CLIMATE CLOCK in New York. “The new CLIMATE CLOCK monument in Glasgow is telling us we must make building a 100% renewable future a central mission of our culture — or else.”

“The science is clear: we are in a climate emergency. With its deadline and lifeline, the CLIMATE CLOCK makes explicit the speed and scope of action that all of us must take now in order to limit the worst impacts of climate devastation,” said Laura Berry, Climate Clock Research Lead. “From New York to Glasgow, we need real solutions to reach zero emissions as quickly as possible, to build the renewable energy future that climate justice demands.”

“1.5°C warming is our global beacon for climate action,” said James Miller, 19-year-old UK climate activist. “The safety and wellbeing of millions of people depends on staying below it. But it is slipping from our grasp; in order to keep that target in sight, we need to reduce global emissions by more than 50% by 2030. Existing pledges from world leaders fall far short of what the science demands.”

“This year, at COP26, world leaders have a crucial - perhaps final - chance to unite in pulling 1.5°C back within reach, and keep their promise to safeguard future generations. The world’s youth are watching.”

"We are thrilled to welcome the Climate Clock initiative to Glasgow," said Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council.

"The Climate Clock is a collaboration of artists, scientists and climate activists, with their work being showcased in other major cities across the world. We were delighted that Glasgow was chosen as its next location, and it reinforces our reputation as a leading global city in the climate discussion."

"The team will project a striking climate clock in real-time onto the Tolbooth Steeple and will be a distinct feature in the city, running every night until the beginning of the COP summit in November."

"This is a timely reminder of the commitments made in the Paris agreement to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, as leaders from across the world look towards strengthening the global action plan at this year’s summit."

"The Climate Clock team aims to show the world the global commitment and the radical action we will need to take on a global scale in order to stay under the 1.5-degree target."

“All roads now lead to Glasgow,” said Alison Moulden, Climate Clock UK leader. “For the world to succeed, every member nation – before they even arrive – needs to be upping their climate commitments and tightening their timelines. We will all have to do more, in less time, and Glasgow should be the consolidation of that global agreement, not the start of negotiations”

“The Climate Clock is a simple but brilliant concept — telling us how long we have left before we’ve locked in 1.5°C of warming, the crucial limit beyond which we face catastrophic climate change,” said Dale Vince, OBE, and Founder of Ecotricity. “Key to avoiding this is to stop burning fossil fuels and move to renewable energy - I’ve been pursuing this with Ecotricity for 25 years - it’s our reason for being. The Climate Clock is a countdown to the biggest man-made disaster we face - but also a measure by which we can track our progress - moving from fossil to renewable energy. It shows we have no time to lose - the clock is ticking…”

The launch of the Glasgow CLIMATE CLOCK coincides with parallel efforts across the world to use Climate Clocks to raise the world’s climate ambitions in the critical five months until the COP26. On Earth Day, the iconic CLIMATE CLOCK in New York’s Union Square added a “Lifeline” to show the percentage of global energy currently supplied from renewable sources — 12.3 percent, and going up, but nowhere near fast enough. Leading youth climate activists carried miniature versions of the famous Union Square Climate Clock to DC, calling on world leaders to “do what the science demands.” While Pan African Parliament Goodwill Ambassador Jerome Ringo delivered CLIMATE CLOCKS to African heads of state to promote renewable energy throughout the African continent.

The day after the Glasgow Clock launch, on June 5, World Environment Day, a monumental Climate Clock will go up in the center of Rome.

The Glasgow CLIMATE CLOCK is supported by Glasgow City Council, 350.org, Greenpeace UK, and Ecotricity.

The original Climate Clock in New York was co-created by Gan Golan, Andrew Boyd, Katie Peyton Hofstadter, and Adrian Carpenter.

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Climate Clock

The Climate Clock is a version of the Doomsday clock that has been running since 1947 - this tracks the risk of global man-made disaster, through man made technology (like nuclear weapons) - displaying the minutes and seconds left before midnight, when disaster strikes. The climate crisis is a small part of the calculations made.
The climate clock uses a similar approach, but, focuses only on the climate crisis - which is the biggest and most urgent existential threat we face.
"The Climate Clock is a countdown to the biggest man-made disaster we face - but also a measure by which we can track our progress - moving from fossil to renewable energy. It shows we have no time to lose - the clock is ticking…" Dale Vince, OBE.
Ecotricity is a sponsor of the Glasgow Climate Clock that will run every night until COP26.