THE world needs to start treating the climate emergency as a REAL emergency and not a hypothetical future problem before it’s too late. Net-zero targets by 2050 sound good, but they are not calculated in a way that is truly net-zero, and if a fake net-zero target gives the planet only a 50% chance of maintaining global warming by 1.5 Celsius then such net-zero targets have net-zero probability of success.

Every statement/promise made by a politician that convinces you that enough is being done is a lie.

A UN survey in 50 nations found 66% of us acknowledge that the climate emergency exists, and that we need to take action.

However, there is a significant lack of understanding of what action is required and therefore people trust in the big tick box statements of politicians hoping something is being done.

READ MORE: Tory ministers criticised for 'cosying up' to oil and gas lobby on day of UN climate report

It’s easier to hope that minimum action will be enough, that we can address the emergency without sacrifices to our lifestyles, additional costs and upheaval but we can’t. The rules of the global economy and the lifestyle we in the developed world have become used to is completely unsustainable.

Last year, 2020, was the hottest year ever recorded despite a global 6% fall in carbon emissions due to lockdowns. And while 6% sounds good, that was unintentional and won’t be sustained as our economies reopen.

Despite general acceptance of the problem, our political leaders don’t act because the general understanding of the urgency in the timeline for effective action has not yet entered the general consciousness.

The report from the UN this week may, at last, be the spark that ignites the fire under our world leaders and enter the global consciousness.

The report has been described as a Red Alert warning for the human race where the scientists point out that:

- Global warming is spiralling out of control

- Disastrous weather events will become more common

- It’s already too late to avoid global climate disruption that is locked in for generations to come

- Human activity is “unequivocally” to blame

The heatwaves, fires, hurricanes, flooding in some parts of the world and massive water shortages in others are only going to get worse no matter what we do.

The National: Firefighters try to extinguish a wildfire in Afidnes area, northern Athens, Greece (Michael Varaklas/AP)

Radical rapid action to cut greenhouse gasses is required now to limit the climate emergency.

There will still be voices that say that it’s too expensive and we cannot afford to act following the hangover from the banking crash and the economic impact of the pandemic. However, if we do not act now there will be no economy left to protect.

The old-fashioned economic ideas of left and right offer no solutions and capitalism and global trade are the walking dead of the economic future.

We must pivot rapidly towards a Wellbeing based economy, one that puts environmental sustainability at the heart of every socioeconomic decision. That understands that we need to put global equality, security, fairness, innovation, environmental sustainability, welfare and wellbeing at the heart of our economic thinking, not GDP growth.

By doing that growth will still occur but it will be good growth that doesn’t damage the planet, largely driven by higher local labour costs, research and development making more advanced products and natural inflation not by unrestrained unsustainable consumption.

The banking crisis was a global emergency, the pandemic is a global emergency and in such global emergencies the laws that govern money production go out of the window. Since 2007 the UK Government through the Bank of England has simply created £895 billion of new money through a process called Quantitative Easing to deal with those crises.

ALTHOUGH that money does add to the notional national deficit, it is not debt and doesn’t need to be paid back. In fact, in 2020 The Bank of England wrote off £150bn of QE – erasing it from the books as easily as they created it.

The National: Bank of England

Governments around the world bailed out the banks in 2007, created furlough schemes during the pandemic that paid the wages of millions, and it didn’t radically reduce the relative value of currencies which would have created runaway inflation. There were no negative effects of this massive injection of new money because everyone was doing it – that is the key.

In normal times to use QE or in layman’s shorthand to print new money (it’s not actually printed) when other counties central banks are not behaving the same way, will create an oversupply which (depending on the volume of new money created) could significantly devalue the currency creating an inflation led economic crisis.

However, if at COP26 the world leaders acknowledge that the Climate Emergency is the single largest crisis we have ever faced, then coordinated QE led crises-financing can be brought to bear on the Climate Emergency.

Every sovereign currency issuer in the world could agree to create up to 5% of annual GDP in new money and ring fence it for a revolutionary investment in renewable energy generation, in carbon capture, climate science and protection of the worlds vulnerable ecosystems. This wouldn’t devalue the value of any single currency because if all notions act multilaterally the risk of an inflation crisis would be be negligible.

COP26 means Glasgow can host the moment that the world changes direction and averts an environmental disaster and Scotland can be a leading light in helping realise the new global environmental zeitgeist.

Offshore and onshore wind is the UK’s biggest source of renewable energy generating 13.8% more electricity than other renewable sources and Scotland possesses the greatest renewable energy potential in Europe. Figures for last year show that 97% of Scotland’s electricity was produced from renewable sources. We need to move from being a global oil and gas player to a global leader in renewables and Westminster needs to stop holding us back.

We can innovate our way through the climate crisis though unprecedented global investment (without borrowing) if the world leaders at COP26 agree to act now.

Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp is the CEO of Business for Scotland the founder of the Believe in Scotland campaign