WHAT IS COP26?
COP26 is the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference Of the Parties.
Hosted in the UK this year in Glasgow 31 October – 12 November 2021.
What is COP26 supposed to do?
Climate change is in constant debate, but science shows that sea levels are rising, pollution is intensifying and the world is heating up. In order to limit the dangers of climate change, this conference is attended by countries that signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) - a treaty agreed in 1994. To discuss the ways in which we move forward together as a planet, towards the same aim.
How do we stop the temperature of the planet heating up?
We need to limit our temperature increase to 1.5 degrees to keep our planet under control - the science dictates that by the second half of the century, we should be producing less carbon than we take out of the atmosphere. This is what reaching ‘net zero’ means.
"There is no viable pathway to net zero emissions that does not involve protecting and restoring nature on an unprecedented scale. If we are serious about holding temperature rises to 1.5 degrees and adapting to the impacts of climate change, we must change the way we look after our land and seas and how we grow our food. This is also important if we want to protect and restore the world's biodiversity, upon which all life depends." - Alok Sharma, COP President-Designate.
What happened at COP25?
COP25 was held in Madrid 2019, the longest on record over fraught negotiations. The conference was deemed a failure as talks were unable to reach a consensus in many areas pushing those areas as topics of discussion for following years and summits, delaying the need to change.
What is the main aim of COP26?
A main focus of COP26 is to finalise and implement the rules of the Paris Agreement, called the 'Paris Rulebook'. Although finalising the rulebook does not deliver net zero, the conference is a global platform for action, putting pressure on the world's biggest polluters.
Can I help?
We all have a part to play in tackling Climate Change. Think about the impact of all those little choices you make everyday. Do you need to buy all those items separately online because they offer free next day delivery or could you actually wait and buy them altogether in one delivery/from one shop? Can you walk instead of taking the car? Can you turn the heating down by one degree? Or put on a jumper instead? Remember to turn off lights if you're not in that room.
"We either choose to recognize that business as usual isn’t worth the devastating price we’re paying and make the necessary transition to a more sustainable future — or we accept that we’re investing in our own extinction." - Patricia Espinosa, UNFCCC Executive Secretary.
Help spread the message of climate change. Talking to friends and family can spread the knowledge of environmental issues that impact us all. Writing to local MPs to demand change and put pressure on the government to enforce and do more.
Shop ethically and understand how consumerism impacts the environment. For example, A KIND CLOTH was borne so that if you needed to make a new shirt, you can choose a fabric that hasn't harmed any of its workers in its process. A sustainable fabric that doesn't contain any harsh chemicals that has leached into the environment. It’s the small things we all do that make a big difference.
Follow #COP26 on social media feeds to keep up-to-date with what's happening in the conference. Support your local planet.
COP26 Explained - https://ukcop26.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/COP26-Explained.pdf
UN Climate Speech to open COP26 - https://unfccc.int/news/remarks-by-unfccc-executive-secretary-patricia-espinosa-to-open-cop26
COP25: Key outcomes agreed at the UN climate talks in Madrid - https://www.carbonbrief.org/cop25-key-outcomes-agreed-at-the-un-climate-talks-in-madrid