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Event.png COP26 (Conference) Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Date1 November 2021 - 12 November 2021
Interests“Climate change”
DescriptionGlobal climate change conference. The CCM highlight of 2021.

The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference – known as COP26 – was the 26th UN Climate Change Conference and was held at the Scottish Event Campus SEC Centre in Central Glasgow, Scotland, from 1 to 12 November 2021 under the presidency of the United Kingdom.

Originally due to be held in November 2020 at the same venue, COP26 was postponed for twelve months in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.[1]

COP26 incorporated the 26th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the 16th meeting of the parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP16), and the third meeting of the parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA3).

The COP26 summit brought parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.[2]


Neil Oliver: “It’s not about what they say it’s about, and it never has been”

Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth Claire Perry O'Neill was originally appointed president of the conference, but was abruptly removed on 31 January 2020, several months after she had stepped down as an MP.[3] Former Prime Minister David Cameron and former Tory party leader William Hague were unwilling to accept the role, but, on 13 February 2020, Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Secretary Alok Sharma was appointed. On 8 January 2021, Sharma was succeeded by Kwasi Kwarteng as Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Secretary and moved to the Cabinet Office, in order to focus on the presidency full-time, in a move that was described as not a surprise.[4]

Nigel Topping was appointed as the UK Government's High Level Climate Action Champion for COP26; he is the former CEO of We Mean Business, a climate change action organisation. Also appointed by the Prime Minister and taking a finance advisory position is Mark Carney, former governor of the Bank of England.

In partnership with Italy

Italy will partner with the UK in leading COP26. For the most part, their role will be in preparatory work such as the hosting of a pre-COP session and an event for young people called Youth4Climate 2020: Driving Ambition. These events had been scheduled to take place between 28 September and 2 October 2020 in Milan.

US rejoins Paris Agreement

Independent observers noted that though not directly related, the Covid-19 postponement gave the international community time to respond to the outcome of the 2020 United States presidential election, held in November 2020. President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Agreement, although this could not take effect until 4 November 2020; while his Democratic challengers pledged to immediately rejoin the Paris Agreement and increase ambition to reduce emissions.

On 20 January 2021, President Joe Biden rejoined the Paris Accord.[5]

Address by Prince Charles

The Queen was to attend[6], but for health reasons she stayed away and appeared virtually.[7] Prince Charles, in line with his association with the World Economic Forum, called for a corporate takeover of the world in a "a vast military-style campaign":

"Time has quite literally run out...Here, we need a vast military-style campaign to marshal the strength of the global private sector. With trillions at its disposal, far beyond global GDP and, with the greatest respect, beyond even the governments of the world's leaders, it offers the only real prospect of achieving fundamental economic transition."[8]

Glasgow Climate Pact

On 13 November 2021, COP26 concluded in Glasgow with nearly 200 countries agreeing the Glasgow Climate Pact to keep 1.5C alive and finalise the outstanding elements of the Paris Agreement.

Reflecting on the task ahead, COP26 President Alok Sharma said:

"We can now say with credibility that we have kept 1.5 degrees alive. But, its pulse is weak and it will only survive if we keep our promises and translate commitments into rapid action. I am grateful to the UNFCCC for working with us to deliver a successful COP26.

"From here, we must now move forward together and deliver on the expectations set out in the Glasgow Climate Pact, and close the vast gap which remains. Because as Prime Minister Mia Mottley told us at the start of this conference, for Barbados and other small island states, ‘two degrees is a death sentence’.

"It is up to all of us to sustain our lodestar of keeping 1.5 degrees within reach and to continue our efforts to get finance flowing and boost adaptation. After the collective dedication which has delivered the Glasgow Climate Pact, our work here cannot be wasted."[9]

LFN reports

Lawyers for Nature produced four reports on COP26:


Related Quotation

Xi Jinping“No matter what difficulties may come our way, we must adhere to a people-centered philosophy of development, place development and livelihoods front and center in global macro-policies, realize the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and build greater synergy among existing mechanisms of development cooperation to promote balanced development worldwide. We need to uphold the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, promote international cooperation on climate change in the context of development, and implement the outcomes of COP26 to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.”Xi Jinping17 January 2022


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