What is Cop26?

COP26 is the 2021 United Nations climate change conference

For nearly three decades the UN has been bringing together almost every country on earth for global climate summits – called COPs – which stands for ‘Conference of the Parties’. In that time climate change has gone from being a fringe issue to a global priority.

This year will be the 26th annual summit – giving it the name COP26. With the UK as President, COP26 takes place in Glasgow.

In the run up to COP26 the UK is working with every nation to reach agreement on how to tackle climate change. World leaders will arrive in Scotland, alongside tens of thousands of negotiators, government representatives, businesses and citizens for twelve days of talks.

Not only is it a huge task but it is also not just yet another international summit. Most experts believe COP26 has a unique urgency. 

Glasgow is the moment for countries to update their plans 

The run up to this year’s summit in Glasgow is the moment (delayed by a year due to the pandemic) when countries update their plans for reducing emissions. 

But that’s not all. The commitments laid out in Paris did not come close to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees, and the window for achieving this is closing. 

The decade out to 2030 will be crucial. 

So as momentous as Paris was, countries must go much further than they did even at that historic summit in order to keep the hope of holding temperature rises to 1.5 alive. COP26 needs to be decisive.  

These are a few helpful sources of information to get you started:

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