31 October - 12 November 2021


The United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties


What Is COP26?

Starting in October and running until 12 November 2021, the UK in partnership with Italy, will host the COP26 event, which many believe to be the world’s final, best chance to address the drivers of climate change.

Uniting the world to tackle climate change

Across our planet storms, floods and wildfires are becoming increasingly commonplace. Air pollution sadly affects the health of tens of millions of people and unpredictable weather causes untold damage to homes and livelihoods too. In 2020 a record 55 million people were displaced due to the impacts of climate change. The impacts of climate change are devastating. The good news is that advances in tackling it are leading to cleaner air, creating good jobs, restoring nature and at the same time unleashing economic growth. But despite the opportunities we are not acting fast enough. To grip this crisis, countries need to join forces urgently. They also agreed to step up efforts to adapt to the impacts of climate change and to make finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.

By completing and implementing the Paris Agreement at Glasgow, we can show that the world is able to work together to tackle this crucial challenge. And by uniting behind a green recovery from coronavirus, which creates sustainable jobs and addresses the urgent and linked challenges of public health, climate change, and biodiversity loss, we can safeguard the environment for future generations.

COP26 is the 2021 United Nations climate change conference

For nearly thirty years the United Nations 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. More than 190 world leaders will arrive in Scotland. Joining them will be 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. To understand why, it’s necessary to look back to another COP.

The importance of the Paris Agreement

COP21 took place in Paris in 2015. For the first time ever, something momentous happened: every country agreed to work together to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees and aim for 1.5 degrees, to adapt to the impacts of a changing climate and to make money available to deliver on these aims.The Paris Agreement was born. The commitment to aim for 1.5 degrees is important because every fraction of a degree of warming will result in the loss of many more lives lost and livelihoods damaged. Under the Paris Agreement, countries committed to bring forward national plans setting out how much they would reduce their emissions – known as Nationally Determined Contributions, or ‘NDCs’. They agreed that every five years they would come back with an updated plan that would reflect their highest possible ambition at that time.

Glasgow is the place for countries to recommit

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.  


What Needs To Be Achieved At COP26

1. Mitigation

Secure global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach

Countries are being asked to come forward with ambitious 2030 emissions reductions targets that align with reaching net zero by the middle of the century.

To deliver on these stretching targets, countries will need to:

  • accelerate the phase-out of coal
  • curtail deforestation
  • speed up the switch to electric vehicles
  • encourage investment in renewables.

2. Adaptation

Adapt to protect communities and natural habitats

The climate is already changing and it will continue to change even as we reduce emissions, with devastating effects.

At COP26 we need to work together to enable and encourage countries affected by climate change to:

  • protect and restore ecosystems
  • build defences, warning systems and resilient infrastructure and agriculture to avoid loss of homes, livelihoods and even lives

3. Finance

Mobilise finance

To deliver on our first two goals, developed countries must make good on their promise to mobilise at least $100bn in climate finance per year 2020.

International financial institutions must play their part and we need work towards unleashing the trillions in private and public sector finance required to secure global net zero.

4. Mobilisation

Work together to deliver

We can only rise to the challenges of the climate crisis by working together.

At COP26 we must:

  • finalise the Paris Rulebook (the detailed rules that make the Paris Agreement operational)
  • accelerate action to tackle the climate crisis through collaboration between governments, businesses and civil society.

Positive action to protect our planet

We cannot afford to wait to act against the threat of climate change. We must work together to protect our planet and people and ensure a greener, more resilient future for us all. The UK will host the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 with our partners Italy in November 2021 to bring together world leaders to commit to urgent global climate action. But each of us has a part to play. That’s why, in the run up to the summit, we’ll be working closely with businesses, civil society groups, schools and people across the UK as part of our conversation on tackling climate change. Our intention is to create a mass movement of sustainable communities, businesses and organisations across the country in the lead up to COP26; showing how small actions culminate in large collective impact. 


Make COP26 The Start Of Your
Business Journey to Net Zero

Start taking positive climate action

Many businesses, organisations and large corporations are planning to announce their Climate Pledge and Net Zero plans during COP26. If you haven’t yet formulated your Net Zero plans or need help to understand your climate impact, we can help you to make COP26 your springboard to a more sustainable future. For businesses and organisations looking to reduce their climate impact we offer a free Fit for Future Sustainability review – you can make an appointment to suit your diary using the booking system below. 

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Climate Action Deadline

There is still time to avert climate disaster, but only if we take bold, immediate action The Climate Emergency is here. The next 7 years is our only opportunity to make changes to avoid raising global temperature above 1.5ºC, a point of no return that science tells us will make the worst climate impacts likely inevitable. You can make a difference today by offsetting your carbon footprint, planting trees and reducing your carbon footprint. The DEADLINE on the clock alerts us to the critical time window we have left to take the action to combat climate change. 


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