#COP26 and #theclimatecrisis have been dominating our social and news feeds for the last few weeks. Although many of us understand the importance of COP26, we wanted to provide a short blog post to highlight what will be happening in Glasgow and how us bystanders can keep up to date with it all.
If the conference is new to you, we would highly recommend using this Climate change jargon buster (by the climate coalition) whilst reading this blog post.
We are just over halfway through the Conference of the parties in Glasgow which began on the 1st of November and continues through to the 12th November.
Within the conference itself, there are two zones: the Blue Zone and the Green Zone. The Blue Zone is run by the United Nations and is reserved for official delegates including politicians and negotiators, the media and nominated NGOs.
The Green Zone is managed by the UK Government and this element of the conference is open to the public. Within the Green Zone there is a range of activities scheduled in-person or virtually. I would highly recommend viewing the full schedule of events in the Green Zone, to see if any virtual events pick your interest over the remaining days.
Published in the official Presidency Programme, the wider timetable for the conference maps out the varying themes which will be discussed each day.
These themes are:
At the end of the conference, there will be a closing plenary session, highlighting if significant agreements have been reached during the negotiations.
The COP26 has defined aims which can be read in the conference’s “COP 26 Explained” publication. But I have broken these down for slightly easier reading:
Fundamentally, the recently published Working Group I contribution to the 6th Assessment Report (AR6) of the IPCC found that under all five of the emissions scenarios scrutinised, not one of the scenarios point to us avoiding a 1.5ºC warming. The report projects that we are currently on track for a warming between 2.1ºC to 3.5ºC before the end of this century.
This means that for COP26 to be “successful” (referring to its stated aims), the event will need to produce the most ambitious climate commitment outcomes that we have seen at this scale to date.
The outcomes will be unclear until the end of the conference. However, here are a range of the possible outcomes that we should all be watching out for at COP26:
Some of our favourite webpages to places to follow what’s happening can be seen below.