Know COP26, World’s Most Important Climate Meet

World Promise to Conserve Remaining Forest

The world is now looking at Glasgow where the Leaders have gathered for COP 26, where they would discuss threadbare climate change. In a world shaken by a pandemic, and a fast-closing unity to avoid climate catastrophe, the most important climate conference COP26 kicked off on October 31 in the Scottish city of Glasgow

Let us look at what COP26 is.
  • COPs, which stands for ‘Conference of the Parties’ is the biggest and most important climate related conference
  • In 1992, the UN organised a major event in Rio de Janeiro called the Earth Summit, in which the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted. In this treaty, nations agreed to “stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere” to prevent dangerous interference from human activity on the climate system
  • Today, the treaty has 197 signatories. Since 1994, when the treaty entered into force, every year the UN has been bringing together almost every country on earth for global climate summits or “COPs“.
  • This year should have been the 27th annual summit, but because of COVID-19. the conference is a year behind

Various “extensions to the UNFCCC treaty have been negotiated during these COPs. These include the “Kyoto Protocol” in 1997, which defined emission limits for developed nations to be achieved by 2012 and the Paris Agreement, adopted in 2015, in which all countries of the world agreed to step up efforts to try and limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial temperatures, and boost climate action financing.

In COP26 the delegates will aim to finalise the ‘Paris Rulebook’, or the rules needed to implement the Agreement. This time they will need to agree on common time frames for the frequency of revision and monitoring of their climate commitments. Basically, Paris set the destination, limiting warming well below two degrees, (ideally 1.5) but Glasgow, is the last chance to make it a reality.


Climate change has gone from being an uncomfortable low-level issue, to a life-threatening global emergency, in the past three decades. Although there have been new and updated commitments made by countries ahead of COP26, the world remains on track for a dangerous global temperature rise of at least 2.7°C this century even if Paris goals are met.

A rise of temperatures of that magnitude by the end of the century could mean, among other things 62 per cent increase in areas scorched by wildfires in the Northern Hemisphere during summer. It also means loss of habitat of a third of the mammals in the world and more frequent four to 10 month-long droughts.

UN chief António Guterres calls it “climate catastrophe”, one that it is already being felt to a deadly degree in the most vulnerable parts of the world like sub-Saharan Africa and Small Island States, lashed by rising sea levels.

Millions of people are already being displaced and killed by disasters exacerbated by climate. The clock is already ticking and to have a chance of limiting the rise. The world needs to halve greenhouse emissions in the next eight years.


Four main points will be discussed during the conference

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

To do this countries need to accelerate the phase-out of coal, curb deforestation, speed up the switch to greener economies Carbon market mechanisms will be also part of the negotiations.

  1. Adapt more to protect communities and natural habitats: Since the climate is already changing countries already affected by climate change need to protect and restore ecosystems, as well as build defences, warning systems and resilient infrastructure.
  2. Mobilise finance: AT COP15 rich nations promised to channel 100 billion dollars a year to less-wealthy nations by 2020 to help them adapt to climate change and mitigate further rises in temperature. That promise was not kept, and COP26 will be crucial to secure the funds, with the help of international financial institutions, as well as set new climate finance targets to be achieved by 2025.
  3. Work together to deliver: This means establishing collaborations between governments, businesses and civil society, and of course, finalising the Paris Rulebook to make the Agreement fully operational. In addition to formal negotiations, COP26 is expected to establish new initiatives and coalitions for delivering climate action
  • The main event is held at the Scottish Event Campus from October 31 to November 12.
  • Over 30,000 people have registered to attend representing governments, businesses, NGOs, and I society groups
  • The 197 Parties to the UNFCCC treaty, often get in groups or “blocs” to negotiate together such as the G77 and China, the Africa Group, the Least Developed Countries, the Umbrella Forum, the Small Island Developing States, and the Independent Alliance of Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • The negotiations also include observers, which have no for also include observers, which have no formal part in them but make interventions and help maintain transparency. Observers include United Nations agencies, intergovernmental organizations, NGOs, faith-based groups and the press.
  • There will be a conference, a pavilion, and thousands of side events happening, divided over thematic days, on topics like finance, energy, youth and public empowerment, nature, adaptation, gender, science and innovation, transport, and cities.
  • The conference will happen across two zones – The Blue Zone (Scottish Events Campus), and the Green Zone located at the Glasgow Science Centre. The Blue Zone is a UN-managed space where negotiations are hosted. The Green Zone is managed by the UK Government and open to the public.


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