Climate Change Conference COP26 Starts 31 October 2021

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UN Climate Change Conference COP26 2021

The COP26 will be held in Glasgow, Scotland, the United Kingdom from 31 October to 12 November 2021.

This conference of parties (COP) will be the 26th edition of the United Nations Climate Change Conference or COP26.

The pre-COP will take place in Milan, Italy.

COP 25 was held in Madrid on 2-23 December 2019. The conference was not very successful. It is the “longest COP conference following more than 2 weeks of fraught negotiations” (Carbon Brief, 2019).

The UN Climate talks ended in deadlock and two days from a close” (The Guardian, 2019), and Climate Change News says, “After two weeks of talks many issues remain unresolved.” Countries have failed to agree on the outcomes hoped for like the rules on the global carbon trading system and a system to channel new finance to countries facing the impacts of climate change (Climate change news, 2019).

What is the COP?

The Conference of the Parties or COP is the supreme decision-making body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).  The UNFCCC came into force on 21 March 1994 and today it has a near-universal membership with 197 countries that have ratified the convention. Its main objective is to “stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations at a level that would prevent dangerous human-induced (anthropogenic) interference with the climate system” (What is the United, 2020).

The COP meets yearly. Its first meeting was held in Berlin, Germany in March 1995.   A list of past COP conventions is found on this website: Conference of the Parties (COP)

The key task for the COP is to review the national communications and emissions inventories submitted by all member parties. One of these inventories is the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC’s) known as the Paris Agreement.  The NDC’s outlines each country’s best efforts to combat climate change and how to adapt to its effects, with enhancing support and assistance to developing countries to do so. Its aim is to keep the global temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius, even at 1.5 degrees (The Paris Agreement, 2020).

The idea is to put the responsibility on developed countries to lead in cutting emissions as they are the source of the most and past and current greenhouse emissions and to provide financial assistance and technology with developing countries in their climate change activities (What is the United, 2020).

What’s in store for the COP26?

This year’s COP26 will be a crucial year for action against climate change, as a radical change of pace is needed to achieve the Paris Agreement’s target. This coming convention on 31st October will require governments to present renewed, refreshed and ambitious commitments to reduce greenhouse gases, if they fail to do so then the goal of limiting global temperature below 2 degrees will be impossible (Lifegate, 2020).

Looking forward to the COP26, Italy and Mexico has committed to “stepped-up climate and environmental education to equip a new generation with the knowledge, awareness and skills needed to tackle climate change, and called on other countries to follow suit”.

UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa welcome this announcement and adds that climate change should be included in all school curricula and should play a central role in updated National Determined Contributions (NDCs) (Call for All, 2020).

For further details, visit the COP26 website by clicking on the button below:


Call for all Countries to Commit to Climate Education by COP26. UNFCCC. Article/10 Dec 2019. Retrieved from

United Kingdon, in partnership with Italy, to host COP26/CMP 16/ CMA 3. From the Podium/ 25 Sep 2019. Retrieved from

2020 UN Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP26). IISD/SGD Knowledge Hub. Retrieved from

COP25: Key outcomes agreed at the UN climate talks in Madrid. (2019, December 15). Carbon Brief. Retrieved from

The UN climate talks ended in deadlock. Is this really the best the world can manage? (2019, December 21). The Guardian. Retrieved from

Timperly, J. (2019, December 16). Cop25: What was achieved and where to next? Climate Home News. Retrieved from

What is the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change? (2020) UNFCCC. Retrieved from

The Paris Agreement. (2020). UNFCCC. Retrieved from

Barolini, A. (2020, January 21). COP26, the decisive climate change conference will be held in Glasgow in 2020. Lifegate. Retrieved from

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