COP26 – Coming together to tackle climate change
COP26 - the world’s most significant summit on climate change – was hosted in the UK between 1-12 November 2021. Find out more about the conference and our role as one of the COP26 Principal Partners.

What is COP26?

COP26 is the most recent annual UN climate change conference.

COP stands for Conference of the Parties, and the summit was attended by the countries that signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – a treaty that came into force in 1994.

This was the 26th COP summit and was hosted in partnership between the UK and Italy. The conference was held in Glasgow from 1-12 November 2021, a year later than planned due to delays caused by the COVID pandemic.

Key moments 

  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Prime Minister Narendra Modi jointly launched the Green Grids Initiative – One Sun One World One Grid (GGI-OSOWOG) which aims to connect energy grids across borders to facilitate a faster transition to the use of renewable energy. As a Principal Partner for COP26, we are playing a leading role in the initiative and supporting the secretariat alongside the UK Government.
  • In the week preceding COP26, John Pettigrew, attended the Green Light arch launch at 10 Downing Street with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
  • We hosted a North Sea reception with European CEOs and Belgian minister.
  • We hosted Edison Electric Institute (EEI) workshops and dinner with a range of US chief executives and the Congressional Staff Delegation.
  • We hosted two senior Blue Zone panels with senior stakeholders on the future of heat and environmental justice: The Future of Heat in the Northeast US and Net Zero for All: Strategies for Equity and Access in the Clean Energy Transition.
  • We held a variety of expert panel discussions and live-streamed events at our stand in the Green Zone.

    Watch our COP26 events

Key announcements made at COP26

Finance

While the $100bn dollars promised from rich to poor countries isn’t being delivered until 2023 (commitment was for 2020), Mark Carney has gathered 450 organisations controlling 130 trillion dollars, or around 40% of global private assets, to shift finances to activities that help the move towards zero carbon, such as renewable energy.

The Chancellor also announced his intention to make the UK the “world’s first net zero financial centre”. 

There were new climate financial pledges from some world leaders. Notably, Japan pledged another $10bn whilst the US Climate Envoy, John Kerry, said that the US has the capacity to leverage another $8bn.

Trees

Over 100 nations, including Canada, Brazil, Russia, China, Indonesia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the US and the UK, signed up to a pledge to end world deforestation by 2030. The pledge includes almost £14bn ($19.2bn) of public and private funds.

Coal

Over 40 nations pledged to phase out coal use within the 2030s (and within the 2040s for poorer nations). This includes major coal-dependent nations such as Poland, Vietnam and Chile.

However, some of the world’s largest coal-consuming nations, such as China, the US, India and Australia, did not sign up for the pledge.

Methane

Over 30 countries agreed to cut methane emissions by 30%. Notably, the world’s greatest emitters of methane, China, the US and India were absent from this pledge, although it is hoped that they may join later.

Transport

Over 100 national governments, cities, states and major businesses signed a declaration on accelerating the transition to 100% zero-emission cars and vans.

With all sales of new cars and vans being zero emission globally by 2040, and no later than 2035 in leading markets.

Clean energy and fair transition

The UK, South Africa, France, Germany, the US and the EU announced the Just Energy Transition Partnership to support South Africa’s transition to clean energy away from coal.

The first phase of financing has an initial commitment of $8.5bn, and the model could be replicated for other countries.

Gender and climate change

Several nations have agreed to pledges around issues of gender and climate change, including the UK pledging £165m of funding to address the challenges of gender inequality and climate change.

United States and China

The world’s largest emitters of carbon dioxide, the United States and China, have pledged to work together to take action against climate change.

India

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set aggressive targets for low carbon power by 2030 and a net zero target by 2070 across all greenhouse gases.

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