What is COP26?

Paul Richardson ,
15 Jul 2021

cop26As momentum continues to build in the run up to COP26, our Policy Adviser (Agriculture and Climate Change) Paul Richardson provides a bit of background to the conference.

COP stands for Conference of the Parties, "the Parties" being the signatories of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1994 (UNFCCC). The COP is an annual event, bringing together 197 nations and territories (the Parties). The 2021 Glasgow conference (31 October to 12 November) is the 26th such meeting of the Parties and is being hosted by the United Kingdom in partnership with Italy. The Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is the President for COP26. There are four main goals for the conference:

  1. Secure global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach.
  2. Adapt to protect communities and natural habits.
  3. Mobilise finance.
  4. Work together to deliver.

The programme outlines the main theme for each day, with Saturday November 6 being designated ‘Nature’; “Ensuring the importance of nature and sustainable land use are part of global action on climate change and a clean, green recovery”. Agriculture is likely to be high on the agenda. In addition, one of the side events is a “farm-to-fork dialogue”, bringing together representatives from a range of stakeholders as part of efforts to seek a high-level declaration on the need for integrated food policies to tackle the climate emergency.

We can expect a number of announcements and policy commitments between now and November alongside other important events prior to the main conference, such as the Pre-COP26 (30 September to 3 October) and the UN Biodiversity Conference (11 to 24 October).

Look out for an update on COP26 in the autumn edition of LandBusiness.