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What is COP26 and what does it hope to achieve?

On the 31st October once of the most important climate change conferences in recent years will open in Glasgow.


At COP26, or the '26th Conference of the Parties' to give it its full name, will see more than 120 heads of state attending including the leaders of the G20 richest nations, which includes India. Many other climate change activists and influential individuals such as Barack Obama will be there too.


But will the conference bring real change or will their hot air and inaction simply contribute to global warming!


So what’s it all about and what do they hope to achieve?

This 60 second Briefing will bring you right up to date, and provide you with the facts that you need to know.


COP26 is the biggest climate change conference since the landmark talks in Paris in 2015, that resulted in the highly ambitious Paris Agreement, a legally binding international treaty on climate change.


The Agreement was adopted by nearly 200 countries in the French capital on 12 December 2015, and came into force on 4 November 2016. The deal united all the world's nations - for the first time - in a single agreement on tackling global warming and cutting greenhouse-gas emissions, and went much further than the Kyoto Protocol of 1997.


The Kyoto agreement had set targets for cutting emissions for a handful of developed countries - but the US later pulled out and others failed to comply.


The plan is to create a climate-neutral world by the middle of the century.

Becoming "climate neutral" means reducing greenhouse-gas emissions as much as possible but also compensating for any remaining emissions by removing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, using natural or artificial processes.


But the average global temperature has already risen by about 1˚C and scientists say the rollout of the Paris Agreement must be stepped up to have any chance of curbing dangerous climate change.


They also say limiting the temperature rise to no more that 1.5˚C (rather than 2˚C) could:

  • Prevent small island states such as The Maldives sinking beneath the waves

  • Help millions of people avoid the impacts of extreme weather

  • Limit the chances of an ice-free Arctic summer

The COP26 conference aims to build on the commitments made, and also try to ensure that all nations stay focused on actions that are needed to address climate change.


The Goals of the conference are:

  1. To set ambitious targets to reduce emissions by 2030, so that there is some chance of achieving the end goals of the world being net zero by 2050.

  2. Encourage all countries to improve the protection of their communities and natural resources.

  3. Make sure that all of the develop countries deliver on their promise to contribute $100billion per year to fund adaptations and transition costs to lower carbon economies, including reduction in fossil fuel usage.

  4. Work together to develop the rules that all nations need to live by if climate change is to be reversed and the catastrophe of even more serious environmental and societal damage is averted.

It's clear that we can't just WISH that climate change wasn't happening, so now we have to DO something about it before it's too late.


In the next post we'll look at how this will impact Luxury and why it's important for brands both big and small to change how they operate.


If you want to read more about COP26 please click on this link https://ukcop26.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/COP26-Explained.pdf


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