What is COP26, and why is it so important?

First we had the G7 summit in Cornwall and now we’re regularly seeing coverage of COP26 in the national media. From scouts to Wimbledon, COP26 is capturing everyone’s interest.

What is COP26?

It’s the annual United Nations (UN) climate change summit, held each year. Officially entitled the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties, COP26 will be the 26th conference.

This year is particularly important because it will be held in Glasgow, in partnership with Italy. The first meeting of the parties was held in Germany in 1995, and this will be the first time the United Kingdom has hosted the event. The conference will take place between 31st October – 12th November.

What is the Conference of the Parties?

The COP are the supreme decision makers of the UN’s climate change convention, formed by parties from all five recognised UN regions – Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Central and Eastern Europe and Western Europe and Others. Over 190 world leaders are expected to attend the event, together with their teams who are tasked with delivering Government policy and reform to advance our joint climate change concerns.

What’s expected to be covered?

As you can imagine, there’ll be a wide agenda to cover. In the months prior to the event, the UK is working with the other nations to reach a collective agreement on how we can tackle climate change globally. As global warming continues to increase and countries begin to develop greener energy solutions, there’s a great deal that can be set out to improve our world for future generations.

In particular they’ll be a focus on the Paris Agreement, the outcome of the COP21 meeting held in Paris in 2015. COP member nations collectively agreed to work together to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees, going further by setting the aspiration of 1.5 degrees. Part of the Paris Agreement was the intention to join together every 5 years to formally review progress against this important objective, which will form a crucial part of the COP26 summit.

Leading the way with greener energy

It’s no surprise that Scotland was chosen by the UK Government as the location for this year’s COP. Over recent years the country has ambitiously grown it’s offshore and onshore wind generation capability, to tip the balance towards greener energy. This increasingly important sector for Scotland has continued to reward local people with job opportunities within the renewable energy sector, with colleagues in NRL’s Recruitment business regularly supporting large wind farm projects across the production supply chain.

The COP26 summit also comes at an exciting time for the UK, with various planning applications and development plans to introduce new greener energy initiatives such as hydrogen and carbon capture. No doubt all eyes will be on the UK and other UN Nations in October, to see what formal commitments will be made to progress the climate change agenda.