What is COP26 and What Does It Mean?

The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) is the sixth consecutive round of negotiations on a protocol to the Kyoto Protocol, established under the 1997 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The goal of the protocol is to stabilise the rise in global average temperatures at below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

COP25 in Madrid, Spain was held from 2 Dec 2019 to 13 Dec 2019 and made little progress in developing the protocol, and negotiations for the 2020 conference were suspended after progress was made by the drafting parties. This led to the next conference COP26.

In Paris, at the 21st annual climate change conference, which occurred on 30 November to 12 December 2015, member states of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change approved the Paris Agreement as a first commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Paris Agreement builds on the provisions of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. This is the first time in history that a comprehensive, global climate change agreement has been adopted at a United Nations Conference. The agreement will enter into force after ratification by 55 Parties accounting for at least 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions as of the date of entry into force.

What does COP26 mean?

COP26 stands for Conference of the Parties held by the United Nations, attended by countries that signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Will COP26 go ahead?

Yes, this year's (2021) COP will go ahead in Glasglow, Scotland, United Kingdom, in partnership with Italy.

Who is attending the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26)?

There are many famous and influential people attending this year's COP26, including Prince Charles, Joe Biden, and Sir David Attenborough. The Queen did not attend due to health reasons.

Others include Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, Prime minister Boris Johnson, Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon Ex-Bank of England governor Mark Carne, the United States of America's special presidential envoy for climate John Kerry, President of France Emmanuel Macron, President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, and of course the most famous face of climate change, Greta Thunberg.

Amongst the world leaders, and famous figures will also be many thousands of negotiators, government officials, businesses, and activists.

Who did not attending COP26?

Vladimir Putin, Russia's president, has announced he will not be attending this year's COP26, and instead send a replacement in his place.

Unfortunately there are a number of no-show invitations to COP26, most notably, China's President Xi Jinping, who did not fly out to COP26. Scott Morrison the Prime Minister of Australia, did finally come to COP26 after remained unconfirmed until the week before COP26, with reports he stated it "wouldn't be worth his time to attend", due to COVID quarantine requirements. Australia is one of the biggest uses of over 75% of its generated electricity from fossil fuels. Pope Francis sadly did not attend the event.

What else is happening at COP26?

There will be many different speeches and meetings include fringe-style events around the city. It's likely that campaigners and activists are to ascend on the city in force, to protest and ensure their voices are still heard.

COP26 Top 10 Climate Change Countries

Which countries are using huge amounts of fossil fuels, renewables, and pledges towards a net-zero future? Taking our data, here are the top 10 best performing climate-focused countries.

  1. Albania
  2. Bhutan
  3. Paraguay
  4. Côte d'Ivoire
  5. Eswatini
  6. Holy See
  7. Liechtenstein
  8. North Macedonia
  9. Palestine State
  10. Republic of the Congo

Who created the brand identity and logo for COP26?

The COP26 logo was created by London-based design agency Johnson Banks, commissioned by the HM Government. Tasked with creating a memorable brand identity and image creation, taking the route of showcasing a state of urgency in their designs. The COP26 logo features a marbled green and blue sphere creating patterns with mimic the earth's features. However, a cleaver and almost deliberate feature here is the way the logo doesn't really show clear weather systems or borders and in a way makes it more real that actually, we're all in this together. In other words, the logo cleverly identifies that climate change isn't because of one place or group of people and therefore we all must pull together to tackle this ever-present problem.

They featured some powerful slogans along with the brand identity package such as;

  • The climate has no borders
  • Your planet needs you
  • Taking world changing action
  • The world is watching
  • Hope is a renewable resource
  • Our planet needs you
  • Blue planet. Red alert.

You can find out more about UN Climate Change Conference - COP26 on the official website.

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