This page gives background to COP26, links to resources and outlines our plans and ways to get involved relating to this monumentually important global UN summit that comes to Glasgow in November 2020.

What is COP26?

The 2020 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, is the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference. It will be held in Glasgow, from 9 to 19 November 2020 under the presidency of the UK government. The conference will incorporate the 26th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the 16th meeting of the parties for the Kyoto Protocol, and the third meeting of the parties for the Paris Agreement.

Why is COP26 important for international development?

Climate action and sustainable, global development are inextricably linked. Despite doing least to cause the climate crisis, it is the poorest communities around the world that are most vulnerable to the devastating impacts of changing weather patterns, floods, droughts and storms. The climate crisis impacts nearly every aspect of people’s lives. It also threatens to undo all the progress we’ve previously made on tackling global poverty.

It was at COP 21 in 2015 that the landmark Paris Agreement was reached, which commits countries to take action to ensure that global average temperature increases are kept “well below” 2C and to “pursue efforts” towards limiting global warming to 1.5C. However, current national pledges for action are wholly inadequate for meeting this goal, and the consequences will be cataclysmic – millions more people exposed to heatwaves, droughts and annihilation of natural resources upon which they rely – according to this landmark report.

Given the failures of COP25 in Madrid in 2019, COP 26 will be the most important COP since Paris. Indeed, this COP will be one of the first tests of the Paris Agreement, as it marks the 5-year point when countries must submit new and increased “Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)” which state their intended ratcheting up of domestic contributions to global efforts.

Why is COP26 relevant to the Alliance?

The arrival of COP26 to Glasgow provides us with an opportunity to amplify the voices of people and communities who are on the front line of the climate crises in different countries. These voices need heard to raise awareness in Scotland that climate change has the largest impact on those that have done least to cause it, often the most vulnerable and marginalised across the world.

We believe we have a unique role here in Scotland before, during and after COP26 to help to share their stories, highlight the challenges faced and celebrate new and existing responses to rapidly changing climates in order to build support for urgent climate action here in Scotland and overseas as part of a broader commitment to the UN SDGs.

Our overarching aims around COP26 agreed at our early planning meetings are:

  1. More ambitious climate policy and action at Scottish, UK and international levels

  2. Increased awareness in Scotland of how climate crises are affecting the most vulnerable and marginalised in other countries, particularly the poorest countries.

  3. Increased awareness in Scotland of achievements relating to adaptation and resilience in other countries

  4. Increased support in Scotland for urgent climate action here and elsewhere

  5. A sustainable platform/narrative on climate justice and Scotland’s role as a sub-state actor to build on after COP26.  

 ​​​​What are we planning in relation to COP26?

1.      Regular planning meetings and working groups

Since December 2019, we have been holding regular planning meetings with our members to discuss how best to engage with COP26.  Read notes from our December meeting here, our January meeting here and our February meeting here.

These meetings have been designed to collaboratively shape our evolving COP26 strategy and aims laid out above. They also provided participants the chance to discuss how they can work together and pool resources to ensure we work towards common aims.

At the planning meeting in February, it was agreed to break into smaller working groups to focus on specific areas of work.  Log in to the Alliance Community or get in touch to find out more details.

2.       Photo competition: The Climate Crisis from the Front Line

This year’s competition invites anyone with a link to Scotland to submit entries under the broad theme ‘The Climate Crisis from the frontline’. Entries should aim to fulfil any or all of the following aims:

  • To share stories of those most impacted by the climate crisis in countries and regions of the world that have done least to cause it
  • To highlight the climate related challenges people and communities face in developing countries
  • To celebrate new and existing responses to the climate crisis in developing countries (mitigation, adaptation and resilience)

Winners will be announced and top entries will be displayed at our Annual Conference on 24th September 2020 which will bring over 200 delegate together to focus on this important theme.

Check out details here.

3.      Annual Conference: The Climate Crisis from the Front Line

Taking place at BT Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh on Thursday 24th September, our 2020 event promises to be our biggest and most ambitious yet.

At our members’ request, the Climate Crisis will provide this year’s overarching theme. Conference attendees can look forward to a packed day of inspiring keynote speeches and interactive breakout sessions, exploring topics such as how to make climate action gender responsive, supporting just transitions promoting climate justice through meaningful partnership, and ensuring that the voices of those most affected by climate change are heard.

In addition to our conference programme, there’ll be plenty opportunity for valuable networking, and increased opportunities for our members and partners to celebrate and showcase their own work through an expanded exhibition space.

Keep an eye on our website over the coming weeks as we announce more information, including our callout for session contributors.  

To find out more and to register your interest, contact Membership Services Manager, Catherine.

Want to get involved?

Great! Here are a few ideas:

Still not sure what you can do? Get in touch with one our team and we can help point you in the right direction!

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