What outcomes should we expect at COP26?

What outcomes should we expect at COP26?

This is the second, in a series of blogs about COP26 by Simon Anderson, Alliance Chair and Senior Fellow at IIED who is our in-house expert on all things related to COP26. See his first blog here.

With only days to go before COP26 starts we focus here on some key stakeholders expectations on outcomes from the Conference of Parties.

Parties and groups of countries are preparing for the negotiations that come 5 years after the famous Paris Agreement (The Paris Agreement | UNFCCC) and where ways to achieve the Paris ambitions will be set.

UK Government

Alok Sharma UK COP26 President has stated his aims for COP26. You can see these and his speech on 12 October here.

He highlighted four elements for COP26 to deliver the level of ambition required: 1) climate action plans to significantly reduce emissions by 2030 and reach net zero by mid-century, and to support adaptation to tackle climate threats 2) concrete action to deliver these plans, including agreements on reducing coal, electric cars, protecting trees and reducing methane emissions 3) to honour the $100bn dollar pledge and 4) a negotiated outcome that paves the way for a decade of ever-increasing ambition.

The Glasgow Climate Dialogues

The Scottish Government and Stop Climate Chaos Scotland recently hosted the Glasgow Climate Dialogues, four online sessions, from 6-9 September 2021, designed to engage with, learn from and platform key Global South stakeholders on climate change ahead of COP26.

Each session was co-hosted by the Scottish Government and Scottish civil society and focused on a specific theme. The communiqué from the event sets out expectations for COP26.  Read the summary communiqé here.

Professor Saleemul Huq, Director at the International Centre for Climate Change and Development at the Independent University, Bangladesh,  was one of the particiapnts in the Glasgow  Climate Dialogues. He argues that this COP moves the world into the 'era of loss and damage'. Read his views on the third era of climate change in the Bangladeshi Daily Star.

UK Civil Society

UK Civil Society has identified the following as minimum achievements for COP26:

Meeting the 1.5°C ceiling for global temperature rise:

  • A countries enhance their 2030 climate targets by 2023 to close the gap to 1.5°C based on fair shares, and submit long-term strategies and net zero targets compatible with 1.5°C.
  • Recognise that to limit global warming to 1.5°C, no new fossil fuels should be allowed and need to be urgently phased-out by 2050, as outlined by the IEA. 

Climate finance:

  • Delivery plan to fulfil the existing $100bn annual climate finance commitment through to 2025.
  • Agree to establish individual post-2025 finance goals for mitigation, adaptation, and loss & damage. 

Loss & damage:

  • Agree L&D finance mechanisms.
  • Agree a permanent agenda item on loss & damage.
  • A COP decision to operationalise the Santiago Network for Loss & Damage that is fit for purpose.
  • Agree to include loss & damage as a fundamental part of the Global Stocktake.


For more details of CAN-UK, The Climate Coalition, and Bond priorities for COP26, read the Glasgow Action Plan.