What is COP26, and Why Does it Matter?
By Tom Snowdon
The COP26 Climate Conference dates run from 31st October until 11th November, having been postponed from last year due to Covid. This is the most important climate summit since the landmark Paris Agreement was agreed at COP21 in 2015 (COP stands for Conference of Parties).
The Paris agreement committed nearly all of the worlds' countries to take actions to limit global warming to 1.5℃ above preindustrial levels. The postponement means that the COP26 will now take place after the 'by 2020' deadline for numerous components of the Paris Agreement. This year's COP26 will be held in Glasgow hosted by the British Government.
Governments around the world are realising that climate change has the potential to threaten humanity's very existence. Since the Paris agreement Carbon in the atmosphere has continued to increase. This year alone we have seen extreme conditions around the globe. Devastating floods, major droughts, wildfires and storms, all symptoms of our changing climate. At current rates of increase we will exceed the 1.5℃ increase in a little over 11 years from now.
COP26 will review what has been done around the world and what is still to be done. We all need to keep up the pressure on Boris Johnson and our government to do more to slow climate change, especially during COP26 when the spotlight is on the UK.