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Disaster Resilience and Beyond: What You Should Know About the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference

Updated: Nov 13, 2021

Wildfires, droughts, and heat waves – if this summer has you noticing the impacts that climate change is having on our environment, you’ll recognize just how pressing the issues of climate action and disaster resilience are in our world today. That’s why the UN Climate Change Conference is gearing up to bring world leaders together later this year to promote change and face down the issue on a united front. Ready to learn the details of this highly-important summit so you can stay in-the-know with all the latest in environmental policy? Just read on for an introduction to COP26.

What is This Summit All About?

The 26th UN Climate Change Conference – or COP26 summit – aims to bring together leaders, shining a focus on the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Before the conference even occurs, countries and other groups are working ahead on initiatives to create climate action that makes a difference.

The overall goal of this summit is to take action towards meeting specific goals. These include keeping the planet’s temperature under control – limiting it to an increase of 1.5 degrees. Also, countries aim to reach net zero – to remove an equivalent amount of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere to what is being produced and emitted.

So, how will these things be accomplished? To start, these goals mean committing to a move towards clean energy like wind and solar, ending production of vehicles that are polluting the environment, adopting more sustainable and resilient methods of agriculture, tackling deforestation issues, and mobilizing climate finance – with developed countries promising to raise at least $100 billion per year.

Who Will Be Joining Forces?

During COP26, over 190 world leaders will be meeting to discuss climate initiatives. Along with them, tens of thousands of negotiators, government representatives, businesses, and citizens will also take part in the summit. The event will be attended by all the countries that, in 1994, signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The United Kingdom holds the presidency of COP26.

Notably, the United States withdrew from the Paris Agreement under the Trump administration – taking effect on November 4th, 2020 – but rejoined on January 20, 2021 under the Biden administration. A major goal of COP26 will be finalizing the Paris Rulebook – which will be utilized to implement this commitment towards reducing emissions.

Where and When Does It Take Place?

Though COP26 was delayed for a year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is now scheduled to take place from October 31st through November 12th, 2021. The summit will take place in Glasgow, Scotland at the SEC Centre. This location was chosen because of Glasgow’s aim to become one of Europe’s greenest cities – setting a target to become carbon neutral by 2030. It’s also notable for its Sustainable Glasgow campaign, as well as its ranking as fourth in the world on the Global Destination Sustainability Index.

Why is This So Important?

Many experts believe that COP26 is a chance for world leaders to get runaway effects of climate change under control while there is still opportunity to do so. With temperatures rising worldwide – and the window for achieving a limit of a 1.5 degree increase in warming closing – taking climate action is a global priority. Bringing together world leaders to take initiative on meeting climate goals is an important step towards decisive action.

What Can You Do?

With all this in mind – how can you get involved ahead of COP26? The summit’s Together for Our Planet website is releasing toolkits and resources to help you create climate action and education in your local area. Also, organizations are invited to join the Race to Zero – a global initiative for businesses, cities, regions, investors, and universities to commit towards a 2050 goal of net zero emissions.

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