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Road to COP26

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All eyes of the world will be on the UK in November when it holds the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow. This will be the UK’s largest ever political gathering.

As part of Higginson’s Nature 2030 campaign, we have produced a mind map about COP26, which includes what it entails, the key players involved, the history, who attends and why this conference is really important.

What is COP26 and what does COP stand for?

COP stands for Conference of the Parties, and will be attended by countries that signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – a treaty agreed in 1994. The 2021 meeting will be the 26th meeting, which is why it’s called COP26.

Why is this one important?

This COP is crucial because 190 world leaders need to agree on how to protect this planet. COP26 is considered significant as it will be the first COP to take place after the 2015 landmark Paris Agreement’s measures take effect and the first opportunity since then for nations to come together to review commitments and strengthen ambition.

The Paris Agreement sets out a global framework to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C. It also aims to strengthen countries’ ability to deal with the impacts of climate change and support them in their efforts.

COP26 is also the first COP to be held since the US left and rejoined the Paris Agreement, so it is likely that there will be extra eyes on US contributions to the summit.

Climate change is one key driver of biodiversity loss, and protecting, conserving and restoring biodiversity is crucial to addressing climate change. So, this also needs to be addressed at COP26.

What can we expect from COP26?

As well as presidents and prime ministers from around the world reporting back on progress since the Paris Agreement, there will hopefully be some new decisions on how to cut carbon emissions.

It is also hoped that leaders take domestic and global action for nature.

Time is ticking and the world needs to fight hard against this climate crisis.

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