COP26 – the UN’s annual conference on climate change has just started (31 October 2021). COP stands for Conference of the Parties. It is the annual UN climate change conference, where governments get together to make crucial decisions about what they will do about the climate crisis.


The first one took place in 1995. COP26 is obviously the 26th meeting, which is being held in Glasgow, Scotland. It is taking place from Sunday, 31 October until Friday, 12 November. This COP is particularly critical because it’s clear from the latest climate science that countries are still way off track to meet the targets outlined in the Paris Agreement.


At COP21, after years of negotiations, the Paris Agreement was agreed by almost all of the countries in the world. The Paris Agreement is a global treaty on climate change. International governments pledged to keep the rise in global average temperatures to well below 2 degrees – preferably 1.5°C – above pre-industrial levels.


UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa in her opening address to the world leaders at COP26 has asked:

“The task ahead of you in these two weeks is significant.

But look at what you’ve accomplished just to get this far.

Success is entirely possible.

I encourage you to keep the big picture in mind.

I encourage you to look beyond your specific agenda item to what we’re trying to achieve together.

I encourage you to consider the choices that we must make, and the trust vested in you by billions.

Let us rise to the enormous challenge of our times, this pivotal point in history—and achieve success for not just our present generation, but all generations to come.”

Let us hope our leaders can rise to the challenge.