COP26 Blue Zone interior

13.11.2021

COP26 keeps 1.5C alive and finalises Paris Agreement

  • COP26 ends with global agreement to accelerate action on climate this decade
  • Two weeks of intense negotiations finally complete the Paris Rulebook 
  • For the first time COP agrees position on phasing down unabated coal power
  • The Glasgow Climate Pact caps two years of diplomacy and ambition raising 

COP26 has today concluded in Glasgow with nearly 200 countries agreeing the Glasgow Climate Pact to keep 1.5C alive and finalise the outstanding elements of the Paris Agreement. 

Climate negotiators ended two weeks of intense talks on Saturday with consensus on urgently accelerating climate action. 

The Glasgow Climate Pact, combined with increased ambition and action from countries, means that 1.5C remains in sight, but it will only be delivered with concerted and immediate global efforts. 

The Glasgow Climate Pact will speed up the pace of climate action. All countries agreed to revisit and strengthen their current emissions targets to 2030, known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), in 2022. This will be combined with a yearly political roundtable to consider a global progress report and a Leaders summit in 2023.

The Paris Rulebook, the guidelines for how the Paris Agreement is delivered, was also completed today after six years of discussions. This will allow for the full delivery of the landmark accord, after agreement on a transparency process which will hold countries to account as they deliver on their targets. This includes Article 6, which establishes a robust framework for countries to exchange carbon credits through the UNFCCC.

And for the first time, heeding calls from civil society and countries most vulnerable to climate impacts, the COP agreed action on phasing down fossil fuels. 

COP decisions went further than ever before in recognising and addressing loss and damage from the existing impacts of climate change. 

There were also commitments to significantly increase financial support through the Adaptation Fund as developed countries were urged to double their support to developing countries by 2025. 

The final COP26 text follows two years of intense diplomacy and campaigning undertaken by the UK Presidency to raise ambition and secure action from almost 200 countries. 

Work focussed on driving short term reduction of emissions to limit temperature rises to 1.5C, mobilising both public and private finance, and supporting communities to adapt to climate impacts. 

When the UK took on the COP26 mantle, in partnership with Italy, nearly two years ago, only 30% of the world was covered by net zero targets. This figure is now at around 90%. Over the same period, 154 Parties have submitted new national targets, representing 80% of global emissions. 

The UK Presidency has also been focused on driving action to deliver emissions reductions. We have seen a huge shift in coal, with many more countries committing to phase out unabated coal power and ending international coal financing.  

Alongside this, we have seen a marked commitment to protect precious natural habitats, with 90% of the world’s forests covered by a pledge from 130 countries to end deforestation by 2030. 

While on the world’s roads, the transition to zero emissions vehicles is gathering pace, with some of the largest car manufacturers working together to make all new car sales zero emission by 2040 and by 2035 in leading markets. Countries and cities are following suit with ambitious petrol and diesel car phaseout dates.

Current policies would leave us on a path to a devastating temperature rise. But work done by independent experts Climate Action Tracker show that with the full implementation of the fresh collective commitments could hold temperature rise to 1.8C. 

Even with the action committed both during and before COP26, communities around the world will continue to feel the impact of our changing planet. 

Reflecting on the task ahead, COP26 President Alok Sharma said:

We can now say with credibility that we have kept 1.5 degrees alive. But, its pulse is weak and it will only survive if we keep our promises and translate commitments into rapid action. I am grateful to the UNFCCC for working with us to deliver a successful COP26.

From here, we must now move forward together and deliver on the expectations set out in the Glasgow Climate Pact, and close the vast gap which remains. Because as Prime Minister Mia Mottley told us at the start of this conference, for Barbados and other small island states, ‘two degrees is a death sentence’.

It is up to all of us to sustain our lodestar of keeping 1.5 degrees within reach and to continue our efforts to get finance flowing and boost adaptation. After the collective dedication which has delivered the Glasgow Climate Pact, our work here cannot be wasted.

Notes to editors

Read the full texts on the UNFCCC website.

13.11.2021

COP26 President remarks at closing plenary

5 minute read

Alok Sharma’s remarks at the COP26 Closing Plenary.

Dear Friends,

After two years of incredibly hard work we have our Glasgow Climate Pact.

This is down to each and every one of you and your teams.

Your hard work, your dedication, your willingness to build consensus.

I thank you all, and your teams, for your extraordinary and heroic efforts. 

I also want to thank my own incredible team for the past two years, and all the work that has gone into making this conference happen.

I also thank our Observers, civil society and young people, for keeping up the pressure,

for constantly reminding us,

that communities around the world expected us to deliver here in Glasgow. 

And I thank those most climate vulnerable Parties who never let us forget what is at stake. 

Parties whose people are already suffering the worst effects of climate change and whose moral authority has powered this process forward. 

Together, over these two weeks, Parties have demonstrated what the world had come to doubt, 

that countries can rise above their differences to unite against a common challenge, 

that this multilateral process can deliver. 

I know that some Parties have sacrificed wording they held dear for the sake of a balanced outcome. 

I thank them for doing so. 

Just as I thank Parties that have held their nerve under pressure so we can deliver a strong final text. 

I think we can all be proud of what, collectively, we have delivered. 

The decisions we have adopted are part of a broader package, which includes what we have achieved together outside these negotiating halls, 

on nationally determined contributions, adaptation plans, and finance pledges. 

Not to mention our coalitions on coals and forests and cars  and the work of the High Level Champions. 

Taken together this Package charts a course for the world to deliver on the promises made in Paris. 

This Glasgow Climate Pact drives action on adaptation. 

It emphasises the need to act, 

it sets a clear way forward on the Global Goal on Adaptation, 

and it urges developed countries to at least double their collective climate finance for adaptation by 2025.

It operationalises the Santiago Network on Loss and Damage, finally giving that issue the focus and attention it deserves. 

It commits to urgently scale up finance, which is the foundation for faster action and confidence we can go further.

And it sets out actions to empower and engage all of society in driving forward this transition. 

Collectively, we have acknowledged that a gulf remains between short term targets, and what is needed to meet the Paris temperature goal. 

And so our Pact brings Parties back to the table next year to improve their commitments, to drive up ambition across this vital decade. 

And it emphasises the urgent need to accelerate our efforts to turn targets into action to keep 1.5 within reach. 

That work must start now. 

We have also, for the first time, adopted text to scale up clean power and phase down dirty coal.  

And after no less than six years of discussions, we have concluded on those final parts of the Paris Agreement Rulebook, on Article 6, on Common Timeframes, and on transparency.

These put in place the rules and systems to keep us accountable and support increased ambition. 

Their resolution will unleash the full force of what was agreed in Paris.

This is real progress in keeping 1.5 degrees within reach. 

Progress we have made together. 

But the need for continual action and implementation, to match ambition, must continue throughout the decade. 

Today, we can say with credibility that we have kept 1.5 degrees within reach. 

But, its pulse is weak. 

And it will only survive if we keep our promises. If we translate commitments into rapid action. 

If we deliver on the expectations set out in this  Glasgow Climate Pact to increase ambition to 2030 and beyond. 

And if we close the vast gap that remains, as we must. 

Because as Prime Minister Mia Mottley told us at the start of this conference, for Barbados and other small island states, “two degrees is a death sentence”.

Friends, it is up to all of us to sustain our lodestar of keeping 1.5 degrees within reach.  

To continue our efforts to get finance flowing and boost adaptation. 

After the collective dedication which has delivered the Glasgow Climate Pact,

our work here cannot be wasted. 

The drive towards 1.5, for a cleaner, healthier, more prosperous and more resilient world must continue. 

And we must continue that together.

At the start of this summit the world was asking,

Do the parties assembled here in Glasgow have the courage to rise to the scale of the challenge?

My friends, you have responded.

We have responded.

History has been made here in Glasgow.

We must now ensure that the next chapter charts the success of the commitments we have solemnly made together in the Glasgow Climate Pact.

Thank you. 

ENDS 

SEC Armadillo Building

11.11.2021

COP President daily media statement and latest announcements – 11 November

List of announcements: Cities, Regions and Built Environment Day, 11 November

  • The UK today pledged £27.5m of new funding for the new Urban Climate Action Programme (UCAP) to support cities targeting net zero. The programme, funded through International Climate Finance, will support cities across Africa, Asia and Latin America to take climate action and create a sustainable future, by helping them implement innovative climate action plans to become carbon neutral by 2050 and prepare low-carbon infrastructure projects to reduce emissions. 
  • UCAP will help cities to implement projects like low-emission public transport systems, renewable energy generation, sustainable waste management, new climate-smart buildings codes and climate risk planning. By showcasing what is possible, city and regional authorities can demonstrate to other cities and national governments the opportunities available to drive action.
  • The programme will be delivered in partnership with the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, a global network of cities focused on climate action, and GIZ, the German development agency.
  • UCAP will build on the flagship Climate Leadership in Cities programme, which successfully supported megacities in Latin America and Asia to develop ambitious climate action plans consistent with the Paris Agreement; including developing pathways to net zero by 2050 and committing to ambitious interim targets by 2030 to keep 1.5 degrees within reach.

Press conference opening statement from COP President Alok Sharma, 11 November:

Thank you very much indeed and good afternoon to everyone.

I want to start by noting that today is Remembrance Day, which was marked this morning in the UK Pavilion, and my grateful thanks to all colleagues who joined us to mark our respects for the fallen.

I want to turn now to the negotiations.

Detailed discussions have continued across a whole range of issues over the past 24 hours.

Archie Young chaired a meeting with Heads of Delegations yesterday to hear views on the draft cover decisions.

I held a range of bilateral meetings with parties and groups, and also received comprehensive briefings last night from my team of co-facilitating Ministers.

A tranche of draft decision texts were published early this morning.

These include draft texts on Adaptation; on Loss and Damage; on Finance; on the Enhanced Transparency Framework and Article 6.

I am pleased to say that yesterday, we concluded the discussions on the Global Goal on Adaptation, confirming the forward work programme, and I hope that this will be adopted.

Text was also finalised on Response Measures and on the Santiago Network.

As you’ll know, I held a Stocktaking Plenary this morning with all parties and observers to set out the collective work programme over the next 24 hours.

Now whilst we have made progress, and I want to acknowledge the spirit of cooperation and civility that’s been demonstrated throughout the negotiations, by negotiators and Ministers, we are not there yet on the most critical issues.

There is still a lot more work to be done. And COP26 is scheduled to close at the end of tomorrow. So time is running out.

As I speak, my Ministerial co-facilitators, other Ministers and negotiators are rolling up their sleeves and working hard to find solutions to some of the most intractable issues.

Solutions which have so far evaded us for six years.

I’ll be holding meetings later today with all parties to find ways forward on matters specifically related to Finance and Article 6.

As I noted at the Plenary, negotiations on finance really need to accelerate. And they need to accelerate now.

A further iteration of texts, across a range of issues, will be issued overnight.

Having engaged extensively with parties over the past year, and at COP, I know everyone understands what is at stake for the future of our planet here in Glasgow.

We still have a monumental challenge ahead of us. Collectively we have no choice but to rise to that challenge.

And strain every sinew to achieve a timely outcome that we can all be proud of, because ultimately this outcome, whatever it is, will belong to all of us.

Ends.

SEC Armadillo Building

10.11.2021

COP President daily media statement and latest announcements – 10 November

List of announcements, 10 November

  • As one of the Glasgow Breakthroughs at the World Leader Summit, 30 countries have agreed to work together to make zero emission vehicles the new normal by making them accessible, affordable, and sustainable in all regions by 2030 or sooner. 
  • A number of emerging markets are agreeing to accelerate the transition to ZEVs in their markets (including India, Rwanda, Kenya)
  • Launch of a new World Bank trust fund that will mobilise $200 million over the next 10 years to decarbonise road transport in emerging markets and developing economies.
  • This goal is guiding the Zero Emission Vehicle Transition Council (ZEVTC), which will today met with distinguished representatives, including experts on the transition in Emerging Markets and Developing Economies (EMDEs), to discuss how international collaboration can support a global transition. The ZEVTC will launch its first annual Action Plan, which sets out areas for sustained international cooperation to accelerate the transition during 2022. The US has today joined the UK as a co-chair of the ZEVTC.
  • Nineteen governments have also stated their intent to support the establishment of ‘green shipping corridors’ – zero-emission shipping routes between two ports. This will involve deploying zero-emission vessel technologies and putting alternative fuel and charging infrastructure in place in ports to allow for zero emission shipping on key routes across the globe.
  • The UK has pledged to shift to clean trucks by committing to end the sale of most new diesel trucks between 2035 and 2040. 

Press conference opening statement from COP President Alok Sharma, 10 November:

As you’re aware, the first draft of the cover decision texts were published this morning.

And earlier this afternoon I hosted a stocktaking plenary, at which the Ministers I have requested to co-facilitate negotiations on some of the key outstanding issues presented their views on progress.

The science and citizens across the world demand that we are unapologetically high ambitions as a Presidency and the cover decision texts, in our opinion are high ambition and balanced.

Of course, texts will change and evolve as countries begin to engage on the details, but our shared commitment to accelerate action this decade must be unwavering.

And science must be our compass, and this should spur us on to the highest ambition consensus we can achieve.

I also want to be clear.

We are not seeking to reopen the Paris Agreement.

The Paris Agreement clearly sets out the temperature goal. Well below 2 degrees and pursuing efforts to 1.5 degrees.

That is why our overarching goal of “keeping 1.5 degrees within reach” has been our lodestar.

We seek to chart a path that is balanced across the three pillars of the Paris Agreement: finance, adaptation and mitigation.

I will continue to champion finance, as I have done throughout my time in this role, and I have asked developed countries to be flexible in their positions.

The task of finalising all texts, including the cover decisions, will be challenging. 

But we all know what is at risk if we do not reach an ambitious outcome.

Climate vulnerable countries on the front line of the climate crisis will continue to bear the brunt. 

Before it engulfs us all.

The text on adaptation aims to build our shared capacity to act. 

Climate change is affecting all of us. 

Needs are growing and we must respond.

We have also included a section on loss and damage. 

This is a first for this process and I hope that countries will engage constructively. 

Discussions on the Santiago Network in Glasgow suggest that Parties will engage in the right spirit.

On mitigation, we know we have made progress on the journey to Glasgow, but the science shows that we can and must go further.

The text gives countries the opportunity to agree how they will accelerate action and return to the table with stronger commitments.

In addition to the cover decision, texts are still evolving on the rulebook items and finance. 

On Article 6 the text has narrowed and the choices are clear. 

It will be a matter of political will now to close this outcome.

On Transparency, negotiators are moving through the technical work. 

Transparency underpins the Paris Agreement and is absolutely crucial to delivering on our commitments.  

On common timeframes we are down to two options. 

And across the board, Ministers are identifying landing grounds.

On finance, there remains a lot of work to do but we have seen positive announcements.

Such as the $350m in contributions to the adaptation fund and $413m to the LDC Fund. 

I hope this supports a good atmosphere in negotiations.

Let me talk a little bit about the process going forward, 

My head negotiator, Archie Young will convene a Heads of Delegations meeting this afternoon to take stock of parties detailed views on draft texts.

My team and I then intend to review progress across all issues from 7pm this evening.

I will meet with co-facilitating Ministers before ministerial and technical co-facilitators publish what I expect to be near-final texts overnight.

I will then convene all groups, parties and observers again at 11am tomorrow in plenary to hear views.

As a presidency we are fully committed to transparency and openness and I have invited parties to reach out to me if they wish to meet outside the formal sessions.

As I told the plenary earlier, we have seen a spirit of cooperation and consensus at the summit thus far.

It is a can-do spirit that I hope all parties will want to continue to foster over the coming critical days.

I still have the intention for us to be able to close COP 26 at the end of Friday. 

Everyone must come armed with the clarity of compromise. We all know what is at stake in these negotiations and indeed the urgency of our task.

In very human terms, what we agree in Glasgow will set the tone of the future for our children and grandchildren and I know that no world leader or country will want to fail them. 

SEC Armadillo Building

09.11.2021

COP President daily media statement and latest announcements – 9 November

List of announcements, 9 November

  • There has been new momentum from around the world to put gender at the forefront of climate action on Gender Day, as countries and non state actors set out gender and climate commitments, including:
    • Bolivia committing to promote the leadership of women and girls, especially indigenous, Afro-Bolivian, community and rural women, through their involvement in sustainable development projects, as well as to reflect gender data in its Nationally Determined Contributions, and to work with UN Women to promote the use of gender breakdowns in official national statistics on environment and climate change.
    • Canada to ensure that 80% of its $5.3 billion climate investments over the next five years target gender equality outcomes. 
    • Ecuador committing to strengthen leadership, negotiation, and decision-making capacities within women’s organisations working on climate.
    • Germany announcing a new Gender Strategy under its International Climate Initiative (IKI) which will promote gender-transformative approaches in international climate and biodiversity cooperation.
    • Nigeria expanding on its Implementation Strategy for their National Gender and Climate Action Plan. 
    • Sweden announcing new measures to firmly embed gender equality within all their climate action, as mentioned in Sweden’s Climate Policy Action Plan.
    • The UK setting out how £165 million in funding will address the dual challenges of gender inequality and climate change.
    • The USA promoting gender equity and equality in responding to climate change as a priority of its National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality; investing at least $14 million of the Gender Equity and Equality Action Fund toward gender-responsive climate programming; and investing more than $20 million towards initiatives to increase women’s economic opportunities in the clean energy sector, strengthen action on gender-based violence and the environment, address barriers to women’s land rights, and support women farmers in East Africa to adapt to climate impacts.
  • These announcements help build momentum internationally to drive implementation of the Gender Action Plan agreed at COP25, ahead of the sixty-sixth session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW66) in March 2022 which will focus on gender equality in the context of climate change, the environment and disaster risk reduction. A full list of commitments made under Feminist Action for Climate Justice can be found on the Generation Equality website (PDF). Further commitments can be found in notes to editors below.  
  • COP26 President Alok Sharma and UK International Champion on Adaptation and Resilience Anne-Marie Trevelyan hosted the Gender Day plenary event accompanied by Little Amal, the 3.5 metre puppet travelling 8,000km in support of refugees. The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, was among other high profile speakers to address the event.
  • Under the Science and Innovation Day, initiatives launched today will enhance international cooperation between governments, academics, businesses and civil society and ensure science and innovation delivers for all in order to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement:
    • 47 countries have committed to building health systems which are able to withstand the impacts of climate change and which are low carbon and sustainable. These include 42 countries, representing over a third of global health care emissions, which have committed to develop a sustainable, low-carbon health system. 12 of these 42 countries have set a deadline of 2050 or earlier, by which their health system will reach net zero.
    • Visit GOV.UK for more detail on other Science and Innovation Day initiatives.

Press conference opening statement from COP President Alok Sharma, 9 November:

Welcome everyone to Gender, Science and Innovation day. 

We know that women and girls are disproportionately impacted by climate change.

And we cannot allow equality to be a casualty of climate. 

But women and girls are also leading efforts to tackle climate change in communities around the world. 

In the words of Brianna Fruean, they are not drowning, but fighting. 

And we must support those efforts. 

We must enable the full and meaningful participation of women and girls in climate action. 

So I am very pleased to say that countries and other stakeholders have made announcements today to make climate action gender-responsive. 

I am also very pleased to report that yesterday countries collectively pledged in excess of $232 million to the Adaptation Fund, which will support countries to deal with the impact of a changing climate.

Gender and inclusivity run throughout our COP Programme, including Science and Innovation Day. 

And I have always said it is vital that we follow the facts, and allow science to light the way. 

I’m going to turn now to the negotiations.

I am encouraged by countries’ commitments to anchoring science at the heart of the Cover Decision.

Yesterday, my lead negotiator Archie Young convened Heads of Delegations on the elements of the Cover Decision, that we proposed in our Non-Paper.

As I announced at the informal stocktaking plenary yesterday, I have requested pairings of Ministers to support the Presidency in some of the key outstanding issues on which we need to reach agreement.

These Pairs started their work yesterday and are consulting with a wide group of ministers and negotiators. 

And then we convened yesterday evening and the Ministerial pairs reported on their discussions. 

The time has now come to find political consensus on the areas of divergence. and we have only a few days left.

New texts were also tabled on issues including common timeframes, transparency, finance and adaptation.

We are making progress at COP26 but we still have a mountain to climb over the next few days. 

And what has been collectively committed to goes some way, but certainly not all the way, to keeping 1.5C within reach.

The gap in ambition has narrowed. 

Now the world needs confidence that we will shift immediately into implementation, that the pledges made here will be delivered, and that the policies and investment will swiftly follow.

We have an opportunity to succeed. 

The transition to a resilient zero carbon economy is technologically possible, it is economically attractive and it is accelerating everywhere. 

And if we successfully manage this will deliver immense benefits for the world.

Building on existing mechanisms; transparency and accountability must be at the heart of these commitments. 

So overnight the Presidency will publish the first draft of the Cover Decision. 

It will likely require negotiating teams to consult their leaders and capitals.

We have an urgency to our negotiations so I ask Ministers and negotiators to carry out these consultations expeditiously.

Notes to editors:

Other gender commitments made at COP26 include:

  • Norway working to increase and strengthen the role and impact of women and girls in both international and national climate decision-making, including in UNFCCC-processes and in national decision-making on climate policies.
  • Sierra Leone committing to address long-standing discriminatory land tenure practices which deny women access to and control of land through enacting a range of new legislation.
  • A Call to Action from The Rallying Cry, urging the finance community to further invest in the women business leaders and enterprises at the heart of the transformation the world needs.
  • The InsuResilience Centre of Excellence for Gender-smart Climate Solutions, a repository of information and knowledge-exchange platform, will enable gender-transformative action on the ground by providing access to the latest knowledge, hands-on guidance and exciting opportunities, as well as bringing users closer to a vivid community that is re-thinking gender-inclusiveness within the context of Climate and Disaster Risk Finance and Insurance. 
  • Rise2030, an award-winning, grass root initiative emerging from Lebanon, which focuses on empowering women and youth as frontline change makers by enabling them to design, create and build climate conscious-solutions amidst the country’s worst economic, humanitarian and energy crises.
  • A new toolkit from the 2X Collaborative (2XC) to support the finance community to make climate finance investments which close gender gaps across different sectors. 
  • The launch of Gender Equity Diversity Investments, a $100-150 million venture capital firm. GEDI currently has a 200 person network of senior figures and experts, and aims to progress investments in line with several of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Woman Harvesting Seaweed on Zanzibar

08.11.2021

UK COP Presidency – COP President daily media statement and latest announcements 8th November

List of announcements, 8th November: 

  • Global leaders commit to a shift towards locally-led adaptation through over 70 endorsements to the  Principles for Locally Led Adaptation and over $450m mobilised for initiatives and programmes enhancing locally-led approaches [including LIFE-AR, FLLoCA, CRPP and the Taskforce on Access to Climate Finance].
  • Race to Resilience campaign brings together initiatives that are strengthening the urban, coastal and rural resilience of 2 billion people worldwide.
  • Australia, New Zealand, Italy and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have committed to a balanced approach to climate finance and joined the Champions Group on Adaptation Finance.
  • $232 million has been committed to the Adaptation Fund, the highest single mobilisation to the Fund and more than double the previous highest collective mobilisation with a $20m contribution from the UK. Commitments came from the USA, Canada, Sweden, Finland, Ireland, Germany, Norway, Qatar, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and the Quebec and Flanders governments.
  • The UK has announced £290 million in new funding for adaptation today, including £274 million for the Climate Action for a Resilient Asia (CARA) programme.
  • 88 countries are now covered by Adaptation Communications or National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) to increase preparedness to climate risks, with 38 published in the last year.

Press conference opening statement from COP President Alok Sharma:

Welcome everyone to Week Two of COP26. 

Today is, as you know, Adaptation and Loss and Damage Day. And these topics, of course, are more important than ever. 

As we know, over the last year we have seen extreme weather changes across the world. 

From floods in Central Europe and China, wildfires in North America and Australia, 

to what some have described as the world’s first climate induced drought in Southern Madagascar.

Nowhere is immune to climate change and this is precisely why we must come together to forge global agreement here in Glasgow,  responding to adaptation needs which is vital. 

Today Ministers are starting their work on the negotiations.

Together we face the arduous task of building political consensus between almost 200 countries.

Finding consensus is not going to be straightforward. 

But the progress made last week demonstrates that a constructive spirit amongst negotiators exists.

And here in Glasgow we have a unique opportunity to reach an historic outcome and I am committed to bringing countries together, 

We want to forge an agreement that means we see more action this decade to help keep the limit of 1.5 degree global temperature rise in reach.

Now during the Informal Stocktaking Plenary which was held this morning, I outlined how we will work during this week.

I also announced ministerial pairings on key topics. 

These include: adaptation; loss and damage; finance; keeping 1.5 alive; and of course the key rulebook issues of: Common Time Frames; Article 6 on carbon markets; and transparency.

My priority now is pace. 

There needs to be a sense of urgency in all our negotiations. 

The science is clear, we have no time to lose, and I will ensure that negotiations proceed in a timely manner. Whilst of course ensuring transparency and inclusivity.

Last week countries made commitments which will all help to protect our planet but they must be delivered on and accounted for.

Today, on Adaptation and Loss and Damage Day, the spotlight will be on those nations and communities which are most vulnerable to climate change. 

Those whose voices are too often left unheard.

And we know that even if we stopped polluting our world tomorrow, there will be negative consequences for many millions.

And that is why issues such as adaptation are so important.

Now I am pleased to see progress on these topics today and particularly welcome the commitments to the Adaptation Fund which will be made in the next few hours, 

Including from the UK, to support vulnerable communities to respond to climate change. 

Developed countries and development banks recognise they need to increase levels of finance for adaptation,

and I hope we will be able to capture this renewed commitment in the COP26 negotiated outcome.

Those of you who have followed this process will know that loss and damage has historically been seen as a polarising issue. 

But I am encouraged that the mood music has changed somewhat, and there is now a practical recognition that action is needed on this topic, in the face of growing impacts.

The conclusion of discussions within the Subsidiary Bodies on the Santiago Network is a testament to that,

and paves the way for greater resources to avert, minimise and address loss and damage.

Climate vulnerable communities are particularly at the forefront of my mind, and will be so throughout these negotiations. 

They, and the generations to come, will not forgive us if we fail to deliver in Glasgow.

Lord Goldsmith

06.11.2021

Nations and businesses commit to create sustainable agriculture and land use

  • 45 governments pledge urgent action and investment to protect nature and shift to more sustainable ways of farming
  • 95 high profile companies from a range of sectors commit to being ‘Nature Positive’, agreeing to work towards halting and reversing the decline of nature by 2030 
  • Today marks end of week one of COP26, with negotiations gathering pace

Governments and businesses are joining farmers and local communities today at COP26, securing new agreements to protect nature and accelerate the shift to sustainable agriculture and land use practices by making them more attractive, accessible and affordable than unsustainable alternatives. 

Alongside the events marking Nature and Land Use Day, today marks the end of week one of COP26, with negotiations gathering pace and work focussing on week two. 

Twenty-six nations set out new commitments to change their agricultural policies to become more sustainable and less polluting, and to invest in the science needed for sustainable agriculture and for protecting food supplies against climate change, laid out in two ‘Action Agendas’. All continents were represented, with countries including India, Colombia, Vietnam, Germany, Ghana, and Australia.

Examples of national commitments aligned with this agenda include:

  • Brazil’s plan to scale its ABC+ low carbon farming programme to 72m hectares, saving 1 billion tonnes of emissions by 2030
  • Germany’s plans to lower emissions from land use by 25m tonnes by 2030
  • The UK’s aim to engage 75% of farmers in low carbon practices by 2030

The UK also announced funding of £500m to support the implementation of the Forest, Agriculture and Commodity Trade (FACT) Roadmap that was launched during the World Leaders Summit earlier this week, in which 28 countries are working together to protect forests while promoting development and trade. A further £65 million will support a  ‘Just Rural Transition’ to help developing countries shift policies and practices to more sustainable agriculture and food production. 

Commitments made by countries today will help to implement the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use which is now endorsed by 134 countries covering 91% of the world’s forests. The Declaration aims to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030. 

COP26 President, Alok Sharma said:

If we are to limit global warming and keep the goal of 1.5C alive, then the world needs to use land sustainably and put protection and restoration of nature at the heart of all we do.

The commitments being made today show that nature and land use is being recognised as essential to meeting the Paris Agreement goals, and will contribute to addressing the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss.

Meanwhile, as we look ahead to negotiations in week two of COP, I urge all parties to come to the table with the constructive compromises and ambitions needed.

The World Bank will commit to spending $25 billion in climate finance annually to 2025 through its Climate Action Plan, including a focus on agriculture and food systems.  

In a show of similar commitment from the private sector, almost 100 high-profile companies from a range of sectors committed to becoming ‘Nature Positive’. Commitments include supermarkets pledging to cut their environmental impact across climate and nature-loss and fashion brands guaranteeing the traceability of their materials. 

Representatives from Indigenous and local communities will be participating in events throughout nature day.  As stewards of 80% of the world’s remaining biodiversity, Indigenous Peoples are leaders in how to develop nature-based, resilient and effective solutions to climate change. 

Nature day also follows the announcement on Ocean Action Day on 5 November of over ten new countries signing up to the ‘30by30’ target to protect 30% of the world’s ocean by 2030.  These were: Bahrain, Jamaica, St Lucia, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, India, Qatar, Samoa, Tonga, Gambia and Georgia. The target is now supported by over 100 countries.

Notes to Editors

  • Please email cop26media@cabinetoffice.gov.uk for any COP26 Press/Media inquiries or call the COP26 Press Office on 0207 276 0269.
  • The 45 countries pledging urgent action and investment to protect nature and shift to more sustainable ways of farming include 26 countries supporting either the Policy Action Agenda for the Transition to Sustainable Agriculture or the Global Action Agenda for Innovation in Agriculture, as well as the 28 countries participating in the Forest, Agriculture and Commodity Trade (FACT) Dialogue (with some countries participating in both).
  • Sustainable Agriculture Policy Action Agenda for the Transition to Sustainable Agriculture and Global Action Agenda for Innovation in Agriculture supporters: Australia, Uganda, Madagascar, India, Tanzania, Vietnam, Nigeria, Lesotho, Laos, Indonesia, Guinea, Ghana, Germany, Philippines, Ethiopia, UK, Colombia, Costa Rica, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Spain, Switzerland, UAE.
  • FACT Roadmap supporting states: Belgium, Brazil, Côte D’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, France, Gabon, Italy, Japan, Liberia, Malaysia, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Republic of Congo, Republic of Korea, Uruguay, US, European Commission.

Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use

  • Launched on 2 November, 134 countries covering 91% of the world’s forests (including Brazil, China, Russia and Indonesia) have now endorsed the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use, committing to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030. 

The full package of commitments and action will also include:

Agricultural reform and innovation:

  • A new global initiative launched to reach 100 million farmers at the centre of food systems transformation with net zero and nature positive innovations by 2030 via a multi-stakeholder platform convened by World Economic Forum (WEF) involving farmers’ organisations, civil society, businesses and other partners.
  • The Policy Action Agenda for the Transition to Sustainable Agriculture sets out pathways and actions that countries can take to repurpose public policies and support to food and agriculture, to deliver these outcomes and enable a just rural transition¹. It also sets out actions and opportunities for other stakeholders (international organisations, food producers, financial entities, researchers, civil society and others) to channel their expertise, knowledge and resources in support of this agenda.
  • New UK funding of £38.5m over 2 years to the CGIAR, the world’s leading agricultural science and innovation organisation, which will create and scale new crops and technologies yielding climate, nature, health, gender and economic impact. The CGIAR was formerly called the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research. Funding will support the development and deployment of:
    • crop varieties that are climate-resilient (more resistant to heat, drought and flooding) and more nutritious (with elevated levels of essential micronutrients). 
    • agricultural practices that are more productive, sustainable and climate-resilient; 
    • new livestock varieties, diagnostics and management practices, which reduce the risks faced by pastoralists and livestock keepers.
    • Foresight and trade off tools for risk management of, and resilience to, major threats emerging from the food system, including anti-microbial resistance and emerging zoonotic diseases.
    • evidence on better policies to help poor farmers use new technology to access markets, reduce risks and increase incomes. 
  • A new UK initiative to transform climate-resilient food systems through research and innovation. The Gilbert Initiative will coordinate investments in evidence generation, technology development and delivery to support a food system that by 2030 feeds 9 billion people with nutritious, safe foods; uses environmental resources sustainably; enhances resilience and adaptation to climate change; and generates inclusive growth and jobs.

Sustainable production and consumption:

  • Sainsbury’s, on behalf of the big 5 UK supermarkets, will commit to halving the environmental impact of the average UK shopping basket by 2030 through a new partnership with WWF called ‘basket measures’ – the aim is to turn the food and agriculture system from a driver of climate change into a nature hero by cutting negative impacts and boosting regenerative agriculture to restore nature. It will focus on seven key themes, climate change, deforestation, sustainable agriculture, sustainable diets, marine, waste and packaging.

Ocean protection:

  • The UK announced a £6m investment in the World Bank’s PROBLUE as part of its Blue Planet Fund, supporting the development of the blue economy to act as a key driver of growth in small island developing states (SIDS) and coastal least developed countries. 
  • The Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance, a multi-sector collaboration designed to drive investment into coastal natural capital by pioneering ground-breaking finance products that incentivise blended finance and private investment, hosted a roundtable yesterday that saw commitments towards the partnership’s target to secure at least $20m USD.
Earthshot Prize Finalist Vinisha Umashankar at the Innovation event at the SEC

05.11.2021

Young people demand action to protect their futures at COP26

5 minute read

  • COP President Alok Sharma urges ministers to consider youth priorities in COP negotiations and national climate action
  • Young climate leaders join ministers and senior figures in Glasgow
  • 23 countries make national climate education pledges including net-zero schools and putting climate at the heart of national curriculums
  • Views of over 40,000 young climate leaders presented to ministers, negotiators and officials 

Young climate leaders came together in Glasgow today with negotiators, officials and ministers from across the world, making their voices heard and demanding the action needed to prevent catastrophic climate change in our lifetimes. 

Events across COP26 focused on harnessing the expertise of young people and putting their views directly to the negotiators and officials working to agree global action on climate change. 

The day was co-chaired by YOUNGO, the Official Children’s and Youth constituency of the UNFCCC which opened with a session called Unifying for Change: Global Youth voice at COP26

YOUNGO also presented the COY16 Global Youth Position statement, representing the views of over 40,000 young climate leaders from across the world. The statement presented their priorities directly to Ministers, including action on climate finance, mobility and transportation, through to wildlife protection conservation.

COP26 President Alok Sharma said:

Wherever I have been in the world, I have been struck by the passion and the commitment of young people to climate action. The voices of young people must be heard and reflected in these negotiations here at COP. The actions and scrutiny of young people are key to us keeping 1.5 alive and creating a net-zero future. 

I am also aware of the fear and anxiety many of them feel about the future of the planet, including my own children. That is why we must act on the COY16 Global Youth Position Statement from COY16 and the manifesto from the Milan Youth4Climate Summit.

YOUNGO Global Focal Points, Heeta Lakhani and Marie-Claire Graf said: 

YOUNGO has been working closely with the U.K. Presidency and the UNFCCC Secretariat to co-design Youth and Public Empowerment Day. We successfully profiled global youth voices through the COY16 Global Youth Statement, and brought together four generations to share best practice examples of achieving climate justice collectively.

Ending the day, COP26 President, Alok Sharma and Italian Minister of Ecological Transition, Roberto Cingolani will join young people and Ministers to discuss the manifesto developed by 400 young people at the Youth4Climate: Driving Ambition Summit held in Milan in September. 

Today the UK also announced its draft Sustainability and Climate Change strategy to equip and empower young people with the skills they need to drive the future of climate action. This includes the introduction of a Primary Science Model Curriculum, to include an emphasis on nature and the recognition of species, supporting the youngest pupils to develop conservation skills. 

Education Ministers from around the world also pledged to do the same with nations such as, South Korea, Albania and Sierra Leone pledging to put climate change at the heart of their curriculums. 

COP26 follows a huge range of youth events and conferences across the world, including the Youth4Climate Summit Milan in September and the 16th UN Conference of Youth (COY16) in Glasgow last week.

Education

The UK and Italy, in partnership with UNESCO, Youth4Climate and Mock COP co-ordinated new global action to equip future generations with the knowledge and skills to create a net-zero world. 

As Education Ministers and young people gathered together, over 23 countries put forward impressive national climate education pledges, ranging from decarbonising the school sector to developing school resources. 

The event also unveiled a new statement titled, ‘learn for our planet: act for the climate’ which committed countries to revisit progress made on their pledges in advance of COP27. 

The UK also announced a new £85,000 research grant to support the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre to produce better information on the education needs of refugee children and enable a more effective international response. 

The announcement was made by Helen Grant MP, Special Envoy for Girls’ Education, at an event with Sierra Leone’s Minister for Education, Hon. Dr David Sengeh, Education Cannot Wait, and UNHCR.

Public empowerment

Civil society, business leaders and ministers also joined together in a special session to discuss how all parts of society must be brought on board with the action needed on climate change. 

This event coincided with negotiations on Action for Climate Empowerment, a UNFCCC agenda item aimed at setting the direction on climate education and public empowerment, and facilitating coordination between countries and non-state actors

Today’s events signified how young climate leaders are an unstoppable force, equipped with bringing together young policy experts from frontline communities to put forward their pressing climate priorities.

Notes to editors

Wind turbines

04.11.2021

End of coal in sight at COP26

5 minute read

  • At least 23 countries have made new commitments today to phase out coal power, including five of the world’s top 20 coal power-using countries
  • Major international banks commit to effectively end all international public financing of new unabated coal power by the end of 2021
  • At least 25 countries and public finance institutions commit to ending international public support for the unabated fossil fuel energy sector by the end of 2022
  • Boost comes as overall a 190-strong coalition agrees to phase out coal power and end support for new coal power plants thanks to a package of support from the UK and international partners

Coal is being consigned to history today at COP26, as countries, banks and organisations move away from the single biggest contributor to climate change.

A just transition to clean energy and the rapid phase-out of coal has been at the heart of the COP26 Presidency as part of its efforts to minimise temperature rises in line with the Paris Agreement. The breadth of commitments in Glasgow today at Energy Day signal the world is moving towards a renewable future.

At least 23 nations made new commitments to phase out coal power, including Indonesia, Vietnam, Poland, South Korea, Egypt, Spain, Nepal, Singapore, Chile and Ukraine.  In a new ‘Global Coal to Clean Power Transition Statement’, countries also committed to scaling up clean power and ensuring a just transition away from coal.  

Today’s announcements follow a collapse in the financing of coal, as developed nations have pledged new support to help developing countries make the transition to clean energy. 

Banks and financial institutions also made landmark commitments at COP26 today to end the funding of unabated coal, including major international lenders like HSBC, Fidelity International and Ethos. 

This follows recent announcements from China, Japan and South Korea to end overseas coal financing which now means all significant public international financing for coal power has effectively ended.

In addition, a group of 25 countries including COP26 partners Italy, Canada, the United States and Denmark together with public finance institutions have signed a UK-led joint statement committing to ending international public support for the unabated fossil fuel energy sector by the end of 2022 and instead prioritising support for the clean energy transition. 

Collectively, this could shift an estimated $17.8 billion a year in public support out of fossil fuels and into the clean energy transition. Developing countries including Ethiopia, Fiji and the Marshall Islands offered their support, signalling growing unity. This is an inclusive agenda that must recognise the development and energy needs of all economies.

This is a historic step. It is the first time a COP presidency has prioritised this issue and put a bold end date on international fossil fuel finance. COP26 has set a new gold standard on the Paris Alignment of international public finance and sends a clear signal for private investors to follow.

Today, 28 new members also signed up to the world’s largest alliance on phasing out coal. The Powering Past Coal Alliance, launched and co-chaired by the UK and Canada. New members include Chile and Singapore, joining more than 160 countries, sub-nationals and businesses. 

And 20 new countries, including Vietnam, Morocco and Poland committed to building no new coal plants, matching similar announcements over the past year by Pakistan, Malaysia and the Philippines, and building on the No New Coal Power Compact launched in September by Sri Lanka, Chile, Montenegro and European partners.

There has been a 76% drop in the number of new coal plants planned globally over the last six years since the Paris Agreement was adopted. This equates to the cancellation of more than 1000GW of new coal plants.

In separate announcements, major emerging economies today took significant steps to move from coal to clean power. India, Indonesia, the Philippines and South Africa announced partnerships with the Climate Investment Funds to accelerate their transitions away from coal power, backed by a dedicated $2 billion facility. Indonesia and the Philippines announced pioneering partnerships with the Asian Development Bank to support the early retirement of coal plants. 

These followed the ground-breaking $8.5 billion deal to support South Africa’s just transition to clean energy announced at the World Leaders Summit on Tuesday.

COP26 President, Alok Sharma said:

From the start of the UK’s Presidency, we have been clear that COP26 must be the COP that consigns coal to history.  With these ambitious commitments we are seeing today, the end of coal power is now within sight.

Securing a 190-strong coalition to phase out coal power and end support for new coal power plants and the Just Transition Declaration signed today, show a real international commitment to not leave any nation behind.

Together we can accelerate access to electricity for more than three quarters of a billion people who currently lack access, consigning energy poverty to history as we create the clean power future needed to keep 1.5 alive.

Gonzalo Muñoz and Nigel Topping, High Level Climate Action Champions said: ​​

With 80% growth in their capacity commitment—from 25 to 45 gigawatts of electrolysis—in one year, the Green Hydrogen Catapult and its members demonstrate the near-term potential for exponential growth in green hydrogen, enabled by local and global policy support and rapidly growing customer interest.

It is fantastic to see the ambition in renewables deployment, with Race to Zero members committing to reaching over 750GW of installed renewable energy capacity by 2030. This will only grow as more energy companies join the Race to Zero emissions, and decarbonisation ambitions continue to increase, reflecting the exponential progress we have seen to date in the sector.

Other announcements on Energy Day included:

  • A strategic partnership between the Energy Transition Council and the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP). The GEAPP, announced on 2 November with $10 billion funding from philanthropies and development banks, aims to deliver clean, renewable energy to 1 billion people in developing and emerging economies and create 150 million green jobs by 2030.  The partnership will include up to £25 million from GEAPP to support the Energy Transition Council’s Rapid Response Facility.
  • Fourteen countries including India, Indonesia, Japan and Nigeria committed to the largest ever increase in product efficiency by signing up to a global goal of doubling the efficiency of lighting, cooling, motors and refrigeration by 2030 with support from the Climate Group’s EP100 initiative of 129 businesses.
  • The launch of the Africa and Latin America Green Hydrogen Alliances with membership from six African countries and five Latin American countries. They aim to kickstart development of millions of metric tons of production of reliably near-zero-carbon green hydrogen to be used in domestic and international industries worldwide. 

Notes to editors

  • The countries committing today to phase out coal power include 5 of the world’s top 20 coal power generating countries. These are: South Korea (5th), Indonesia (7th), Vietnam (9th), Poland (13th) and Ukraine (19th).
  • As part of its country statements, Indonesia signs up to the COP26 Coal to Clean Power Transition Statement, excluding clause 3 but as part of its commitment to reach net zero by 2060, or sooner with international assistance, Indonesia will consider accelerating coal phase out into the 2040s, conditional on agreeing additional international financial and technical assistance with development partners.
  • The South Africa Just Energy Transition Partnership was first announced during the World Leaders’ Summit on 2 November. It could prevent 1-1.5Gt of emissions over the next 20 years in South Africa, equal to three times annual UK emissions. It could set new precedents for supported transitions in other high-emitting coal-using countries, including Indonesia and India.
  • The $10 billion quoted to support emerging economies with the transition includes (1) the South Africa Just Energy Transition Partnership and (2) the Climate Investment Funds Accelerating Coal Transition facility (CIF ACT), accounting for the funding that CIF ACT will leverage through multilateral development banks and private partners. 
  • The $20bn quoted to support developing countries includes (1) the South Africa Just Energy Transition Partnership and (2) the Climate Investment Funds Accelerating Coal Transition facility (CIF ACT), accounting for the funding that CIF ACT will leverage through multilateral development banks and private partners and (3) the new $10 billion energy fund, the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet.
  • The UK-led joint statement committing to ending international public support for the unabated fossil fuel energy sector unites a strong group of climate champions, including the world’s biggest economy and major international donor (the US). The signatories are:
    • OECD: Canada, Costa Rica, Denmark, Finland, New Zealand, Portugal, Slovenia, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States. 
    • Non-OECD: Ethiopia, Fiji, Mali, the Marshall Islands, Moldova, South Sudan, The Gambia, Zambia. 
    • Public Finance Institutions: the Development Bank of Minas Gerais (BDMG, Brazil), the East African Development Bank (EADB),  the European Investment Bank (EIB), Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden N.V. (FMO) and Agence Française de Développement (AFD).

Image credit: Getty Images

SEC Armadillo Building

03.11.2021

Global Finance Ministers gather to discuss how public and private finance can lead the transition to a net zero, climate resilient world

5 minute read

  • Finance Ministers gather in Glasgow to discuss mobilising funding for rapid, large-scale climate action
  • Discussions follow new pledges of public climate funding from developed nations at COP26 World Leaders Summit, including significant pledges for climate adaptation
  • Finance commitments for climate mitigation led by new announcement at Leaders Summit of $8.5 billion Just Energy Transition to help South Africa move to clean energy
  • UK Presidency welcomes alignment of $130 trillion of private finance to science-based net zero targets and near term milestones, through the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero.

Finance Ministers, International Finance Institutions and the financial sector are meeting at COP26 today to get global finance flowing for climate action.

Mobilising finance is critical if we are to deliver the urgent action we need to limit global temperature rises to 1.5C. Trillions of dollars of additional investment a year are needed to secure a low-carbon future and support countries already living with the devastating impacts of climate change.

COP26 President Alok Sharma said:

Today, there is more public and private finance for climate action than ever before.

But to meet the commitments made in the Paris Agreement and keep 1.5 alive, we need developed countries to deliver on public finance, and to unleash the trillions required in private investment to create a net zero future and protect lives and livelihoods from the devastating effects of climate change.

“That is why we have made finance such a key focus of COP26, why these new commitments from nations and the private finance sector are so welcome, and why we continue to push for countries to do more to meet their finance obligations. Countries are telling us what they need, now global finance needs to respond.”

Meeting the $100 billion commitment and financing adaptation

Countries made new commitments to increase finance to support developing countries to deal with the impacts of climate change, including a commitment from Norway to triple its adaptation finance, commitments from Japan and Australia to double their adaptation finance, and commitments from Switzerland, the US and Canada for the Adaptation Fund.

This included the largest US adaptation finance commitment to date, to reduce climate impacts on those most vulnerable to climate change worldwide. While Canada committed to allocate 40% of its climate finance to adaptation.

New commitments for climate financing also came from the United Kingdom, Spain, Japan, Australia, Norway, Ireland and Luxembourg, that build on the plan set out ahead of COP26 to deliver the $100 billion per year to developing countries.

To combat the difficulties many countries face with the bureaucracy of securing climate investment, £100 million in new funding from the United Kingdom was announced today to support the approach of the Taskforce on Access to Climate Finance, co-chaired by the UK and Fiji.

The taskforce launched a partnership with five ‘pioneer countries’ – Bangladesh, Fiji, Jamaica, Rwanda and Uganda – to support them and their local communities to get the finance they need for their climate plans.

Further commitments are expected over the coming days, including on adaptation. COP will also see the launch of discussions on a new global finance goal to replace the $100 billion goal from 2025.

Public finance for a net zero future

Demonstrating the direct benefits of what public climate financing can achieve: leaders from South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Germany and the European Union yesterday announced a ground-breaking partnership to support South Africa with an accelerated just energy transition.

As a first step, the international partnership announced that $8.5 billion can be made available over the next 3-5 years to support South Africa – the world’s most carbon-intensive electricity producer – to achieve the most ambitious emissions reduction target within its upgraded and ambitious Nationally Determined Contribution.

Mobilizing private finance

Finance Ministers also discussed that the billions of dollars in public finance must be used to leverage the trillions of dollars in private finance needed for a climate resilient, net zero future, and how to support developing countries to access that finance.

The United States, the European Commission and the UK also committed to work in partnership with countries to support a green and resilient recovery from COVID-19 and boost investment for clean, green infrastructure in developing countries.

The UK also committed £576 million at COP for a package of initiatives to mobilise finance into emerging markets and developing economies, including £66 million to expand the UK’s MOBILIST programme, which helps to develop new investment products which can be listed on public markets and attract different types of investors.

Initiatives announced by the World Bank Group and Asian Development Bank will share risk with developing countries and aim to raise up to $8.5 billion in new finance in support of climate action and sustainable development. There was also the launch of an innovative new financing mechanism – the Climate Investment Funds’ Capital Markets Mechanism (CCMM) that will boost investment into clean energy like solar and wind power in developing countries.

Aligning private finance to net zero

Private financial institutions also took a major step to ensure that existing and future investments are aligned to the global goal of net zero.

Thirty six countries agreed to mandatory actions to ensure that investors have access to reliable information about climate risk to guide their investments into greener areas. And to ensure common standards, 38 countries welcomed the announcement of a new international body, the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB).

Over $130 trillion of private finance is now committed to science-based net zero targets and near term milestones, through the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, led by Mark Carney.

GFANZ members are required to set robust, science-based near-term targets within 12-18 months of joining, and more than 90 of the founding institutions have already done so. A key focus of GFANZ is supporting developing countries and emerging markets.

The UK Chancellor also announced plans to make the UK’s financial centre aligned to net-zero. Under the proposals, there will be new requirements for UK financial institutions and listed companies to publish net zero transition plans that detail how they will adapt and decarbonise as the UK moves towards to a net zero economy by 2050.

Contact

Please email cop26media@cabinetoffice.gov.uk for any COP26 Press/Media enquiries.

For anything urgent please call the COP26 Press Office on 0207 276 0269.

Official images from COP26 are available to download at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/186938113@N07

Notes to Editors

$100 billion climate finance goal

The Climate Finance Delivery Plan was published by the COP26 Presidency last week. Led by German State Secretary Flasbarth and Canada’s Minister Wilkinson, at the request of the COP President, the plan shows the trajectory for developed countries to deliver on the agreed goal of mobilizing $100 billion per year in climate finance to support developing countries.

The COP Presidency is tracking post 2020 climate finance commitments by developed countries on the COP26 website.

Taskforce on Access to Climate finance

The UK announced £100 million to respond to recommendations from the Taskforce on Access to Climate Finance, co-chaired by the UK and Fiji, to provide capital grants to the most climate vulnerable countries to help them deliver ambitious climate plans. Access to finance is directly linked with countries’ emissions reduction and adaptation plans which creates incentives for greater climate ambition in these plans.

Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero

  • The Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) is a global coalition of leading financial institutions in the UN’s Race to Zero that is committed to accelerating and mainstreaming the decarbonisation of the world economy and reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.
  • It provides a practitioner-led forum for financial firms to collaborate on substantive, crosscutting issues that will accelerate the alignment of financing activities with net zero and support efforts by all companies, organisations, and countries to achieve the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement. To ensure credibility and consistency, access to GFANZ is grounded in the UN’s Race to Zero campaign, and entry requirements are tailored to the activities of the diverse firms represented. Further details can be found on www.gfanzero.com
  • Today, through the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) over $130 trillion of private capital is committed to transforming the economy for net zero, including commitment, from over 450 firms across 45 countries.
  • Now firms across the entire financial spectrum – banks, insurers, pension funds, asset managers, export credit agencies, stock exchanges, credit rating agencies, index providers and audit firms – have committed to high ambition, science-based targets, including achieving net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest, delivering their fair share of 50% emission reductions this decade, and reviewing their targets towards this every five years. All firms will report their progress and financed emissions annually.

Global climate reporting standards

  • The IFRS Foundation announced the establishment of an International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) to develop comprehensive global baseline sustainability reporting standards under robust governance and public oversight. The IFRS Foundation confirmed agreements with existing sustainability reporting bodies to create the global standard-setter for sustainability disclosures for the capital markets.
  • The Foundation also published two prototype standards to enable the ISSB to rapidly build on existing frameworks – including the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) – when developing its standards. Standards will be subject to full public consultation and can be considered for adoption by jurisdictions on a voluntary basis. Jurisdictions will have their own legal frameworks for adopting, applying or otherwise making use of international standards.
  • Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors from 38 jurisdictions from across 6 continents (see below) publicly welcomed the announcement of the establishment of the ISSB and its work programme to develop a set of internationally consistent, high-quality, and reliable baseline standards for disclosure of sustainability-related information on enterprise value creation.
  • Jurisdictions are: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, European Commission, Fiji, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Luxembourg, Maldives, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Tonga, Turkey, UK, Uruguay, USA

Mobilising green investments into developing countries

New expertise and funding is being announced to support developing countries to mobilise finance for low carbon, resilient development. Including: 

  • The Climate Investment Funds (CIF) Capital Market Mechanism (CCMM) initiative will raise finance for projects in clean energy and sustainable infrastructure in developing and emerging economies. Bonds are planned to be issued in 2022 in the City of London and could mobilize up to $700 million annually, with the potential to leverage a further $70 billion from both the private and public sector
  • The International Finance Corporation (IFC), with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), Allianz, through Allianz Global Investors, today launched a new global platform, MCPP One Planet, for Paris-Aligned climate smart investments that will provide up to $3 billion to private enterprises in developing economies.
  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) launched the Energy Transition Mechanism (ETM) to accelerate the retiring of coal power and the move to clean energy, one of the key goals for COP26. As part of the pilot phase in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Viet Nam, the ETM is expected to raise $2.5 to $3.5 billion to retire 2-3 coal-fired power plants per country.
  • The International Finance Corporation (IFC), together with Amundi, announced a new $2 billion fund that will help to directly mobilize private investment into sustainable and green bonds in emerging markets. It will channel capital from institutional investors into anchor investments involving sustainable bond issuances from developing countries. It will provide a new model for other asset managers and institutional investors to replicate – giving a major boost to affordable green finance.

UK Finance

  • The UK announced a total package of £576 million to mobilise finance into emerging markets and developing economies to fund their green transition. This includes an additional £66 million for MOBILIST, the UK’s flagship programme that supports the development of listed investment products and provides developing countries with improved access to international capital markets, and projects announced on the opening days of COP26: £110 million to the ASEAN Green Catalytic Finance Facility to support investment in sustainable infrastructure across ASEAN; £200 million for a new “Climate Innovation Facility” delivered under the UK’s development finance institution CDC to boost investment into the most pioneering climate solutions in developing countries; and £200 million for the Lowering Emissions by Accelerating Forest Finance (LEAF) Coalition to protect tropical forests.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking at the Forest event at the SEC

02.11.2021

World leaders kick start accelerated climate action at COP26

5 minute read

  • Commitments at COP today focus on real action to limit rising temperatures, and support to SIDs and Africa to adapt to climate change
  • Collaboration on green innovation, landmark deforestation commitments, historic methane pledge on the agenda
  • Day three of COP26 answers yesterday’s calls for urgency with tangible action

The UK Prime Minister is launching an international plan to deliver clean and affordable technology everywhere by 2030 at COP26 today.

Over 40 world leaders have backed and signed up to the new Breakthrough Agenda, including the US, India, EU, China, developing economies and some of the countries most vulnerable to climate change – representing more than 70% of the world’s economy and every region.

Modelled on the UK’s landmark Net Zero Strategy, the Breakthrough Agenda will see countries and businesses coordinate and strengthen their climate action each year to dramatically scale and speed up the development and deployment of clean technologies and drive down costs this decade.

The aim is to make clean technologies the most affordable, accessible and attractive choice for all globally in each of the most polluting sectors by 2030, particularly supporting the developing world to access the innovation and tools needed to transition to net zero.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is setting out the first five goals, the Glasgow Breakthroughs, collectively covering more than 50% of global emissions:

  • Power: Clean power is the most affordable and reliable option for all countries to meet their power needs efficiently by 2030.
  • Road Transport: Zero emission vehicles are the new normal and accessible, affordable, and sustainable in all regions by 2030.
  • Steel: Near-zero emission steel is the preferred choice in global markets, with efficient use and near-zero emission steel production established and growing in every region by 2030.
  • Hydrogen: Affordable renewable and low carbon hydrogen is globally available by 2030.
  • Agriculture: Climate-resilient, sustainable agriculture is the most attractive and widely adopted option for farmers everywhere by 2030.

The plan will see countries and businesses work closely through a range of leading international initiatives to accelerate innovation and scale up green industries – this includes, for example, stimulating green investment through strong signals to industry about the future economy, aligning policies and standards, joining up R&D efforts, coordinating public investments and mobilising private finance particularly for developing nations.

Delivering the first five breakthroughs could create 20 million new jobs globally and add over $16 trillion across both emerging and advanced economies.

This comes as the PM hosts world leaders on the second day of the COP26 World Leaders Summit at a session on clean innovation and technology.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

By making clean technology the most affordable, accessible and attractive choice, the default go-to in what are currently the most polluting sectors, we can cut emissions right around the world.

The Glasgow Breakthroughs will turbocharge this forward, so that by 2030 clean technologies can be enjoyed everywhere, not only reducing emissions but also creating more jobs and greater prosperity.

The Glasgow Breakthroughs will drive forward global progress to halving emissions by 2030, which is crucial to keeping the limit to temperatures rises to 1.5C within reach, and will support the UK Presidency’s key aims to secure global action on phasing out coal and accelerating the transition to electric vehicles.

Leaders will also commit to discuss global progress every year in each sector starting in 2022 – supported by annual reports led by the International Energy Agency in collaboration with the International Renewable Energy Agency and UN High Level Champions – with annual discussions of Ministers across government convened around the Mission Innovation and Clean Energy Ministerials. This ‘Global Checkpoint Process’ will seek to sustain and continually strengthen international cooperation across the agenda throughout this decade.

At the event today, world leaders, CEOs and philanthropists are also expected to launch a series of new initiatives in support of the Glasgow Breakthroughs, including:

  • The launch of the UK-India led Green Grids Initiative – One Sun One World One Grid, endorsed by over 80 countries, to mobilise political will, finance and technical assistance needed to interconnect continents, countries and communities to the very best renewable sources of power globally to ensure no one is left without access to clean energy.
  • The launch of the Global Energy Alliance for People & Planet with an initial $10 billion of funding from philanthropies and development banks to support energy access and the clean energy transition in the Global South, in strategic partnership with the UK-led Energy Transition Council.
  • AIM4C, a new initiative led by US and UAE, with over 30 supporting countries, committed to accelerating innovation in sustainable agriculture, having already garnered $4 billion in increased investment in climate-smart agriculture and food systems innovation, including $1bn from the US.
  • The Breakthrough Energy Catalyst programme aiming to raise $3bn in concessional capital to catalyse up to $30bn of investments in bringing down clean technology costs and creating markets for green products for green hydrogen, Direct Air Capture, long-duration energy storage and sustainable aviation fuel including £200m of UK support.
  • The First Movers Coalition, a US-led buyers club of 25 major global companies making purchasing commitments to help commercialise key emerging clean technologies across sectors like steel, trucking, shipping, aviation, aluminium, concrete, chemicals, and direct air capture.

UN High-Level Climate Champions for COP25 and COP26, Gonzalo Munoz and Nigel Topping, who have been supporting the Breakthrough Agenda by driving ambitious action among the non-state actor community action and leading private sector initiatives, said:

With key private sector actors mobilising behind the breakthroughs necessary to achieve a net-zero world in time and world leaders signing up to the Breakthrough Agenda, governments across the world will help dramatically scale and speed up the race to zero emissions and deliver the promise of the Paris Agreement.

This is what the future of COP is all about – catalysing an innovative ambition loop between political leadership and the dynamism of the private sector to drive towards a resilient, prosperous zero carbon future.

Through the Net Zero strategy, the UK is leading the way in transforming these industries internationally and helping bringing down the costs of these technologies through billions of pounds of investment.

The UK’s and other countries’ investment and growth in green industries has proven costs can fall – for example by around 60% in offshore wind and around 90% in battery technology for electric vehicles in the decade to 2020. Replicating this around the world will be crucial to helping halve global emissions by 2030.

In support of this agenda, the Prime Minister yesterday launched the ‘Clean Green Initiative’ at COP26, a major funding package of £3 billion in investments and guarantees to support the rollout of sustainable infrastructure and revolutionary green technology in developing countries, helping to tackle climate change and boost economic growth.

The UK has also doubled its international climate finance of £11.6 billion over five years, with an extra £1bn in 2025 if the economy grows as forecast, supporting developing nations to access clean technology and build green infrastructure.

Notes for editors:

  • For anything urgent please call the COP26 Press Office on 0207 276 0269.
  • On power, road transport, steel, and hydrogen, countries endorsed a Breakthrough goal, the metrics by which it could be measured, and leading initiatives for international collaboration through which it could be achieved. For Agriculture, the UK has committed to working with all interested parties over the course of its Presidency year (2022) to develop similar consensus around the Breakthrough goal, the underlying metrics and the priority initiatives to support the Breakthrough. We are encouraged that the following initiatives have already expressed their willingness to work with us on this: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Global Research Alliance for Agricultural GHGs (GRA); Adaptation Research Alliance (ARA); The global agriculture research organisation known as the CGIAR (formerly the Consultative Group for International Agriculture); 100 Million Farmers Initiative: Transitioning towards net-zero, nature positive food Systems; Ban-ki Moon Centre for Global Citizens.
  • The Global Methane Pledge is a US-EU led initiative launched at leaders’ level on 2 Nov at COP26. Parties signing the Pledge agree to take national-level, voluntary actions to contribute to reducing global methane emissions by at least 30% by 2030, using a 2020 baseline. Scientists believe this could eliminate 0.2°C of warming by 2050. 
  • Also today, President Biden launched the First Movers Coalition, which brings together major companies from around the world to make purchasing commitments for innovative technologies in hard-to-abate sectors like heavy industry.
  • Mission Innovation, launched in Paris in 2015, will play a key role in delivering the Breakthroughs. Four new Missions will be announced during the course of COP26, including ones which will support the achievement of the industry-focused Breakthroughs. Meanwhile, Missions announced in June and co-led by the UK will contribute to the Hydrogen and Power Breakthroughs, with Innovation Roadmaps to be released later in the fortnight
  • Leaders attended a number of other high-level events throughout the day, including:
  1. The Climate Vulnerable Forum, chaired by Bangladesh, hosted an event to deliver a “Dhaka-Glasgow Declaration” of the CVF articulating the interests, efforts, and expectations of the CVF members for COP26 and beyond.
  2. India hosted a launch, with PM Modi and PM Johnson present, of a technical assistance facility for climate-resilient infrastructure aimed at Small Island Developing States.
  3. The Accelerating Africa’s Adaptation Event, convened by the DRC, AU, Global Centre on Adaptation and Ban-Ki Moon saw a number of donors and African heads of state come together to demonstrate support for African Adaptation Initiatives
  4. Ocean Panel Members met, convened by Norway and Palau, to discuss interconnected ocean and climate issues releasing a call to ‘ocean based climate action.’ 
  • The full list of signatories for the Glasgow Leaders Declaration on Forest and Land Use (as of 1030 GMT, 1 November 2021) is: Albania, Andorra, Angola, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Belize, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cote D’Ivoire, Cyprus, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, European Union, Ecuador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea Bissau, Guyana, Honduras, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Malta, Mauritius, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Congo, Romania, Russia, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Tanzania, Togo, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, Uruguay, United Kingdom, United States of America, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Picture of delegates listening to Boris Johnson

01.11.2021

Around 120 leaders gather at COP26 in Glasgow for ‘last, best chance’ to keep 1.5 alive

5 minute read

  • COP26 President Alok Sharma calls for immediate action and solidarity to ensure Glasgow delivers on the promise of Paris 
  • Leaders addressed by young climate activists, indigenous peoples and business leaders from across the globe as they focus on keeping 1.5C within reach
  • New country and finance announcements due, including additional UK package to mobilise billions of private investment into green, resilient infrastructure in developing countries

Around 120 leaders came together in Glasgow today (Monday) at the start of COP26, launching two weeks of global negotiations to help determine whether humanity can drive forward the urgent action needed to avoid catastrophic climate change.

As the world experiences record temperatures and extreme weather pushing the planet dangerously close to climate catastrophe, the need for urgent action at COP26 has never been clearer. 

Addressing leaders at the first major global gathering since the COVID-19 pandemic, COP President Alok Sharma said: “The science is clear that the window of time we have to keep the goal of 1.5℃ alive , and to avoid the worst effects of climate change, is closing fast. But with political will and commitment, we can, and must, deliver an outcome in Glasgow the world can be proud of.”

Leaders were also addressed by poet Yrsa Daley-Ward, whose specially commissioned poem Earth to COP includes the lines: “Anything less than your best is too much to pay. Anything later than now, too little, too late. Nothing will change without you.”

And campaigner, Kenyan environment and climate activist Elizabeth Wathuti who said: “We need you to respond with courage to the climate and ecological crisis…for these next two weeks – which are so critical for the children, for our species, for so many other living beings – let us step into our hearts.”

COP26 brings the major emitting countries face to face with the countries most vulnerable to climate change. The World Leaders Summit will send a clear signal to negotiators to be as ambitious as possible and agree to a negotiated outcome that accelerates action this decade.

The Summit will also underscore that the Paris Agreement is working, with increased commitments on finance, emissions and adaptation as we see the first crank of the Paris Agreement ratchet. 

Moving from the promise of Paris, announcements in key sectors will start to show how Glasgow will deliver. This includes new commitments on consigning coal to history, electric cars, reducing deforestation and addressing methane emissions.

Building on the publication of the $100 billion delivery plan, which the Presidency requested the Canadian and German governments lead, finance will remain a key priority. Discussions will centre on how the countries most vulnerable to climate change can access the finance needed to deliver climate adaptation and boost green recovery from the pandemic. 

Further to the commitment to mobilise finance, the opening of COP26 saw several new finance announcements to progress action on the $100 billion and address adaptation finance.

The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a funding package, as part of the UK’s Clean Green Initiative, to support the rollout of sustainable infrastructure and revolutionary green technology in developing countries. This includes:

  • A package of guarantees to the World Bank and the African Development Bank to provide £2.2bn ($3bn) for investments in climate-related projects in India, supporting India’s target to achieve 450 GW of renewable energy installed capacity by 2030, and across Africa. 
  • The UK’s development finance institution, CDC, will commit to deliver more than £3bn of climate financing for green growth over the next five years. This will include £200m for a new Climate Innovation Facility to support the scale-up of technologies that will  help communities deal with the impacts of climate change. This is double the amount of climate finance CDC invested in its previous strategy period from 2017-2021. 
  • The FCDO-backed Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) will also commit more than £210m in new investment today(MON) to back transformational green projects in developing countries such as Vietnam, Burkina Faso, Pakistan, Nepal and Chad.

Later Prime Minister Johnson will host a roundtable on ‘Action and Solidarity’ bringing campaigners on climate together. This is expected to include Samoan climate campaigner Brianna Fruean, Brazilian climate campaigner Walelasoetxeige Paiter Bandeira Suruí, and Kenyan youth activist Elizabeth Wathuti, together with some of the biggest emitting and climate vulnerable nations to set the tone for negotiations at COP26.  

The World Leaders Summit will continue tomorrow with further national statements and Leader events on action on forests and land use and accelerating clean technology, innovation and development.

Notes for editors:
  • Official photography from COP26 is available to download here:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/186938113@N07/ 
  • The world needs to secure global net zero by 2050 and halve emissions by 2030 to keep 1.5 degrees of warming in reach.
  • To do this the UK COP26 Presidency is calling on countries to set ambitious 2030 emissions reduction targets and take action to:
    • consign coal power to history
    • accelerate the move to clean electric vehicles
    • end deforestation
    • finance the green transition and help the most vulnerable countries
  • Almost 200 countries will come together in Glasgow, in the biggest international summit the UK has ever hosted.
  • Negotiations, run by the UN, will focus on securing the final parts of the Paris Agreement, setting national targets for reducing emissions by 2030 and reaching net zero. 
  • Coming out of COP26, we need to see a negotiated outcome that responds to the emissions gap and sets the tone for the next decade to keep 1.5C alive.
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29.10.2021

Climate and Development Ministerial Stocktake

On the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Ministers met to discuss the progress so far and suggested next steps. This was supplemented with a discussion on the same topic with Permanent Representatives to the UN. A summary of progress is provided below.

Read the Climate and Development Ministerial Stocktake here.

Climate and Development Ministerial Chairs’ Summary

The UK COP26 Presidency convened a Climate and Development Ministerial on 31 March 2021.

10 minute read

Ministers from Antigua and Barbuda, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, the European Union, Fiji, France, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Grenada, Guinea, India, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Malawi, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Morocco, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, United States, United Arab Emirates, the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, and heads of the Asian Development Bank, Green Climate Fund, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, African Development Bank, Adaptation Fund, Caribbean Development Bank, Global Environment Facility, Inter-American Development Bank, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, The Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centres (SPARC) India, The Indigenous Peoples’ Caucus and youth representatives from The Mongolian Sustainable Finance Association, and Footsteps Bangladesh attended the Ministerial. In such challenging times, the COP26 Presidency was heartened by participants’ show of unity to address the collective challenges caused by climate change, and fervour to seize this once in a generation chance to deliver a global green and resilient recovery from COVID-19. 

In his opening remarks the COP26 President emphasised the need for partners to come together around practical solutions. He reiterated that the steps taken today were in support of the COP26 Presidency’s stated goals of cutting emissions to keep 1.5 degrees in reach, facilitating greater action on adaptation, mobilising finance for climate action and coming together to make the COP26 negotiations a success. The UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Secretary emphasised the need to consider where international systems can do more to deliver urgent climate action. Speaking directly to the donors and financial institutions in the room, he emphasised that the mobilisation of finance is essential for implementation of the Paris agreement, and that we need to tackle this head on alongside the intertwined issue of recovery from the pandemic. Ahead of this ministerial a series of independent expert workshops helped to identify a set of key issues for Ministerial Discussion. Individual contributions made during the discussions have been combined with written submissions from non-participants, and remarks at an all Member State briefing at the UN, and captured below. 

All participants welcomed the opportunity to address issues related to climate and development in the round; recognising the importance of it to tackling climate change and making progress towards a green and resilient recovery from COVID-19 ahead of COP26. Ministers and representatives from institutions and civil society discussed the following and agreed to take steps ahead of COP26 as outlined in the climate and development pathway annexed to this Chair’s Summary. The UK COP26 Presidency will reflect on progress in September 2021.

Access to finance

Ministers outlined the urgent need for access to all types of finance, to decarbonise their economies, and adapt to climate change as the world recovers from COVID-19. Participants recognised that whilst the amount of climate finance was increasing, there were barriers to accessing the finance needed to support the delivery of climate action and sustainable development.

Participants highlighted challenges including: the transparency of finance flows, high application and reporting requirements for bilateral and multilateral finance, and the importance of harmonising requirements across finance providers. The importance of increased use of direct access modalities was also raised by several participants. The participants recognised that political will was required to streamline and simplify approaches and that greater individual and collective action would be needed before COP26. Aligning climate finance behind national plans, including Nationally Determined Contributions and National Adaptation Plans, was proposed by many as a more effective way to finance climate action. Enhanced support for development of national plans as integrated investment tools and the importance of strengthened in-country-coordination between climate finance providers were highlighted as key components.

Following calls for a Task Force on access to finance, the UK will work with Fiji and other interested countries to initiate a new Task Force on access to finance. Interested vulnerable and developing countries, finance providers and existing initiatives will be convened with a view to presenting a concept note and work plan by the Petersberg Climate Dialogue on 6-7th May. The aim will be to agree to pilot a new approach in some pioneer countries by COP26.

Participants highlighted challenges in accessing available finance from the climate funds, including the Green Climate Fund (GCF). The Updated Strategic Plan for the GCF contains commitments on improving access. The June and October meetings of the GCF Board are important moments for Board members to ensure progress on the work plan for implementing these commitments. Participants also discussed the need to increase the proportion of finance that reaches the local level and that new mechanisms were needed to improve access and empower the most vulnerable countries and communities. Several participants highlighted the challenges for all climate vulnerable countries, whatever their level of income, in accessing public and private finance.

Responses to Climate Impacts

Participants stressed that increased Nationally Determined Contributions and near-term action to mitigate against climate change were essential for limiting warming below 1.5 degrees and limiting future adaptation needs. Several countries outlined their intention to bring forward their nationally determined contributions and some highlighted the importance of a just transition away from coal with support playing an important role. Other participants noted the importance of relocation with dignity where necessary, respecting nations’ sovereignty. 

Participants emphasised that the effects of climate change are already being felt, and that it is often the most vulnerable who are hit hardest. Participants raised a range of practical challenges to taking action on adaptation and loss & damage and stressed the urgent need to accelerate action to address growing extreme weather. The country specific nature of climate extremes was also noted, especially in countries particularly vulnerable to climate change, reflecting that the global response needed to respond to these differences. Participants highlighted the importance of mainstreaming climate risk and adaptation into government-wide national planning and budgeting and enabling national capacity to effectively deliver sustainable development and growth. Participants also highlighted the value of National Adaptation Plans and Adaptation Communications to this end. Climate modelling and data was also recognised as an important tool to help facilitate early action. The importance of integrating nature based solutions into national planning was underlined, with a number of participants referencing examples of best practice. The incoming COP26 Presidency encourages submission of these ahead of COP26, wherever possible. 

The importance of drawing on the knowledge held by indigenous peoples, women, rural communities, young people and local authorities was also emphasised, along with the importance of pursuing rights-based approaches. The Principles for Locally Led Adaptation were noted as an effective framework to bring local actors into decision making on climate adaptation. Participants noted the importance of investment in countries’ long-term capacity to manage and implement action, following the example of the LDCs as set out in their 2050 vision. During consultations, initiatives such as the African Adaptation Initiative and LDC Initiative for Effective Adaptation and Resilience were recognised as important vehicles for supporting national, regional and local ownership of projects.

Many participants acknowledged the opportunities for job creation, role of technology and innovation, and wider sustainable development in action to prepare for and respond to climate impacts. Participants called for more opportunities for building capacity across key sectors – including agriculture, infrastructure and water security –  for sharing good practice, and scalable solutions that can be replicated across different country-contexts. Platforms such as the Adaptation Action Coalition would be a good forum for taking this work forward.

Participants identified improvements in disaster risk reduction, response, and support to improve the resilience of infrastructure and critical services as crucial. They highlighted the importance of improved access to affordable disaster risk finance to protect against residual risks. Regional risk pools were highlighted as an approach that enabled strong local ownership. Participants also highlighted the need for strengthened international risk forecasting to increase preparedness to major crisis risk.  As G7 President, the United Kingdom outlined its intention to host discussions on these issues at the Foreign and Development Ministers Meeting on 3 May with a view to securing additional financial support by the G7 Leaders’ Summit on 11-13 June. 

Participants underlined the importance of finding practical solutions to tackle loss and damage. The COP26 Presidency announced its intention to host consultations, in cooperation with Chile, with parties and other stakeholders with a view to advancing operationalisation of the Santiago Network on Loss and Damage ahead of COP26. The incoming Presidency will similarly hold workshops with parties on the Global Goal on Adaptation, to build mutual understanding on how progress on the Global Goal can be understood and represented.    

Quantity, quality and composition of climate finance

Participants outlined the financial challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and highlighted the opportunity for a global green and resilient recovery. Many participants  highlighted the scale of the climate finance needed to implement national climate action. Whilst there was a recognition that all forms of finance would play a role – public and private, domestic and international – participants stressed the urgency and importance of developed countries delivering on their commitment to jointly mobilise $100bn of climate finance a year by 2020, recognising that this is a floor and not a ceiling, and increasing this through to 2025, from a range of public and private sources. 

Participants agreed that there was a pressing need to scale up finance for adaptation and resilience, with many calling for a better balance between mitigation and adaptation finance, and some suggesting that developed countries should aim for a 50:50 ratio in their public finance. Many also noted the importance of an increase in grant financing, especially for adaptation. Participants also raised the importance of investing in nature-based solutions. A new multi-stakeholder initiative, the Voluntary Carbon Market Integrity Initiative, was launched today to strengthen high-quality voluntary carbon markets, highlighting the opportunity to increase private finance flows into a range of sectors important to national mitigation and adaptation plans, including forests and land-use.

It was highlighted that transparency and predictability of finance was imperative to a resilient recovery and sustained investment in climate action. The COP26 Presidency will take forward discussions on the future finance agenda and transparency and predictability in advance of the COP. Participants also discussed the importance of transparency for attracting private finance and the importance of long-term financing. Climate finance was highlighted as an important factor for advancing equality and social inclusion, increasing gender responsiveness, the inclusivity of persons with disabilities and delivering on the needs of those most impacted by climate change. 

Developed country Ministers stressed their commitment to increasing both the quality and quantity of finance towards the $100bn a year goal and particularly to improve the balance of adaptation to mitigation finance. A pathway for addressing these challenges was outlined, noting the Earth Day Summit, Petersberg Climate Dialogue and the G7 Leaders’ Summit as critical opportunities for further climate finance pledges. The Petersberg Dialogue was highlighted as an important moment for further action; including discussion of how fulfilment of the $100bn could support a green and resilient recovery from COVID-19.

Participants highlighted the role of international financial institutions and development banks and their boards. Some participants called for a more creative approach to development bank financing, recognising the climate and COVID-19 emergencies and taking more risk on balance sheets. Participants highlighted that work should be prioritised to assess Multilateral Development Banks capacity to provide further financing, through both additional concessional financing including a replenishment of IDA and progress on balance sheet optimisation. Others went further and called for progress on reviewing the financial architecture and deeper reforms, highlighting opportunities for restructuring the global financial architecture in support of greater financial flows. 

Participants acknowledged the need to mobilise greater flows of private finance towards adaptation, the need for new financial instruments and to secure support to grow the markets of local companies providing resilience products and services. They reiterated the important role of Development Finance Institutions, IFIs and international climate funds. The COP26 Presidency noted the DFI+ Collaborative on Accelerating Investment in Adaptation and Resilience, launched in November at the Finance in Common Summit. This brings together Development Financial Institutions and other development agencies to improve coordination between actions needed to help overcome barriers to private investment in adaptation and climate resilience. Additional members from the G7 and EDFI are being invited to join ahead of the next Finance in Common Summit and COP26.The United Kingdom confirmed it would raise the need for significant commitments from DFIs at the G7 Foreign and Development Ministers Meeting.  

Participants raised several elements related to the formal UNFCCC process, including on the long-term finance agenda and initiation of deliberations on the new collective finance goal post-2025. The COP26 Presidency reiterated that the $100bn goal is of the utmost importance to all countries, and expressed its commitment to driving progress on all UNFCCC issues. Many participants also raised the importance of aligning financial flows with the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement, with some suggesting the importance of greater discussion on the implementation of Article 2.1c.

Fiscal Space and debt sustainability

Participants recognised that governments’ fiscal pressures have been exacerbated by the pandemic, impacting countries’ abilities to pursue their development priorities, including the increasingly urgent and evident issues of climate change and biodiversity loss. Some participants noted that climate impacts such as disasters or extreme weather, further constrain fiscal space. According to the IMF/World Bank debt sustainability analyses, about half of low-income developing countries are at high risk of debt distress or are in debt distress already.  Creating fiscal space, both through international initiatives and domestic efforts, was judged as critical to creating the conditions for countries to achieve a green, inclusive and resilient recovery.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, the international community has come together to help alleviate the fiscal challenges of the pandemic faced by low-income countries, including those most vulnerable to climate change. The IMF, Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) and G20 have agreed a series of measures to address these challenges and create fiscal space including through the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI), the G20 Common Framework for Debt Treatments beyond the DSSI, and the replenishment of the IMF’s Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust. In addition, the IMF has approved financial assistance to 85 countries so far, totalling USD 107 billion and MDBs have collectively aimed to commit approximately USD 230 billion to emerging and low-income countries as a response to the pandemic.

Participants expressed their strong support for the sustained roll out of these measures and agreed that the financial reform discussions prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic should take a structural approach that fully considered climate risks and opportunities. Participants also recognised the importance of increased transparency and quality of climate finance, including effective options for access to concessional finance and innovative financial tools, which will help to avoid increasing fiscal pressures in the pursuit of climate goals. The significant potential of boosting domestic resources mobilisation was also highlighted, for example through combating illicit financial flows and technical assistance to protect the domestic tax base and the environment through implementing policy tools such as international tax standards and carbon pricing.           

The IMF highlighted that a new SDR allocation of $650 billion would provide a liquidity boost for all members. The voluntary reallocation of SDRs by countries with strong external positions to support the most vulnerable member countries would also be welcome. Participants noted that this would free up further resources for the most vulnerable countries, providing more space to pursue green, inclusive and resilient pathways as part of their recovery.

The IMF outlined that it is stepping up its engagement on climate, including in its Article IV consultations reports and Financial Sector Stability Assessments. These efforts will strengthen the assessment of climate risk and transition strategies within its macroeconomic and financial stability surveillance, and also highlight the benefits of countries’ supporting climate investment to encourage low-carbon and climate resilient growth, and fiscally sustainable economies. The World Bank, in collaboration with the IMF/UN/OECD and other stakeholders, is hosting a Climate, Debt and Nature working group. The working group will provide further details on how it would take forward discussions on these issues during the World Bank and IMF Annual Meetings in October.

Italy, in their role as Presidency of the G20, attach priority to stepping up support for vulnerable countries especially Low Income Countries. To this aim it highlighted that further discussions on debt are taking place through the G20 Finance Track. Italy noted that they were working to reach a consensus in support of a further and final extension of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative to end-2021, while also highlighting continuing collaborative work on the Common Framework, with the involvement of the private sector. Participants welcomed that these issues are being taken forward. Italy flagged the meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors to be held in Venice in July as a key event for discussing climate issues.

Italy also highlighted the work of the G20 Development Working Group, which will support the implementation of Integrated National Financing Frameworks, the use of debt-related resources towards the SDGs, and scaling-up financial instruments linked to sustainability in developing countries. France highlighted that the Summit on African Economies, in May, will cover the fiscal and economic challenges facing countries.

Next steps

The UK Presidency will work with countries, institutions, civil society, and others on the issues and actions highlighted in this summary in the run up to COP26.

Some of the key milestones are set out in accompanying pathway document here.

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23.10.2021

COP26 sources 80% of food from Scotland for its sustainable menus

5 minute read

  • Menus at COP will be affordable and with a strong focus on sustainability
  • Eighty percent of food to be served at conference will be seasonal and sourced from Scotland
  • Sustainable measures at the heart of approach

COP26 delegates will be served sustainable, locally-sourced food at the upcoming climate summit in Glasgow, the UK confirmed today.

Overall, 95 percent of the food will be from the UK, largely sourced from Scotland, and be seasonal. This will put sustainability at the heart of catering for the summit, reducing emissions and promoting environment-friendly food production.

COP26 will set an example for other large-scale international events, in terms of food sourcing, by taking a number of measures to ensure a sustainable approach:

  • Ingredients will be replicated across the conference’s menus to ensure produce can be repurposed for other meals, if necessary, to avoid food waste.
  • The cups used to serve drinks will be reusable and it is estimated that this approach will save up to 250,000 single use cups.
  • Suppliers are setting high standards for sustainable food production, from Edinburgh’s Mara Seaweed, which is abundant and entirely sustainable and does not require fertilizer, fresh water or soil to grow, through to Benzies carrots and potatoes who use wind turbines to power their cool storage, biomas to provide heating and actively recycle the water they use.

In line with the international nature of COP26, we will be using Scottish produce to deliver an international inspired menu. There will even be a Scottish fusion to certain international dishes such as the ‘Scotch beef ramen’.

COP26 President-Designate Alok Sharma said:

“There will be a tremendous amount of work to be done at COP26, with many hours of negotiations and long days, so the choice of food that we serve our visiting delegations, staff and all our volunteers, is very important.

“It is exciting to see such innovation in the menus that will be on offer and to understand the thought and effort that has gone into making dishes both healthy, sustainable and suitable for different diets and requirements.

“We very much look forward to giving our international visitors a flavour of the wide-ranging cuisine the UK has to offer.”

Kevin Watson, Business Director, SEC Food said:

“We have worked hard to create low carbon menus that are accessible to all. We hope our sustainable food strategy will shape menus of the future as we all work to protect our planet. As well as providing great tasting and nutritious food, our menus are focused on local and seasonal sourcing, with a plant-forward approach. We have been delighted to showcase and work with so many local Scottish suppliers and our teams are looking forward to supporting the event.”

Notes for editors:
  • The UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow from 31 October to 12 November 2021.
  • The COP26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
  • The UK is committed to working with all countries and joining forces with civil society, companies and people on the frontline of climate change to inspire climate action ahead of COP26.
  • The ISO 20121 Event Sustainability Management System is an international standard which sets out the requirements to establish, maintain and continually improve an event sustainability management system (SEMS).
  • Our approach is guided by 7 Sustainability Governing Principles; actively manage potential impacts on the environment and local community and identify opportunities to deliver environmental and social value, provide an accessible and inclusive setting for all, encourage healthy living, ensure a safe and secure atmosphere, encourage more sustainable behaviour, promote the use of responsible sources and responsible use of resources throughout the supply chain, and leave a positive legacy.
  • The UNFCCC secretariat (UN Climate Change) is the United Nations entity tasked with supporting the global response to the threat of climate change. UNFCCC stands for United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Convention has near universal membership (197 Parties) and is the parent treaty of the 2015 Paris Agreement. The main aim of the Paris Agreement is to keep the global average temperature rise this century as close as possible to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The UNFCCC is also the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.
  • Sneak previews of the menus, as well as other useful facts and figures, can be downloaded here.
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20.10.2021

UK unveils Presidency Programme to drive global climate ambition at COP26

5 minute read

  • Almost 50 events organised by UK COP26 Presidency will showcase action and drive momentum from all of society during two-week summit
  • Programme reflects COP26 Presidency’s commitment to inclusivity by bringing together civil society, businesses, and young people
  • Government also publishes programme for UK Pavilion which will highlight UK climate leadership

The UK government has unveiled its programme of Presidency events for the two-week COP26 Summit, which is taking place in Glasgow from 31 October – 12 November.

The programme kicks off with a World Leaders’ Summit (1-2 November), hosted by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, for which more than 120 leaders have already confirmed their attendance. They are encouraged to set out ambitious actions to reduce emissions – including net zero and on coal, cars, and trees, scale-up action to adapt to the impacts of climate change and mobilise finance, and to collectively signal their commitment to keeping alive the crucial Paris Agreement aim of limiting global temperature rises to well below 2C, and as close as possible to 1.5C.

Running alongside the formal negotiations, the two-week programme of Presidency events will put a spotlight on how all parts of society and the global economy drives ambitious climate action.

Events fall across key themed days including finance, adapting to the impacts of climate change, energy transition, nature and land-use, gender, and youth. Chancellor Rishi Sunak will open the first of the themed days, with an event on how finance is being made available to deliver on the goals of the Paris Agreement, and UK government ministers will attend events throughout the two weeks.

Other events include driving forward conversations on the shift from coal to clean power; responding to the recent IPCC report on Science and Innovation day; and a convening of education and climate change ministers with young people to discuss the importance of education in creating climate positive futures.

On Adaptation, Loss & Damage day, communities on the frontline will share their experiences of the worst effects of climate change. This will be followed by a ministerial discussion on efforts to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

COP26 President-Designate, Alok Sharma, said:

The science is clear that we need urgent, decisive action from around the world if we are to change the course of history for the better. Our Presidency themed days are aimed at ensuring COP26 is not a talking shop or a photo opportunity, but a moment for governments and all of society to move forward with practical solutions touching on all aspects of how we inhabit our precious planet.

I am determined to ensure Glasgow is as inclusive as possible, in spite of the challenges presented by COVID-19. I hope through our diverse programme of events, as well as the efforts we have put into getting delegates to Glasgow, all participants will be able to benefit from the very best of climate leadership around the world.

Participants in the summit will also be able to take inspiration from more than 80 Pavilions which will see countries, civil society and international organisations hosting their own curated programmes of events. In line with the UK’s commitment to inclusivity, COP26 is the first COP to offer a shared pavilion, allowing delegations to host events in a pavilion built by the UK.

The UK is today publishing its programme for the UK Pavilion, which will support COP26 Presidency key goals, whilst showcasing UK climate leadership and action. The UK Pavilion will feature a broad range of partners and events, including on gender equality, and supporting indigenous and local forest communities.

British adventurer, Bear Grylls, will participate in an event on the role of young people in climate solutions with nature, whilst climate economy experts Sir Partha Dasgupta and Lord Nicholas Stern will discuss putting the environment at the heart of economic decision-making.

The Presidency Programme can be viewed here.

The UK Pavilion programme can be viewed here.

Notes for editors:
  • The UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow from 31 October to 12 November 2021.
  • The COP26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
  • The UK is committed to working with all countries and joining forces with civil society, companies and people on the frontline of climate change to inspire climate action ahead of COP26.
  • The ISO 20121 Event Sustainability Management System is an international standard which sets out the requirements to establish, maintain and continually improve an event sustainability management system (SEMS).
  • Our approach is guided by 7 Sustainability Governing Principles; actively manage potential impacts on the environment and local community and identify opportunities to deliver environmental and social value, provide an accessible and inclusive setting for all, encourage healthy living, ensure a safe and secure atmosphere, encourage more sustainable behaviour, promote the use of responsible sources and responsible use of resources throughout the supply chain, and leave a positive legacy.
  • The UNFCCC secretariat (UN Climate Change) is the United Nations entity tasked with supporting the global response to the threat of climate change. UNFCCC stands for United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Convention has near universal membership (197 Parties) and is the parent treaty of the 2015 Paris Agreement. The main aim of the Paris Agreement is to keep the global average temperature rise this century as close as possible to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The UNFCCC is also the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.
  • Sneak previews of the menus, as well as other useful facts and figures, can be downloaded here.