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.
COP26 Logo 'UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021 In partnership with Italy'

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.

COP26 Logo 'UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021 In partnership with Italy'

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.
COP26 Logo 'UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021 In partnership with Italy'

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.
COP26 Logo 'UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021 In partnership with Italy'

14.10.2021

Pre-COP26 Chairs’ Summary

10 minute read

Introduction

On 30 September to 2 October 2021, more than 50 Ministers and high-level representatives met in Milan for the Pre-COP to discuss their expectations for the COP26 outcome, and to provide guidance on outstanding negotiations issues. 

Before starting their deliberations, Ministers were presented with key messages from the preceding Youth4Climate Driving Ambition event at which almost 400 hundred young people from 186 countries discussed the need for action across the following areas: Youth Driving Ambition, Sustainable Recovery, Non-State Actors Engagement and Climate-Conscious Society. The key messages are included in Annex 2 and represent a foundation to build from at COP26 and beyond, furthering climate action, youth engagement and empowerment. Ministers engaged actively with youth delegates – formally and informally – and expressed their appreciation for the insights and solutions put forward. Minister Cingolani and the COP President Designate expressed their appreciation for the proposals, insights and dedication of youth participants and look forward to further discussion ahead of and at COP26. Minister Cingolani also stressed the importance to ensure youth engagement not only this year but also, regularly, in the preparatory events for and at future COPs.  The Youth4Climate final outcome document in its entirety will be available after October 25th to allow for its finalisation.

The agenda for Pre-COP consisted of seven topics: keeping 1.5 alive, scaling up adaptation, loss and damage, mobilising finance, and finalising the Paris Rulebook – Article 6, the enhanced transparency framework and common time frames. To inform the discussion as well as for transparency and inclusivity, the COP26 President Designate published an open letter ahead of the meeting and issue notes were produced for each topic. Robust and detailed discussions took place in a combination of plenary and breakout groups, and a number of Ministers and Ambassadors were invited to support with co-facilitation. Minister Cingolani and the COP President Designate are extremely grateful to all colleagues who acted as co-facilitators, and to all Ministers who joined physically and virtually across various timezones. 

Representatives of the nine UNFCCC observer constituencies were also invited to attend Pre-COP and participate in plenaries. Minister Cingolani and the COP President Designate were pleased to welcome observer representatives to the meeting and thank them for their committed and engaged participation.

Meeting outcomes and next steps

The key points raised by Ministers and next steps are summarised below, with a more detailed summary set out in the below Annex to inform Parties’ preparations for Glasgow. The COP President Designate will also publish a reflection note ahead of COP.

Recalling the findings of the most recent IPCC report, Ministers conveyed a sense of urgency on the need to accelerate mitigation ambition during this critical decade to keep 1.5 degrees in reach in line with the Paris Agreement temperature goal. Ministers also highlighted the central role of the latest science in informing what is required. Many ministers reiterated their call for those who are yet to come forward with ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) aligned to the Paris temperature goal, as well as Long-Term Strategies (LTSs) to net zero and carbon neutrality by 2050 and/or mid-century to do so ahead of COP26. There was also a clear expectation from many parties that the COP26 outcome should reflect the latest science and address the mitigation ambition gap to 2030, including suggestions to revisit NDCs and plans as soon as possible and ahead of the global stocktake in 2023, and to strengthen the request for Parties to produce Long Term Strategies, taking into account common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances. It was noted that accelerating mitigation ambition would require action across all pillars of the Paris Agreement. The COP26 President Designate confirmed that the incoming Presidency will take forward bilateral consultations on this issue ahead of COP and welcomed written inputs from Parties. He asked Minister Stiell of Grenada and Minister Jørgensen of Denmark to continue the conversation at Ministerial level and report back to him on views. 

Building on the outcomes of the July Ministerial, Ministers discussed how to accelerate action towards the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA). Ministers recognised the importance of the goal and called for greater action on adaptation. Discussions reflected a breadth of views on how to take forward, including on how to clarify the GGA, the need to understand how progress against the GGA could be assessed, and the supporting role that scientific bodies such as the IPCC could play in this process. Ministers also discussed how to achieve increased finance for adaptation, with strong statements regarding the urgent need to do so. A particular focus of the discussion was options to achieve a better balance and improved access. The COP26 President Designate emphasised that these issues would need to form a core part of the Glasgow outcome, welcomed further concrete ideas from Parties through written inputs and encouraged further discussions between Parties. He will include further reflections on these issues in a note ahead of COP.

Following on from the clear recognition of the need to address loss and damage from climate impacts, Ministers focused on how to progress practical action at COP26. There was a clear consensus that the Santiago Network must be operationalised and functional as soon as possible. Some Ministers called for a dedicated fund for the Santiago Network and for action to be taken beyond the Santiago Network. The incoming Presidency will undertake further consultations with Parties and technical agencies before COP to explore practicalities on the Santiago Network, including the options for interim arrangements to get the network up and running quickly. Ahead of COP the incoming Presidency will consolidate ideas received from Parties on how action on loss and damage can be enhanced, including on the need to better coordinate support to countries to avert minimize and address loss and damage across agencies and funds. In this we will draw on the consultations the UK and Chile have held throughout the year.

On finance, Ministers reaffirmed the critical importance of meeting the $100bn per year climate finance goal. They welcomed recent progress whilst noting that more remains to be done, particularly on the issues of access, quality, and the balance of mitigation and adaptation finance. The COP26 President Designate emphasised his commitment to working with Minister Wilkinson and State Secretary Flasbarth to ensure that the developed countries’ $100bn Delivery Plan gives clarity and confidence on these issues. Ministers also highlighted the importance of successfully initiating deliberations on the new collective quantified (post-2025) finance goal in Glasgow and some Ministers made proposals for possible ways forward. A number of Parties also raised the importance of wider issues, notably including the consistency of finance flows with the objectives of the Paris Agreement and access to concessional climate finance in vulnerable countries. The COP President Designate intends to set out a summary of views on finance issues, including the initiation of deliberations on the new post-2025 goal, in a reflections note before COP, and will convene high-level discussions on the new finance goal early at COP.

Ministers emphasised that completion of the Paris Rulebook is a key priority for COP26. Discussions across the three issues of Transparency, Article 6 and Common Timeframes showed some recognition of the need to move towards convergence on landing grounds, but many parties repeated previous positions and more work is clearly required. The COP26 President Designate asked Minister Fu of Singapore and Minister Rotevatn of Norway to continue informal bilateral Ministerial consultations on Article 6 in the remaining weeks before Glasgow. Minister Mujawamariya of Rwanda and Minister Sommaruga of Switzerland agreed to continue informal consultations on Common Time Frames for NDCs in the days after Pre-COP, and will report back to the COP26 President Designate before COP. On the Enhanced Transparency Framework, many Ministers reaffirmed the critical role it plays within the Paris Agreement and emphasised the need to advance technical discussion before COP to ensure the mandate can be fulfilled on time. The COP President Designate noted that the incoming Presidency will convene informal virtual consultations in October, working with the SBSTA Chair, who also intends to convene a workshop ahead of or during COP. 

In his closing remarks, the COP President Designate recalled the messages from Youth4Climate and from Observer constituencies as he emphasised the imperative of action for all of humanity. With only 30 days until Glasgow, he encouraged all Ministers to continue discussions with their counterparts and to instruct their negotiators to prepare for Glasgow in the spirit of ambition and cooperation. Minister Cingolani concluded the meeting by recognising the urgency of accelerating governments’ efforts to reduce emissions across all sectors in line with science to keep 1.5C alive, noting the key role of Rome G20 Leaders’ Summit as a critical step towards this goal. He also emphasised the key role of youth in demanding further action from all actors and making proposals to safeguard their future, while reminding colleagues that the world is watching to see the outcome of COP26.

Annex 1 – Key issues raised during Ministerial discussions

Keeping 1.5C alive

Building on the discussions at the July Ministerial, conversations reflected a sense of urgency following the recent NDC Synthesis Report which highlights that current NDCs could result in an emissions increase of 16% on 2010 levels by 2030 when a 45% reduction is required to keep temperatures below 1.5 degrees. 

At the opening plenary, Ko Barrett from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) outlined the conclusion of the IPCC Working Group I Contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report, published in August. She emphasised that we must urgently and drastically scale up action to address climate change in this decade, accelerate efforts to respond to the impacts that are already happening, and prepare for them to get much worse. The report finds that only the most stringent efforts to immediately reduce greenhouse gas emissions will keep a 1.5°C future in reach.

Reflecting the urgency of action, many Ministers called on those who are yet to come forward with ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) aligned to the Paris temperature goal as well as Long-Term Strategies (LT- LEDS) to carbon neutrality / net zero by 2050 and/or mid-century to do so ahead of COP26. Some Ministers emphasised the opportunity presented by the 30-31st October G20 meeting given the importance of increased ambition from the largest emitters. Many Ministers reiterated the need for scaled up support for developing countries, the importance of sharing technology, and that nobody should be left behind as we make a just transition to low carbon economies. Some Ministers suggested creating a forum for discussion on these issues. 

Ministers emphasised that Parties will need to respond in Glasgow to the likely gap that will exist between current efforts and what is required by science to achieve the Paris temperature goal. Specific proposals at Pre-COP included: highlighting the importance of the IPCC in providing best available science and recognising its latest findings as the robust basis for action; the need to return to 2030 ambition until the Paris temperature goal is achieved, including some calls for Parties to revisit 2030 NDCs ahead of the Global Stocktake if they are not aligned with 1.5 degrees; and a commitment to submit updated mid-century LTS to carbon neutrality / net zero that are aligned with NDCs ahead of the Global Stocktake. A number of Ministers pointed to the need to recognise the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities in the light of different national circumstances, the need for a just transition, the need for scaled up financing, and the important role of technology in achieving such goals. 

Further ideas included;  further efforts to phase down coal and fossil fuel subsidies, investing in nature-based solutions, focusing on the remaining carbon budget, targets on methane, as well as the need for transformation beyond NDCs through sectoral targets including energy, mobility, infrastructure and biodiversity, and a global approach to carbon pricing. Ministers also mentioned the importance of finalising outstanding elements of the Rulebook to support mitigation efforts, with some emphasising the need to ensure that all COP outcomes are aligned with 1.5C. The COP26 President Designate invited Parties to provide written inputs on their ideas, committed to taking forward bilateral consultations on this issue ahead of COP and asked Minister Stiell of Grenada and Minister Jørgensen of Denmark, who had facilitated breakout groups, to continue their conversations at Ministerial level.

Scaling up adaptation

Ministers emphasised the need for greater political attention to be paid to adaptation, and presented suggestions on how to make this a reality through implementation of the Global Goal on Adaptation and increasing the scale and urgency of finance. Ministers recognised the importance of National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) and Adaptation Communications as tools to understand the experiences of countries, guide and demonstrate adaptation action, as well as to set out local and national priorities and needs, with many Ministers calling for Parties to come forward with such plans and Communications ahead of Glasgow.  

Ministers emphasised that adaptation is a common challenge, varied in its local applications and that it needs increased political attention. There were a number of calls to improve Parties’ collective understanding of the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA) in order to drive domestic and international action and provide the right incentives for further implementation. Ministers put forward a range of views on how progress on the GGA can be achieved. Calls for a robust roadmap/action plan were supplemented with suggestions of what might be included in this pathway forward. Suggestions which enjoyed some support included: further clarification/fleshing out of the GGA; requests for the IPCC to support further work under the roadmap including providing a special report on adaptation; an agenda item on the GGA; a general framework/indicators to measure progress; and more work on NAPs to understand the experiences of countries. Ministers emphasised the importance of this work feeding into the Global Stocktake. Most Ministers felt that such a way forward should be agreed at COP26 with a clear timeline.

The COP President Designate invited further input from Parties and observers on the way forward on the Global Goal on Adaptation, and will include his views on the state of play in his reflections note ahead of COP.

Loss and damage

Discussions underlined that loss and damage is happening now and will increase. The spectrum of loss and damage, from slow onset changes to more immediate impacts caused by natural disasters, requires greater attention that needs to encompass a broad range of action in order to avert, minimise and address loss and damage. Some Ministers highlighted how repeated disasters can result in unsustainable debt burdens, especially when whole economies are affected by disaster events, and called for mechanisms to assure finance in response to disaster. There were also calls for more finance to be made available, and a mapping of sources of funds relevant to loss and damage. A number of Ministers emphasised the importance of streamlining assistance from agencies so it is easier to gain access to and aligns with local and national plans.  

There was clear support for the Santiago Network being operationalised as an active body, with some calling for a secretariat to support its efforts. Further clarity needs to be sought to fully understand how to best deliver this. Ministers made suggestions including the involvement of the Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism, the UNFCCC secretariat or an external organisation that can serve under the UNFCCC’s authority. Some suggested that interim arrangements might need to be put in place to ensure that the Network is functional quickly. There were clear calls from Ministers for the development of the Network to be taken up at COP26 with a view to making sure the network is operationalised as soon as possible. Some Ministers called for a fund to support the functions of the Santiago Network.

The incoming Presidency will consult further with Parties and technical agencies before COP to explore practicalities on the Santiago Network, including the options for interim arrangements to get the network up and running quickly. Ahead of COP the incoming Presidency will consolidate ideas from parties on how action on loss and damage can be enhanced; including on the Santiago Network and how to help streamline international finance relevant to loss and damage, drawing on the consultations the UK has had throughout the year.

Mobilising finance

Ministers reaffirmed the critical importance of meeting the $100bn per year climate finance goal, with many welcoming the progress through new pledges made since the July Ministerial. Several noted the high likelihood that the $100bn would not have been reached in 2020 and expressed the urgent need to provide certainty and meet the goal as soon as possible. In this context, the incoming Presidency will continue to work with Minister Wilkinson of Canada and State Secretary Flasbarth of Germany to ensure the developed country $100bn Delivery Plan is published ahead of COP, to build confidence that the goal will be met going forward, and demonstrate how progress will be made against related issues raised by Parties such as adaptation finance, quality and access. 

Ministers reiterated the need to urgently scale up adaptation finance and ensure it is more accessible and predictable. There was a continued emphasis on climate funds and grants as part of significantly increased public support, as well as a recognition of the need to also better mobilise the private sector to finance adaptation action. Differing views were expressed about calls for a strict 50/50 target between finance for adaptation and mitigation, with many emphasising that what matters most is scaling up sufficient adaptation support. The need to improve access to concessional climate finance in vulnerable countries was also raised by many, including to support the development of NAPs. Ministers spoke clearly of the importance of sending a clear signal on adaptation finance in Glasgow, with some Ministers suggesting that there should be a dedicated discussion within the deliberations on the post-2025 finance goal.

Ministers also highlighted the importance of successfully initiating deliberations on the new collective quantified (post-2025) finance goal in Glasgow. They reiterated the need for an approach that is inclusive and incorporates both technical and political elements. Ministers also expressed support for a political discussion in Glasgow to frame deliberations effectively. Several Ministers referenced the importance of agreeing a structure for deliberations with clear timelines, some suggested an ad hoc group or committee for technical work on the goal; and others spoke to the benefits of a cyclical feedback loop between political and technical discussions. Various ministers also raised issues that they wished to see reflected in the new goal, such as: developing country needs, the predictability and effectiveness of finance, balance between mitigation and adaptation, the importance of financial flow alignment, loss and damage, and the question of who will be contributors and recipients for the goal. Some Ministers also suggested that the discussions on the Post-2025 finance goal should include an adaptation element.

During the discussions, Ministers recognized the key catalytic role of public finance in leveraging private finance, de-risking investments and crowding-in private sector resources, and that it should be enhanced whilst acknowledging the urgency of further mobilizing the private sector to increase investments, especially on adaptation. A significant number of Ministers raised the importance of aligning wider financial flows with climate objectives in order to ‘shift the trillions’ required for ambitious climate action and to meet developing country needs; and that this would require increased engagement with private sector actors and initiatives, as well as with the wider global financial system. A number of countries highlighted the need to move away from fossil fuel subsidies in this respect. Many Ministers shared their concerns that the current financial architecture does not sufficiently address the issue of indebtedness and fiscal space, whilst also mentioning opportunities of measures  such as carbon pricing and fossil fuel subsidies phase out. There was one specific proposal made for a new international committee to consider such issues systemically. The importance of globally realigning finance to keep 1.5 alive was noted by many.In his closing remarks the COP26 President Designate committed to working with Minister Wilkinson and State Secretary Flasbarth to publish the $100bn Delivery Plan ahead of COP. He also indicated that the Presidency intended to convene high-level discussions on the new finance goal early at COP. The incoming Presidency will also continue its outreach and conclude its informal work plan on wider climate finance issues by providing a summary to Parties in advance of COP26. The COP President Designate advised he intends to set out views on finance issues in a reflections note before COP.

Finalising the Paris Rulebook

Article 6

Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to a balanced outcome on Article 6, consistent with the objective of enabling higher ambition in both mitigation and adaptation actions. Many Parties also underlined the importance of robust rules and clear reporting to the eventual success of Article 6 implementation. On the three issues Ministers were asked to focus on – avoiding double use through the Article 6.4 mechanism; the use of pre-2020 units to meet NDCs; and supporting adaptation finance through Article 6 – positions remain divergent. Many Ministers expressed their view that the options for compromise were not consistent with the aim of raising ambition, including in the context of the Paris temperature goal.

Reflecting on the wider Article 6 package, Ministers highlighted other issues of importance, which included expediting the Article 6.8 work programme, overall mitigation of global emissions (OMGE), protecting human rights and the rights of indigenous peoples, capacity building for participation in Article 6 activities, and the design of the Article 6.4 mechanism, including approaches towards baselines and additionality. A number of Ministers also raised the link between discussions on generating adaptation finance through Article 6.2 and negotiations on climate finance.  While some Ministers indicated priorities among, and possible trade-offs between, the three issues of focus, in general Ministers did not clearly elaborate on how we might find a balance between all the issues in concrete terms.  

In closing the session, the COP26 President Designate thanked Minister Fu of Singapore and Minister Rotevatn of Norway for their work leading on this issue, and invited them to report back to Parties on their bilateral discussions held in the few weeks remaining before Glasgow. Ministers concluded that it would be helpful for the SBSTA Chair to provide a single informal document ahead of COP26 that would complement the Madrid texts, to summarise discussions to date and the options on the table for Parties.  The COP26 President Designate concluded by emphasising the need for Ministers to come to Glasgow prepared to engage constructively – and with flexibility – on Article 6.

Transparency

Ministers recognised the fundamental importance of the enhanced transparency framework with several referring to it as the ‘backbone’ of the Paris Agreement and as an important tool to meet the temperature goals. They converged on the need to finalise the remaining operational details of the framework at COP26 so that Parties can start reporting on time. 

Many Ministers stressed that decisions to be taken in Glasgow should be in line with the modalities, procedures and guidelines (MPGs) and related principles that were agreed at COP24 in Katowice. This includes how to develop the common reporting tables to report GHG inventories, and the common tabular formats for tracking progress of NDCs and for support; moreover, how to operationalise the specific flexibility provisions in line with the “MPGs”. There was general agreement that the bulk of the work on the enhanced transparency framework was completed at COP24, and most Ministers agreed the task remaining is a technical one. Some different views were shared on exactly how some elements of the enhanced transparency framework should be implemented, particularly on whether all reporting formats should be uniform for all Parties. Some Ministers also highlighted the importance of capacity building and called for support for developing countries in implementing the requirements under the transparency framework, including a call for this to be included in the final COP decision. Other Ministers, from donor countries, committed to provide such support through multilateral and bilateral channels. Ministers acknowledged that Parties can and should work together to improve reporting over time from Parties’ different starting points. The COP President Designate urged Ministers to encourage their technical negotiators to get the required work done. He noted the SBSTA Chair, Tosi Mpanu Mpanu, stands ready to convene a workshop prior to COP. The incoming Presidency will also convene informal virtual discussions in October, to accelerate Parties’ preparation for transparency discussions at COP26 and that sufficient time should be allocated to ensure the mandate can be fulfilled on time.

Common time frames

Ministers highlighted the importance of ensuring any outcome on the issue of common time frames aligns with and upholds the five-year cycle of the communication of NDCs and of the Global Stocktake as set out in the Paris Agreement. Some Ministers explained how their national circumstances strongly influenced their position on common time frames; others stated that domestic systems would not prevent them from agreeing to any particular option. 

While there was no clear consensus on the length of common time frames that could be adopted at COP26, there was significant support for a five year option whilst some Ministers called for a ten year framework with a mid-way point at five years. Many Ministers set out that a five year time frame enables Parties to reflect the best available science, the latest market and technological developments and enable full alignment with the Paris Agreement mechanisms, including the Global Stocktake, to inform each cycle of NDCs. Some Ministers highlighted a preference for a ten year time frame due to domestic planning processes, and to provide a longer planning horizon which can also help to drive ambition. A few also indicated it is possible to maintain a ten year domestic framework that remains aligned with five year NDC time frames whilst others urged Parties to accept a plurality of common time frames at COP26. 

The COP President Designate thanked Minister Mujawamariya of Rwanda and Minister Sommaruga of Switzerland for their work on this issue. He noted the two Ministers will continue informal consultations immediately after Pre-COP, reporting back to the COP President Designate before COP.

Final Plenary

In the final Plenary session, Ministers reflected on the discussions across the two days and the implications for the overall political elements that needed to be agreed in Glasgow. The COP President Designate highlighted the Annex to his open letter sent ahead of pre-COP and asked for reflections on whether it covered the right elements. A number of Ministers emphasised the need for an ambitious outcome in Glasgow – consistent with the Paris Agreement and its principles – that addressed the gaps in ambition on mitigation, adaptation, finance and loss and damage and completed the Paris Rulebook, whilst emphasising different priorities across the areas outlined. They emphasised the need to show the world that Leaders and Ministers understood the urgency of action and were prepared to respond. They highlighted the significant work still to be done and emphasised their resolve to work together towards a Glasgow outcome that responds to the seriousness of the challenge in a spirit of cooperation.

Annex 2 – Key Demands raised by youth during Youth4Climate

Below are the key messages agreed by the Youth4Climate youth participants that were discussed with Ministers attending the Pre-COP during the morning of the 30 September. The final outcome document in its entirety will be available after October 25th to allow for its finalisation.

WORKING GROUP 1 – YOUTH DRIVING AMBITION

1. MEANINGFUL PARTICIPATION – Request countries and relevant institutions to urgently ensure meaningful youth engagement and involvement in all decision-making on processes with implications on climate change and climate policy planning, design, implementation and evaluation at multilateral, national and local level with an enabling environment.

2. CAPACITY BUILDING – Request countries to urgently scale-up financial, administrative and logistical support to foster the engagement of youth to effectively drive climate ambition and concrete action.

3. FUNDING – Request countries, international organisations and public and private financial institutions to urgently dedicate, and make readily accessible, funds to support youth participation in decision-making processes with implications on climate change at all levels.

WORKING GROUP 2 – SUSTAINABLE RECOVERY

1. ENERGY TRANSITION AND GREEN JOBS – We call for an urgent, holistic, diversified and inclusive energy transition by 2030 that prioritizes energy efficiency and sustainable energy, keeping +1.5 goal within reach; financing for capacity building, research and technology sharing to ensure a transition with decent jobs, providing adequate support for affected and vulnerable communities.

2. ADAPTATION, RESILIENCE AND LOSS & DAMAGE – We demand strengthening of diverse means of implementation to be made immediately available for locally-owned adaptation, resilience and loss & damage measures to ensure proper and continuous solutions reach the most vulnerable groups and regions.

3. NATURE-BASED SOLUTIONS – We demand Nature-based Solutions be prioritized as a key strategy to address the climate crisis that also emphasizes the need for a socially just and equitable society especially by recognizing, representing, respecting and protecting local and indigenous peoples’ rights and place-based knowledge.

4. FINANCIAL FLOWS – We urge decision makers at all levels, in public and private sectors, to create a transparent and accountable climate finance system with robust regulation of carbon emissions, eradicating the climate investment trap in the most vulnerable communities, while ensuring equal opportunities for people of all genders, ages and backgrounds, as well as eradicating exploitation of women and child labor.

5. TOURISM – We demand, at COP26, the recognition of tourism’s responsibility in meeting global climate targets, and its vulnerabilities to the impacts of climate change, particularly for tourism-dependent countries (e.g. SIDS). We call for the inclusion of all stakeholders (including youth, women, indigenous communities, and other marginalized groups), in capacity building, monitoring, investment and decision-making processes, towards resilient blue and green tourism recovery.

WORKING GROUP 3 – NON-STATE ACTORS’ ENGAGEMENT

1. INFRASTRUCTURE & FINANCE FOR NON-STATE ACTORS – Support participation of young entrepreneurs, artists, farmers, and athletes, in particular from emerging economies and marginalized groups (ethnic minorities, indigenous people, persons with disabilities, etc.), as well as already existing non-state actors with ethical and sustainable practices in the sustainable development and adoption of climate change mitigation and adaptation solutions, by facilitating access to public and private finance, as well as the development of critical infrastructure (incl. internet access).

2. NON-PARTY STAKEHOLDER ALIGNMENT WITH NET ZERO GOALS – A) Demand non-party stakeholders, in particular the private sector, to align current and future operations and their supply chain with net zero emissions. The transition needs to start immediately and requires clear reporting of plans and achievement of milestones, on at least an annual basis. B) Enhance environmental transparency and accountability of non-state actors by requesting robust and annual climate disclosures that include underlying source data; and ensure these disclosures and data sets are consolidated by a relevant entity.

3. FOSSIL FUEL INFLUENCE ON NON-STATE ACTORS & THE FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRY AS NON-STATE ACTORS – Abolishing the fossil fuels industry must begin rapidly and immediately with a total phase out by 2030 at the latest and secure a decentralised, just transition designed for and with workers cooperatives, local and indigenous communities, and those most affected by the climate crisis and land displacement. Any non-states actors, including UN bodies, fashion, sport, art, entrepreneurship, agricultural entities etc. must not accept any fossil fuels investment, lobbying activities influence from this industry, especially in relation to international negotiations.

WORKING GROUP 4 – CLIMATE-CONSCIOUS SOCIETY

1. SHOWCASING IMPACTS AND SOLUTIONS – Decision makers need to be held accountable in working with youth and communities to address climate change, recognizing and supporting vulnerable populations, ensuring access to various resources such as health services, and amplifying diverse voices. They must support the creation of multistakeholder platforms and mechanisms for sharing climate information and solutions and fostering participation in decision-making spaces.

2. EDUCATION – Call on governments to ensure comprehensive and universal climate change education and climate literacy for all and adequate funding for it according to international timelines. The main objective is to empower people of all ages with the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes to address climate change. Education should have a holistic approach, integrating indigenous and local knowledge, gender perspective, and promote changes in lifestyles, attitudes, and behavior, ensuring climate-neutrality and climate-resilience of educational institutions. Key actions include: Integrating climate change learning into the curricula at all levels by introducing climate change elements into existing subjects, training policymakers, teachers, children, youth, the private sector, and communities, integrating climate change into education policies and education into climate change policies including NDCs and national adaptation plans, ensuring the review of climate education policies and coordination between ministers of education and environment, promoting formal, nonformal, and informal education, peer to peer learning, and extracurricular activities. Youth should have access to funding for youth-led projects and more access to paid internships, exchanges and capacity-building activities.

3. PUBLIC AWARENESS AND MOBILIZATION – Call on governments and other relevant actors to raise awareness on climate change adaptation and mitigation for each person in the world, emphasizing climate refugees, through traditional media as well as using campaigns, arts, sports, entertainment, community leaders, influencers, and social media. We need to empower every person in the world to be part of the climate knowledge and solutions through capacity building programs focusing on advocacy and leadership, as well as to ensure that everyone can participate in the decision-making processes.

4. MEDIA – Training journalists and communicators to convey the urgency and implications of the climate crisis in a transparent, accessible, and conversational manner by simplifying scientific findings, facilitating the understanding of policies and emphasizing the existence and feasibility of solutions, regulating advertising, defining and preventing greenwashing, highlighting climate inequalities, combatting misinformation, and utilizing social media and traditional means of communication.

COP26 Logo 'UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021 In partnership with Italy'

14.10.2021

Call for Climate Action Announcements from Private Finance Institutions ahead of COP26

2 minute read

The COP26 Presidency, Mark Carney’s COP26 Private Finance Hub and the High Level Climate Action Champions are calling for private financial institutions to announce new ambitious actions at COP26. These include credibly committing to net zero by joining Race to Zero and GFANZ and setting science based targets for 2025/2030, committing to phase out coal finance, announcing new net-zero- and adaptation-aligned financing to developing countries and emerging markets, and committing to nature-positive finance action.

Read the call for Climate Action Announcements from Private Finance Institutions.

COP26 Logo 'UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021 In partnership with Italy'

12.10.2021

COP26 President Designate Paris Promised, Glasgow Must Deliver

15 minute read

Alok Sharma’s speech at UNESCO, Paris on the need for world leaders to deliver at the COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow.

Thank you to my dear friend, Laurent Fabius, for your kind introductory remarks.

I am so grateful to you for your advice, support and friendship.

My thanks also to UNESCO for hosting us today.

It is very good to be in Paris,

a city steeped in history, one chapter of which was written six years ago, when the Paris Agreement was born.

To Laurent for his expert diplomacy, and indeed all the architects of that historic Agreement, we owe a huge debt of gratitude.

Because the Paris Agreement was a landmark in the global efforts to tackle climate change.

Representing a binding agreement, bringing all nations into a common cause.

To adapt to the effects of climate change, and limit the rise in average global temperature to well below two degrees, pursuing efforts towards 1.5, compared to pre-industrial levels.

In Paris, leaders provided the world with consensus, with ambition and hope.

But it was the beginning of the road.

And in the on-going effort to tackle climate change and limit global warming, in 19 days from now the world will converge on the great city of Glasgow for the latest United Nations Climate Conference, COP26.

And at that vital summit, the world must honour the promises made here in Paris six years ago.

And that ultimately, rests with world leaders.

success, or failure, of COP26 is in their hands.

And so is the fate of the Paris Agreement.

Because since it was signed, the world has not done enough.

Emissions have continued to rise, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has issued a code red for the climate.

Stating, that unless we act immediately, the 1.5-degree limit will slip out of reach.

Already, temperatures have risen at least 1.1 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

Extreme weather is on the march around the world.

This summer we have seen devastating flooding in central Europe and China,

raging wildfires in North America,

record temperatures across the globe, and what some have called the world’s first climate-induced famine in Madagascar.

It has been a truly humbling experience for me to meet communities on the front line of climate change.

Earlier this year I visited the town of Jomsom in Nepal, nestled in the Hindu Kush mountain range.

The majesty of the Himalayas is breath-taking.

But you can also clearly see the alarming impact of a warming climate.

Glaciers melted into giant lakes which, when they burst their banks, have a devastating impact on those living in the foothills.

The people I met had been driven from their villages, by the twin impacts of flooding and drought.

Their dignity still preserved, even as their homes were not.

I was recently on the island of Barbuda in the Caribbean, which was struck by hurricane Irma in 2017.

Much of the damage is still unrestored.

All around you see derelict building after building, with the roofs still blown off, the walls crumbling.

Standing in the midst of that devastation it felt as if a hurricane had blown in just a few weeks ago.

And I talked to some of those still living on the island.

They spoke of the effective forced migration of large numbers of people, who had been unable to return to their homes and rebuild their lives.

They noted, with fear, that the storms facing the region were becoming more frequent and more ferocious.

And they had a very clear message for the world, particularly the largest emitters, the G20 group of nations, to act now to reduce emissions.

I could relay many other heart breaking testimonies I have heard, from communities under siege from a changing climate.

Communities from East Africa, Southeast Asia, from South America to the Pacific.

But the point is that at 1.1 degrees warming the effects are already alarming.

And every fraction of a degree makes a difference.

At 1.5 degrees warming 700 million people would be at risk of extreme heat waves.

At 2 degrees it would be 2 billion.

At 1.5 degrees 70 per cent of the world’s coral reefs die.

At 2 degrees they are all gone.

If temperatures continue to rise we will step through a series of one-way doors,

And the end destination of which is climate catastrophe.

That is why countries on the front-line of climate change fought so hard,

for the 1.5-degree temperature limit to be enshrined in the Paris Agreement.

For them, 1.5 to stay alive is not a hollow slogan.

It is a matter of survival.

And it is why I have always been clear that, in Glasgow, the world must deliver an outcome which keeps 1.5 degrees in reach.

To achieve this, I have been asking countries to deliver on four key goals.

Emissions reductions, adaptation, finance, and working together, including to make the negotiations in Glasgow a success.

In all of these areas, working with partners around the world, we have made progress.

But on each of them, critically, we have further to go.

And leaders must deliver.

On emissions reductions, many climate vulnerable countries are leading the way.

From Bhutan and Suriname which have already achieved net zero, to the small island developing state of Barbados, which will be fossil fuel free by 2030.

I have been urging countries to follow this leadership and commit to net zero by the middle of the century.

And to set out ambitious plans to cut emissions by 2030, those 2030 Nationally Determined Contributions.

There has been progress.

When the UK took on the COP26 Presidency, less than 30 per cent of the global economy was covered by a net zero target.

That figure is now 75 per cent, and climbing.

In recent days Turkey and the UAE have both declared net zero targets.

The UAE’s an historic first in the Gulf.

And I hope that others in the region will follow, ahead of COP26.

More than 70 countries in total have come forward over the past two years with updated, and more ambitious, 2030 NDCs.

And that includes every G7 nation, all of which have NDCs aligned with net zero by 2050, and some of the world’s most climate vulnerable countries.

And they want the same ambition, the same level of commitment, from the largest nations, the G20 countries which account for around 80 per cent of global emissions.

The response of the G20 will quite simply be make, or break, for keeping 1.5 within reach.

And at the G20 Climate and Energy Ministers meeting in July, every G20 country agreed to set out ambitious 2030 emissions reduction targets before COP26.

The UK, France, Italy, Germany, the EU, Canada, the US, Argentina, Japan, South Korea and South Africa have done so.

Now the rest must deliver.

And all eyes will be on the G20 leaders meeting at the end of this month.

We know that we can only tackle climate change if every country plays its part.

So I say to those G20 leaders, they simply must step-up ahead of COP26.

NDCs and net zero commitments are critical to keeping 1.5 alive.

But the targets must translate into change across our economies and our societies.

So we are also urging countries to take the action needed to move to a cleaner world.

To consign coal power to history.

To accelerate the drive to clean electric vehicles.

To end deforestation.

And to reduce methane emissions.

All of which present historic opportunities to create jobs, create growth, and move to a healthier more secure world.

Now we recognise these can be complex transitions for countries.

Which comes as we face global gas supply challenges.

Yet volatile prices underscore the importance of countries accelerating their move to more clean, renewable power.

And we are seeing progress.

Take my personal priority, coal.

I was delighted to co-chair the G7 Climate and Environment Ministers meeting in July where we delivered a historic agreement that no G7 nation would finance any more coal projects internationally.

South Korea has made the same commitment.

And with China’s recent announcement, we are well on the way to choking the financing for new coal power, as we ramp up support for renewables.

But we still need the G20 to tackle domestic unabated coal use.

So, at the G20 meeting I urge leaders to kick coal into the past, where it belongs.

And I expect that at COP26 we will see further commitments on coal, cars, methane and on deforestation.

Keeping 1.5 alive has always been about driving action, and ambition, over this next vital decade.

Countries’ emission reduction commitments, and action in the areas I have outlined, are two vital parts of that.

But there is one more.

We have heard the call from countries at the Ministerial meetings in London and Milan, that we need an outcome from Glasgow that accelerates progress to 2030.

The Paris Agreement is working.

As its architects intended.

It is steadily increasing ambition.

Analysis suggests that the commitments made in Paris in 2015, would have capped the rise in temperature to below 4 degrees.

If the commitments made since then by countries are fully implemented, it could bend the temperature curve towards two degrees.

But to keep 1.5 within reach, we need to go further.

So the Glasgow negotiated outcome must launch a decade of ever-increasing ambition.

We need a system that accelerates progress recognising that, whilst all countries must act, those with the greatest responsibility must do more.

The Climate Vulnerable Forum, for example, has suggested that countries’ progress towards the Paris goals should be assessed at each COP until 2025.

Now ultimately, we will need to reach consensus on this issue.

And that is why I am grateful to Ministers Dan Jorgensen and Simon Stiell for the consultations that they are holding, on how the Glasgow outcome should keep 1.5 within reach.

To keep driving that ambition to 2030, we must also finalise the Paris Rulebook.

This must be resolved if we are to unleash the full power of the Paris Agreement.

But this is no easy task.

The outstanding issues have been discussed for years, without resolution.

I am grateful for the consultations conducted by Ministers Grace Fu and Sveinung Rotevatn on Article 6 and carbon markets, and by Ministers Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya and Simonetta Sommaruga on Common Time Frames.

In London and Milan, we saw progress, but we are still some way off consensus.

And I want to be frank, it will be a challenging task to get us over the line.

So, as I said to Ministers in Italy, we must all come to COP26 armed with the currency of compromise.

Because the world will not understand if, six years on, we still cannot reach agreement on these issues in Glasgow.

Alongside emissions reductions, adaptation has always been central to our COP26 Presidency.

Even if we reached net zero tomorrow, our climate will continue to change.

So it is vital that governments set out their plans to protect people and nature from its effects, and that we increase support and finance for adaptation.

I have come to understand, just how important this issue is for many climate vulnerable nations.

And so we must redress the balance, between finance for mitigation and finance for adaptation.

And we are seeing some progress.

Every G7 country has committed to boost finance for adaptation.

And a new Champions Group on Adaptation Finance is committed to a balance in public finance, between adaptation and mitigation.

And we encourage more countries to join this grouping.

The Adaptation Action Coalition the UK launched with partners in January, now has 38 members.

More countries have come forward with adaptation commitments, but even more are needed.

We have also seen encouraging progress in the debate on loss and damage, a renewed determination to find solutions.

And at COP26 I hope that we will come together, as a global community, to help equip the most vulnerable, to protect themselves from climate change.

We want to make progress in negotiations on loss and damage and adaptation.

Now whether it is adaptation, or emissions reductions, we know that without finance, tackling climate change is well nigh impossible.

So developed countries must deliver on the 100 billion dollars a year promised to developing nations.

This is a totemic figure, a matter of trust.

And trust is a hard won, and fragile commodity, in climate negotiations.

So the 100 billion dollars continues to be an absolute priority of mine.

And I will be honest, thinking about this does keep me awake at night.

The report from the OECD last month set out that in 2019 international climate finance almost reached the 80 billion dollars mark, still over 20 billion shy of where we needed to be in 2020.

Yet recently, we have seen some progress.

Ministers Jochen Flashbarth and Jonathan Wilkinson, are working with me on a Delivery Plan for how, together, developed countries will deliver the 100 billion dollars a year.

We hope to publish the plan before COP26.

And under the UK Presidency, every G7 nation has committed to do more towards the 100 billion dollars.

The UK, Germany, Canada, Japan and the US have pledged new money.

And the European Commission, Sweden and Denmark also have been pledging additional funds, so we are now within touching distance of the $100billion.

Based on the conversations I have had, I am hopeful that more countries will make commitments.

And my message to leaders in every donor nation is clear.

Please step forward now, in these few days before COP26.

Because that promised 100 billion dollars is vital to the success of the summit.

We simply must deliver.

At COP26 we will also start deliberations on the post 2025 finance goal.

And, more broadly, we must address issues such as fiscal space.

So I hope we will hear progress on SDR channelling to developing and vulnerable countries at the IMF and World Bank Annual meetings this week.

This has been a focus of mine, and that is why I have championed this issue with the IMF.

The Paris Agreement set us on a path to transform all global financial flows to deliver a green and sustainable economy.

so, as well as delivering public finance, we need to unleash trillions of dollars of private finance to transition to a greener world.

I am pleased to see the success of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, led by Mark Carney and others.

This now represents over $90trillion in assets.

Its an enormous achievement.

The next step, is to ensure that some of this money is channelled into developing countries, to scale up green, resilient infrastructure.

And also we need development banks to play their part, to help mobilise private funds, driving down the cost of capital.

The task the world faces at COP26 is unprecedented.

Both in terms of what is at stake, and the challenges posed by the pandemic.

The ongoing menace of COVID-19 will make COP26 a COP like no other.

There will be daily testing, masks, social distancing, and limits on room numbers, by necessity.

This is to keep delegates and the local community safe.

It will be an extraordinary COP, in extraordinary times.

But collectively, we must pull together to make it work.

Forging unity from the unfamiliar.

Because we have no choice, but to deliver.

Every country must step-up.

And as COP26 President I will ensure that every voice is heard.

That the smallest nations are sitting face-to-face, with the world’s largest powers.

As equal parties to the process.

And that is why the UK is funding quarantine hotels for delegates.

That is why we offered vaccinations to all accredited delegates, who would not have been able to access them in their home nations.

And today I am pleased to announce new Self-Isolation Support Funds,created by the UNFCCC with the backing of civil society backers which will be available to accredited party delegates, eligible civil society and media from developing countries.

This will cover their costs if they do contract COVID during their stay in Glasgow, and have to self-isolate, thereby requiring a longer stay in Glasgow.

I am also determined that the voices of young people, of indigenous people, women and civil society will be heard.

As part of a truly inclusive summit.

So the UK COP26 Presidency is funding a pavilion for the Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change.

We are hosting a designated Gender Day.

And we are working with young people to host a Youth & Public Empowerment Day.

And I ask global leaders to take inspiration from these young people.

From the passion that I have witnessed from them around the world, and the ambition and commitment I saw on display at the recent Youth4Climate event in Milan.

I ask global leaders to listen to the message of the faith leaders and scientists I met at the Vatican last week, whose Appeal on climate exemplifies the co-operation we must embody.

And I ask global leaders to take their lead from those climate vulnerable countries taking action, in the most difficult circumstances.

There is no denying that the issues at any COP are complex.

Passions, understandably, run high.

But ultimately, success depends on us all.

And, I will do my utmost, as a neutral broker, to shepherd us towards agreement.

COP26 is not a photo op, nor a talking shop.

It must be the forum where we put the world on track to deliver on climate.

And that is down to leaders.

It is leaders who made a promise to the world in Paris six years ago.

And it is leaders that must honour it.

Responsibility rests with each and every country.

And we must all play our part.

Because on climate, the world will succeed, or fail, as one.

We are almost at the end of the road.

And at the Youth4Climate event, I heard young people direct real anger at world leaders.

So now is the time, to redeem ourselves.

Because as my childhood hero, and our COP26 President’s Advocate, Sir David Attenborough has said:

“The moment of crisis has come… The future of humanity, and indeed all life on earth, depends on us.”

So let’s see world leaders come together for our planet,

in that 2015 spirit of hope, fraternity, and ambition.

Paris, promised.

Glasgow, must deliver.

Thank you

COP26 Logo 'UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021 In partnership with Italy'

01.10.2021

Youth4Climate Summit concludes in Milan with young people sharing proposals for tackling climate change with ministers

3 minute read

Translated from Italian

Around 400 young people from all over the world have been able to present their proposals for tackling climate change to the Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Italian Minister for Ecological Transition, Roberto Cingolani, COP26 President-Designate, Alok Sharma, and environment ministers from more than 40 countries. Ministers representing the international community are tasked with delivering a decisive agreement at COP26 in Glasgow next month to tackle the urgent global threat of climate change.

At the Youth4Climate Summit in Milan (28 – 30 September), four co-chairs representing the youth delegates, Nisreen Elsaim (Sudan), Ernest Gibson (Fiji), Nathan Metenier (France) and Sophia Kianni (USA), set out key asks from the under-30s.

The hope is that Youth4Climate was not a one off event in order to strengthen and maintain international dialogues: this was stressed by Minister Cingolani and Alok Sharma, and supported by Prime Minister Mario Draghi. Reducing inequalities, involving young people in decision-making processes, encouraging a public-private aid programme, are just some of the proposals that came out of the meetings. 

Addressing the youth delegates, Prime Minister Draghi said “Your generation is the most threatened by climate change. You are right to ask for empowerment, to ask for change. The ecological transition is not a choice, it is a necessity. We have only two options. Either we face the costs of this transition now, or we act later – which would mean paying the much higher price of a climate disaster.

“We are aware that we must do more, much more. This will be the goal of the summit in Rome that will be held at the end of October. At the G20 level, we want to make a commitment regarding the goal of containing global warming below 1.5 degrees. And we want to develop long-term strategies that are consistent with this goal.”

Mr Draghi did not avoid the issue raised by Greta Thunberg in her speech on Tuesday: “Sometimes the “blah blah blah” is just a way to hide our inability to take action, but when you carry out such big transformations you have to convince people, explain that numbers, such as the increase of 1.5 degrees, are not something created out of the blue but are provided by science, and people must be convinced of this”.

Another key issue, raised with energy and passion by Ugandan climate activist, Vanessa Nakate, and by other delegates from developing countries, was that of financial support for poor countries and/or those most at risk from the effects of climate change.

Mr Cingolani announced that he would encourage the Government to double Italy’s contribution to one billion euros.

He also underlined the geo-political challenge: “Sustainability for me is a compromise. We have to be super-fast in mitigating the effects of climate change, but slow enough not to destroy jobs. It’s not easy, it’s very difficult. And it’s a different tradeoff from country to country. The solutions have to be state-specific, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.”

All eyes are now on the Pre-Cop, which began on Thursday afternoon and continues until Saturday. Ministers gathered in Milan will need to lay the foundations for a successful COP26 in Glasgow that strengthens global climate commitments.

Alok Sharma, Minister Cingolani, the UN Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth, Jayathma Wickramanayake, and delegates Vladislav Kaim, from Moldova, and Reem Al Saffar, from Iraq, all spoke at a closing press conference.

Following the meeting, Mr Sharma said: “The messages we have heard from young people here at Youth4Climate should serve as a wake-up call to ministers around the world. Their outcomes, which align with many of our goals for COP26, will help to inform this critical multilateral process.

“This is a generation that faces frightening consequences, and will rightly judge us if we fail to act. We must be able to look young people in the eye and say that we did everything necessary to protect their future.

“Keeping a 1.5C future alive hinges on COP26 in Glasgow. So we must make Pre-COP count, ensuring that we lay the foundations for successful negotiations and address the ambition gaps on adaptation, mitigation, loss and damage and finance, as well as finalising the Paris Rulebook. As the last time many of us will meet before Glasgow, I hope we can build on the sense of common purpose that was achieved at the July Ministerial in London.” 


Notes to editors

COP26 Logo 'UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021 In partnership with Italy'

01.10.2021

Climate change brought to life at COP26 with over 200 events in Glasgow

2 minute read

  • Tickets will be available shortly for the Green Zone at COP26 in Glasgow
  • Singer Ellie Goulding announced as a COP26 Advocate

COP26 will open its doors to the British public throughout the international climate summit, with more than 200 events being hosted in the UK-run Green Zone in Glasgow between Monday 1 November and Friday 12 November.

The Green Zone, hosted in the Glasgow Science Centre, will bring together young people, indigenous leaders, businesses and grassroots communities who will showcase cultural performances, exhibitions, talks, film screenings and technical demonstrations to a global audience.

Tickets will be available free of charge to the public with most events also streamed live on the COP26 YouTube channel so people across the UK and the globe can join in.

Global singer/songwriter Ellie Goulding has also been announced as a COP26 Advocate. Ms Goulding will be raising awareness about climate change to audiences in the UK and around the world, promoting the importance of climate action to young people and will also be attending COP26 in Glasgow.

Over 300 organisations will take part including:

  • Musicians in Exile, Glasgow’s asylum seeking and refugee musicians will perform music from their homelands with new songs created for COP26 about the impact of climate change on refugees now, and in the near future
  • An immersive multimedia IMAX experience, Can I live? from Fehinti Balogun sharing how, as a young Black British man, he has found his place in the climate movement. It weaves his story with spoken word, rap, theatre, animation and the scientific facts
  • ActionAid, featuring ‘Earth Observers’, a women-led debate on climate justice from space frontiers to frontline farmers. Female leaders including Nicole Stott (Veteran-NASA Astronaut) from the worlds of science, space exploration, activism and the arts will discuss how they’ve witnessed climate change from unique vantage points, and what they’ve learned about solutions, collaboration and ambition
  • Tron Young Theatre, featuring ‘Retro/Future’, a documentary film about the River Clyde made by six young Glaswegians who have been engaging with young activists in Colombia and exploring ideas around climate change in their countries

COP26 Principal Partners (Unilever, SSE, Sky, ScottishPower, Sainsburys, Reckitt, NatWest Group, National Grid, Microsoft, Hitachi and GSK) will have a strong presence at the COP26 Green Zone to share their experiences, showcase their commitment to fighting climate change, support and encourage others to do the same, and make a difference in a global issue of paramount importance.

They will all be hosting exciting interactive exhibition stands in the Green Zone, and running a host of diverse and interesting events and premieres covering a range of themes relevant to tackling climate change alongside other world experts and interesting speakers.

The Green Zone will also feature some of the individuals, businesses and organisations in all four nations of the UK who are all going one step greener to protect the planet, as part of the Government’s Together for our Planet campaign.

From a British FormulaE race car showcasing the power of electric vehicles, to the artwork created by children across the country to inspire climate action, the Green Zone will convey the passion and innovation of the UK’s fight in tackling climate change.

COP26 President-Designate Alok Sharma said:

COP26 is our last best hope for the world to come together and tackle climate change. So the eyes of the world will be on Glasgow when global leaders arrive in November.

As well as the crucial climate negotiations, COP26 is a fantastic opportunity for businesses, civil society, academia, indigenous groups, and young people to showcase what they are doing to tackle climate change to both a local and a global audience.

Tickets will be available shortly and I would encourage the UK public to use this unique opportunity to engage with this momentous event.

Ellie Goulding, COP26 Advocate said:

I’ve taken on the role as an Advocate for the UN climate change conference COP26. I believe that COP26 MUST be the moment global leaders listen to the scientists and tackle the climate crisis for all our sakes. We have to keep 1.5 alive.

There’s going to be an incredible energy and focus in Glasgow in November and I think it’s important that as many people as possible take part in deciding their future on this planet. I’m encouraging as many people as possible to get involved.

Background

  • For Green Zone programme see here
  • Tickets will be available via the COP26 website on 11 October 2021.
COP26 Logo 'UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021 In partnership with Italy'

22.09.2021

Letter to all Parties from the COP26 President Designate, ahead of Pre-COP

5 minute read

To: all Parties to the UNFCCC

Dear friends,

Today marks 40 days to the official opening of COP26, when I look forward to welcoming all delegates in-person in Glasgow. As last month’s IPCC report set out, the science is clear, there is absolutely no doubt that human activity has warmed the planet. Impacts are being felt worldwide, and without immediate action the effects will only get worse. The UNFCCC NDC synthesis report and OECD’s assessment of progress towards the $100bn have laid bare the scale and urgency of the challenge. They have shown the significant gaps that remain if we are to put the world on track to delivering the Paris goals. Collectively we need to step up. The world is watching and responsibility lies with all of us. We must respond to this challenge in Glasgow.

Our four goals for COP26 show us the way. As I wrote in July, success at COP26 will be judged against our collective efforts to achieve them: through the negotiated outcome, commitments by national governments, and the actions of governments, business, investors, cities and regions, civil society, Indigenous Peoples and youth.

We have heard from all of you how important it is for COP26 to be in person and inclusive. Construction of the venue and the vaccination of delegates who have responded to the UK’s vaccination offer are well underway. You will have also seen my announcement earlier this month that the UK is offering funding for quarantine hotel stays for all accredited delegates arriving from red list countries. More information on COP26 logistics will follow shortly.

I was pleased to welcome many of you to London in late July for a frank and informal exchange on expectations of the Glasgow outcome. At that meeting, Ministers emphasised that Glasgow must keep 1.5°C in reach – addressing the ambition gaps on adaptation, mitigation, loss and damage and finance, and completing the Paris Rulebook. There was a shared recognition of the need for tangible action and support in the critical decade to 2030, and that collectively we are not doing enough.

Pre-COP

Next week I look forward to joining Minister Cingolani in Milan to welcome you to Pre-COP – the final key ministerial meeting before COP26. I am very grateful to our Italian partners for their collaboration and careful preparation. We will transition between breakout groups and plenary to discuss: Keeping 1.5°C Alive; Adaptation, Loss and Damage; Article 6; Transparency; Common Time Frames of NDCs and Climate Finance, before a final session on the overall set of expected outcomes from COP26. With so little time left before COP26, I will be encouraging you to build on conversations held in London to reach a shared understanding of expected outcomes from Glasgow. I want to hear your ideas for reaching agreement on all issues. This will require us all to strive for high ambition and move beyond national position.

I have annexed to this letter a list of key elements of the Glasgow outcome that Parties have identified as priorities, and specific questions for each of the breakout groups will follow shortly. Together, these are intended to inform discussions in Milan. As part of our ongoing commitment to transparency and inclusivity I am sharing this letter publicly, and welcome written inputs from any Parties or observer constituencies that wish to provide them (IncomingPresidency@unfccc.int). These will be considered by the incoming presidency and also made available online to help inform conversations. Discussions at Pre-COP will be captured in a Chairs’ Summary to be published online.

Final stretch

Alongside Pre-COP a number of moments mark the road to COP26, including:

  • UNGA (New York, 14-30 September): where we are already seeing more new announcements from Parties.
  • Youth 4 Climate (Milan, 28-30 September): where almost 400 youth delegates will outline ideas and concrete actions to address climate change and serve as a basis for a dialogue between the youth delegates and ministers at Pre-COP.
  • G20 Leaders (Rome, 30-31 October): where we hope the major economies will agree action that keeps 1.5C within reach, including: commitment to net zero by mid-century with aligned NDCs, more climate finance, and accelerated action in the 2020s, including ending unabated coal power and reversing deforestation.

Alongside these moments the UK, together with Chile, will continue to consult Parties at all levels in support of effective negotiations at COP26. With the provisional agendas for the conference now published by the Secretariat, we have also initiated a series of discussions on how to ensure their smooth adoption and enable timely initiation of the negotiations. Early next month, my team and I will publish a dedicated note on procedural matters ahead of a final meeting with all Heads of Delegation before ​​COP26, to ensure negotiators hit the ground running in Glasgow. The UNFCCC website lists consultations held to date and will be updated to reflect the full schedule of presidencies-led events, as plans are finalised.

I am committed to delivering a safe and inclusive COP26. I am grateful for the way in which your teams have continued to work flexibly and creatively to drive progress whilst dealing with the impacts of COVID-19, and for your continued guidance – through key meetings, extensive bilateral engagement and the informal work led by pairs of ministers on my behalf.

The eyes of the world are on all of us to translate political will and positive intentions into concrete commitments and practical action, commensurate with keeping 1.5°C alive. The time is now to come together and deliver, for present and future generations.

Yours sincerely,

The Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP

COP President Designate

Annex – Emerging elements of the COP26 negotiated outcome

Set out below are a range of negotiated outcomes and deliverables raised by Parties and non-state actors I have spoken to in recent months as important for the success of COP26. This list is not intended to be exhaustive, and does not include the suite of commitments, initiatives and actions expected from Glasgow that fall outside the formal UN climate change process. However, I hope it serves to support further conversations on the overall set of outcomes from COP26 over the coming weeks, including at the Pre-COP in Milan. Elements raised include:

  • Critical importance of meeting the $100bn goal and agreement on how the UNFCCC process will take forward work on climate finance, including finance for adaptation, developing country needs, aligning finance flows with Paris, as well as reviewing and giving guidance to multilateral climate funds.
  • Agreement of a forward approach for how the new collective quantified finance goal (post-2025) will be set prior to 2025.
  • Addressing the gap that exists between NDCs and emissions reductions required by science to keep 1.5 in reach; including a roadmap for strengthening 2030 NDCs as necessary ahead of, and through, the Global Stocktake in 2023.
  • Strengthened expectations of all Parties to produce long-term strategies pointing the way to net zero, regularly updated in light of the best available science.
  • Political prioritisation of adaptation, including launch of work to drive progress towards the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA).
  • Agreement on the development of the Santiago Network on Loss & Damage.
  • Agreement on Article 6 rules which uphold environmental integrity, including guidance for cooperation under Article 6.2, a new UN mechanism under Article 6.4 and a work programme on non-market approaches under Article 6.8.
  • Adoption of further operational guidance for the Enhanced Transparency Framework to give confidence, legitimacy, clarity and enable comparison, and the importance of  support for developing countries to undertake enhanced reporting.
  • Agreement on common time frames for NDCs to promote consistency and comparability and support the functioning of the Paris system/architecture.
  • Agreement of a new work programme for climate empowerment, education, training, and public awareness, participation and access to information.
  • Agreement of a new work programme on local communities and indigenous peoples.
  • Outcomes ensuring the institutional architecture is fit for purpose by agreeing the UNFCCC budget, taking forward work on a range of issues from agriculture to response measures, and concluding a large number of reviews of key bodies.
  • An improved Marrakesh Partnership that strengthens links with non-state actors, driven by the High Level Champions.

For a comprehensive summary of discussions between the representative group of Ministers participating in the July Ministerial on the Glasgow outcomes, I invite you to read my chair’s summary.

COP26 Logo 'UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021 In partnership with Italy'

21.09.2021

GLOBAL CITIZENS AND SCIENTISTS SHINE HOPE ON HOW TO ACHIEVE A THRIVING NET ZERO FUTURE

5 minute read

  • New international COP26 project showcases desirable and achievable visions for a net zero future across six diverse regions of the world.
  • From restored coastal swamps and climate resilient crops to electric bikes and seawater greenhouses, research highlights the benefits of a transition to a climate-resilient future, including new jobs, improved health and quality of life, and secure food and water supplies.
  • The Futures We Want project puts scientific evidence, international collaboration and the priorities of local citizens at the forefront of COP26.

Following four months of international collaboration between academics, business, civil society and citizens across the globe, the COP26 Futures We Want project, unveiled today (Tuesday 21 September), shines hope for an achievable, beneficial, resilient and desirable global net zero future for nations across the world.

Bridging the gap between scientific evidence and citizen insight through a series of virtual workshops, this global project commissioned ahead of the UK’s COP Presidency, brought together young people, indigenous and rural communities, civil society, business and industry from across six regions of the world, using world-class research and evidence to envision their priorities, hopes and desires for their future.

Including communities from the UK, Jamaica, Brazil, Kenya, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and India, this COP26 flagship science and innovation programme explored diverse perspectives and solutions to the day-to-day impacts of climate change such as electricity generation, agriculture, waste and water management, building design, reforestation and ocean conservation.

The global group of citizens explored the range of net zero and resilience solutions that exist across the world, and recognised how achieving this future would bring wide-ranging opportunities and benefits such as the creation of new jobs, improving our health and quality of life, and securing sustainable food and water supplies. 

The science is clear, we must act now to put the world on a path to net zero emissions if we are to limit global warming and keep 1.5c within reach. This means all countries, businesses and individuals have an important part to play.

These visions of a Net Zero world, published today ahead of COP26, outline how a transition to a climate-resilient future can act as a real opportunity to create new green jobs, build sustainable economies and boost the health and quality of life for millions.

COP26 President-Designate, Alok Sharma

These visions, which will be showcased at COP26, highlight achievable and desirable solutions to climate change, and celebrate international collaboration and science and innovation, ensuring these are at the heart of November’s COP26 negotiations.

Science and innovation are a powerful tools that we must use to inform ambitious climate action as we work towards a desirable global net zero future.

International collaboration of academics and governments is essential in achieving a just transition to a climate resilient future and understanding citizen perspectives, including indigenous communities and youth, will guide us down a realistic and deliverable path to a future with wide-ranging opportunities and co-benefits.

Paul Monks, Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Champion of the Futures We Want project

This project brought together civil society, academia, business and government to create compelling visions of a net zero, climate resilient future. This collaborative approach is essential if these visions are to become a reality in the coming years. 

In the run-up to COP26 and beyond, we hope that policy-makers, negotiators and other decision-makers can use these visions to inspire and catalyse climate action.

Hannah Routh, climate change and sustainability partner at Deloitte who helped lead the project

COP26 can be the start of building a new, positive future if there is sufficient ambition. Partners and collaborators from around the world helped us to put citizens and evidence at the heart of informing policy. 

Together, we visualised a set of possible desirable futures by identifying many of the challenges and solutions that must be addressed to achieve a global zero-carbon future that is just and beneficial for all.”

Emily Shuckburgh, director of Cambridge Zero, and chair of the project’s International Expert Committee

Bringing together academia, industry and local citizens, Futures We Want provides valuable insight on how people can become more engaged with climate action.

Efforts to tackle climate change will have limited success without the involvement of local citizens; leveraging that local knowledge will be key to achieving a resilient, net-zero future.

AECOM is proud to have been a part of this trailblazing collaboration that is helping regions envisage their own mitigation, adaptation and resilient futures.

Colin Wood, Chief Executive – Europe, AECOM

This project’s strengths flow from its human-centred, localised responses to our shared global crisis. Urgent regional impacts were confronted with local institutions, technologies, and culture. This generated stunning creative energy.

By then elevating these responses to a global frame of reference, we begin to see how regional mindsets and strengths can weave a network of complementary solutions with positive cumulative impact on a planetary scale.

Jonathan Shanahan, sustainability campaigns director at Radley Yeldar

The Futures We Want Project provides a refreshed inventory of the latest scientific evidence and a compendium of actions by state and non-state actors around climate action.

The way it has blended the distinct cultures of Science, Policy and Human service illustrates how achieving Net-Zero and climate resilience is feasible worldwide.

This co-created visions ahead of the COP26 conference in November provide invaluable decision-relevant insights and actionable approaches to deliver ambitious, farsighted, and inclusive commitments to a just Net-Zero and climate-resilient future.

Dr Linda Nkatha Gichuyia, Kenyan Expert Committee member

For example, the Arabian Peninsula’s vision for a resilient, net zero future welcomes the development of green deserts, improved water security, seawater greenhouses and solar thermal power generation. Brazil’s vision showcases the need for innovative businesses that harness and celebrate the Amazon’s biodiversity, and agroecology practices that increase yields and make crops more climate resilient.

India’s vision harnesses the country’s best assets to power its homes with solar energy and use nature-based solutions, like wetland waste systems, to supply communities with clean water, while Jamaica envisions implementing world-leading natural protection from hurricanes and floods through restored reefs and mangrove coastal swamps to protect its citizens and the environment.

The United Kingdom’s vision makes the most of its resources as a coastal nation, championing its role as part of a global net zero community that trades with and learns from other nations, always with a focus on sustainable business. Kenya’s vision sees solar powered drip irrigation systems, greater use of indigenous crops, and health systems that can withstand climate change and remain accessible for all. 

As holders of this year’s G7 and COP26 Presidency, today’s launch builds on the Government’s promise to lead both the UK and the nations of the world in supporting a just, global transition to a climate-resilient, net-zero future – one that unleashes green jobs, cleaner air and increasing prosperity, without harming the planet and intensifying impacts of climate change. 

With just two months to go until the COP26 conference in Glasgow the COP Presidency is committed to working together with the nations of the world to build back greener, secure a global net zero and keep 1.5 degrees within reach.

Ends.


COP26 Logo 'UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021 In partnership with Italy'

05.08.2021

July Ministerial Chairs Summary

10 minute read

Introduction

On 25-26 July 2021, more than 50 ministers and high-level representatives including the UN Deputy Secretary General and the UNFCCC Executive Secretary met informally to discuss their expectations for COP26, the shape and substance of the Glasgow outcome, and to provide guidance on outstanding negotiations issues. The COP26 President Designate was grateful to all ministers who travelled to London and followed the COVID-19 testing procedures in order to participate, as well as those who joined virtually across various time zones.

The agenda consisted of five topics: scaling up adaptation, keeping 1.5°C alive, loss and damage, finalising the Paris Rulebook – focusing on Article 6, and mobilising finance. Discussions took place in a combination of plenary and breakout groups, and a number of ministers were invited to support with co-facilitation. The COP President Designate is extremely grateful to all colleagues who acted as co-facilitators. To inform the discussion as well as for transparency and inclusivity, the COP26 President Designate published an open letter ahead of the meeting, and was grateful for written inputs received from Parties and observers. A range of civil society and indigenous peoples representatives were also invited to produce input videos to help frame the ministerial discussions. 

Meeting Outcomes & Next Steps

The COP26 President Designate was grateful for the energetic and frank engagement of Ministers during a positive and constructive two-day exchange. All Ministers spoke to the urgency of action and the need to act with courage and in a spirit of solidarity to ensure that the Glasgow outcome reflects the reality of the situation that the world is facing. The impacts of climate change are already being felt, particularly by the most vulnerable, and will continue to grow in severity and frequency. Ministers emphasised that Glasgow must keep 1.5°C in reach, addressing the ambition gaps on adaptation, mitigation, loss and damage and finance; and completing the Paris Rulebook. There is a political imperative to ensure that real and tangible progress is made across all of these issues in the critical decade to 2030. A number of Ministers called for the spirit of collaborative and constructive effort fostered at this meeting to be carried forward in working together towards these goals at COP26.  

The key points raised by Ministers and next steps are summarised below, with a more detailed summary set out in the attached Annex to inform work towards Glasgow. The incoming Presidency will continue to consult on these issues in the coming weeks and months.

Recognising the need to elevate the political importance of adaptation action, a number of Ministers called for COP26 to produce a roadmap to accelerate action towards the Global Goal on Adaptation, and for a package of adaptation finance that reflects the need to increase levels of and access to adaptation finance and achieve a better balance between mitigation and adaptation. The COP26 President Designate and the COP26 Champion for Adaptation & Resilience, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, emphasised the incoming Presidency’s determination to secure an ambitious outcome on adaptation at COP 26 that reflects the need for increased action and support, and have asked officials to facilitate work to develop further proposals for consideration by Ministers ahead of Glasgow.     

Emphasising the critical need to keep 1.5°C alive in order to reduce the impacts of climate change, and expressing concern about the scale of the mitigation gap, many Ministers called for all Parties to come forward with ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) aligned to 1.5°C as well as Long-Term Strategies (LTSs) to net zero by 2050 and/or mid-century ahead of COP26. Many noted the particular responsibility of developed countries and the G20 in this respect. There were also calls to accelerate actions to phase down coal power and coal-finance, and the need for a just transition and to place such action in the context of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances. The COP President Designate emphasised that the incoming Presidency would take forward the request from Ministers to explore options for how the Glasgow outcome could respond to any gap in 2030 ambition, including through exploring the proposal for a roadmap towards keeping 1.5°C in reach. 

Ministers agreed that Glasgow should recognise that the threat of loss and damage from climate impacts is escalating and demands attention and action. Many countries, from all parts of the world, recalled the severe challenges they were each facing from escalating extreme weather. It was recognised that the Santiago Network and governance issues for the Warsaw International Mechanism must be addressed; and there were calls by some for outcomes in Glasgow to go beyond the Santiago Network and address wider issues on Loss and Damage, including relating to support. The incoming Presidency will circulate a discussion paper and hold a meeting of Heads of Delegation in August to hear views and consider next steps with a view to further discussion by Ministers ahead of Glasgow.

All Ministers highlighted the need to urgently scale up climate finance, with many noting their disappointment that the $100bn goal has not yet been met. The COP26 President Designate emphasised that this is a matter of trust and asked State Secretary Flasbarth of Germany and Minister Wilkinson of Canada to lead work to set out how developed countries will collectively deliver the $100 billion per year mobilisation goal through to 2025. Ministers also exchanged views on their expectations for the new collective quantified goal at COP26, noting the importance of agreeing a clear plan for setting the goal. The incoming Presidency will continue to deliver its work plan for submissions and consultations on this in order to develop proposals for discussion by Ministers ahead of and in Glasgow.

Finally, a number of Ministers highlighted that completion of the Paris Rulebook is vital for integrity, credibility, and ambition. Discussions on Article 6 showed willingness to engage in bridging positions and proposals and in this context Minister Fu of Singapore and Minister Rotevatn of Norway agreed to continue their informal ministerial consultations towards Glasgow. Recognising the importance of completing all elements of the Rulebook, the COP26 President Designate announced that Minister Mujawamariya of Rwanda and Minister Sommaruga of Switzerland would lead informal consultations on Common Time Frames for NDCs. He also asked that technical discussions on the Enhanced Transparency Framework be accelerated so that he can decide      the appropriate timing for this issue to be considered by Ministers.

The COP26 President Designate concluded by emphasising the commitment of the incoming Presidency to work tirelessly towards ambitious outcomes at COP26 and to engage all Parties, including those who could not be present in London, in an inclusive and transparent manner. He emphasised the huge amount of work to be done and encouraged all Ministers to actively drive forward work towards agreement, given that a successful outcome at COP26 is the responsibility of all. 

Annex – key issues raised during ministerial discussions

Scaling up adaptation

Ministers recognised the need for greater political attention to be paid to adaptation within the UNFCCC process, and greater parity with mitigation. They reinforced the importance of urgency, cooperation and solidarity to enhance action, and support, setting adaptation action in the context of sustainable development and keeping 1.5°C within reach.

Ministers agreed on the need to improve Parties’ collective understanding of the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA), with broad support for a roadmap or work programme to facilitate progress. A range of views were expressed on the extent to which the GGA needs to be further defined or quantified through increased resilience or other measures, the need for indicators/measures to assess progress, the extent to which progress is assessed globally versus regionally, nationally or locally, and links to adaptation finance and the needs of developing countries. There was agreement that measuring adaptation is complex, and that any system should not place additional burdens on developing country parties. A number of ministers asked what role different organisations (such as the Adaptation Committee and the IPCC) might play in the assessment of progress, for example on predictability, quality and effectiveness of adaptation finance, and of where future discussions on the GGA might take place, noting the importance of the Global Stocktake in that context. Some called for an agenda item at COP26 whereas others thought this could be addressed through existing items.

Ministers highlighted the need to urgently scale up adaptation finance and ensure it is more accessible and predictable. A number of ministers proposed a 50/50 split in climate finance for mitigation and adaptation action. Others noted the priority should instead be increasing the overall amount of adaptation finance, and expressed concern that this should be additional and not come at the expense of mitigation finance. Whilst opinions on the approach were mixed, ministers shared a willingness to find common proposals to achieve the overall goal. This collegiate approach was encouraged by the COP26 President Designate, who called for further proposals. 

A number of ministers focussed on accessibility, and eligibility, highlighting that vulnerability cannot be measured through gross domestic product (GDP). Some spoke to the need to better use existing funding mechanisms such as the Green Climate Fund (GCF) through revisiting the requirements and procedures. Others noted the importance of the Adaptation Fund and the links to discussions on share of proceeds through Article 6. Ministers referenced the impact of specific interventions including nature-based solutions or ecosystem-based approaches, water management, and climate-proofing infrastructure.

Ministers recognised the importance of National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), Adaptation Communications and/or Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) as tools to guide and demonstrate adaptation action, as well as to communicate local and national priorities and needs. They also recognised the importance of implementable plans to attract and guide finance, and of locally-led, practical action. 

In closing, the COP26 President Designate noted the calls for more specific proposals to come forward and encouraged Ministers to put ideas on the table to address the issues identified. He confirmed that the incoming Presidency would explore the proposal that COP26 could produce a roadmap for assessing progress on the GGA. He also flagged the importance of Parties continuing to map out the way forward on adaptation finance ahead of further ministerial discussions on the matter, with ministers subsequently noting the plan for delivering the $100bn plan as a potential vehicle to support this. 

Keeping 1.5°C Alive

Ministers emphasised the urgent need to reduce emissions to keep 1.5°C within reach, recognising that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change as made clear by the best available science. They highlighted that collectively Parties are not doing enough, with many referencing the initial version of the NDC Synthesis Report prepared by the UNFCCC Secretariat which highlighted that the NDCs that had been communicated by 2020 fell far short of what the science states is required. Many ministers called for all countries to submit NDCs and Long Term Strategies (LTS) that are aligned with 1.5°C pathways ahead of COP26. A number of ministers highlighted the importance of G20 leadership in this respect, given the group’s responsibility for over 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions. They welcomed the commitment of the G20 to bring forward NDCs before COP26 and called for all such Parties to increase ambition accordingly. 

A number of Ministers acknowledged that the 2020s represented the decisive decade, with several highlighting that the report from Working Group 1 of the IPCC’s 6th Assessment Report was likely to make clear how close the world is to crossing dangerous thresholds. They stressed that should a 2030 mitigation gap remain in Glasgow, Parties would need to respond. Some ministers proposed that this could include a clear political commitment to keep 1.5°C in reach, an acknowledgement of the gap, and a roadmap to close it. 

Ministers discussed a number of concrete steps that could be taken to keep 1.5°C within reach as part of such a response. They were reminded that under the Paris Agreement Parties can update NDCs at any time and each iteration should be more ambitious. Specific proposals that enjoyed support included: encouraging NDCs not yet submitted or not aligned with 1.5°C to be brought in line before 2025; the opportunity to assess progress towards this at or before the Global Stocktake in 2023; strengthening the invitation for Long Term Strategies to be submitted which should set out concrete pathways to net zero emissions by 2050 and/or mid-century and to be updated regularly by Parties and synthesised periodically by the UNFCCC Secretariat; sending clear market signals through carbon pricing, phasing out unabated coal power and coal financing, fossil fuel subsidy reform, transport solutions such as zero emission vehicles and nature based solutions. The importance of using political, leader level milestones such as UNGA and the G20 to make progress on these issues was highlighted.

Ministers reinforced the importance of all Parties doing their fair share, with some Small Island Developing States and LDCs emphasising that they have even gone beyond this, and account for over a third of NDC submissions to the UNFCCC. A number of Ministers emphasised the importance of acting in accordance with the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances, and the particular responsibility of developed countries. Ministers recognised the importance of ensuring a just transition that leaves no-one and no communities behind, and of means of implementation to facilitate ambitious mitigation action. All emphasised the need for increased support to developing countries, and that discussions on mitigation cannot be separated from finance and adaptation. One Minister suggested a financial mechanism to transition from existing to clean energy, linked to performance on the ground and incentives to move away from high greenhouse gas emissions options. A number of ministers also highlighted the importance of finalising the outstanding elements of the Paris Rulebook in a manner that supported keeping 1.5°C within reach. Ministers also emphasised the importance of technology, including new power sources such as hydrogen, of engaging the private sector and non-state actors, cooperation between cities, and aligning all finance flows with the Paris Agreement.

In closing the session, the COP26 President Designate reinforced the importance of all Parties coming forward ahead of COP26 with ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), as well as Long-Term Strategies (LTSs) marking a course to net zero emissions by 2050 and/or mid-century. The COP26 President Designate also confirmed that the UK as incoming Presidency will further consider with Parties the options for responding to the gap in Glasgow, including through the development of a roadmap to keep 1.5°C within reach.

Loss & Damage

Ministers converged on the urgent need to step up efforts to address loss and damage, recognising that impacts are growing exponentially, and informed by personal testimonies of the devastating impacts of extreme weather events shared by a number of ministers present. They highlighted the importance of urgent and practical action to avert, minimise and address loss and damage, tailored to national and local circumstances. They identified locally-owned plans, institutional capacity, technical expertise and accessible finance as critical enablers for this. Whilst ministers recognised the devastation caused by hurricanes and other events, they also emphasised the importance of action and support to cope with the impacts of slow onset events including rising sea levels. 

Many Ministers recognised the importance of technical assistance for loss and damage. They welcomed the incoming Presidency’s efforts to take forward the development of the Santiago Network established at COP25 in Madrid in an inclusive manner, and stressed the need to get the Network up and running as soon as possible to link up the institutions, knowledge and resources available with vulnerable developing countries. Some ministers emphasised that this network needs to be able to respond to parties and so cannot be restricted to a website.

Some ministers stressed that response to loss and damage required action over and above that for adaptation and mitigation and called for a dedicated funding stream or mechanism. While there was consensus on the urgent need for action, other ministers cautioned about the fragmentation of funds and the importance of existing mechanisms within and outside the UNFCCC being enabled to devote sufficient resources to effectively avert, minimise and address loss and damage.  

A number of ministers also highlighted the challenge of increasing indebtedness as a result of needing to borrow to address increasingly frequent natural disasters alongside parallel challenges including COVID-19, and the importance of innovations including natural disaster clauses to help break the debt cycle, particularly for those small island developing states suffering economic losses multiple times greater than their gross domestic product (GDP) as a result of climate impacts. In this they noted that eligibility for concessional and grant finance needs to take into account vulnerability, not be simply based on measures of GDP. Ministers also highlighted the centrality of taking an integrated approach to loss and damage, with action on slow onset events and disasters being led by national plans and integrating adaptation, disaster risk reduction, disaster preparedness, and humanitarian assistance.

In closing the session the COP26 President Designate called for Parties to bring solutions to the table. He reminded Parties of the Heads of Delegation meeting convened by the UK and Chile on 3-4 August to discuss the presidencies’ second discussion paper on the Santiago Network as part of a broader discussion on loss and damage, including matters relating to the governance of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss & Damage. 

Finalising the Paris Rulebook – Article 6

Ministers converged on the need to finalise the outstanding mandates relating to the Paris Rulebook at COP26 to enable the full implementation of the Paris Agreement. They recognised that it was necessary for ministers to now play a more active role in these negotiations in order to reach a successful resolution.

During this session, ministers focused on the feasibility of possible bridging proposals on three issues within Article 6: avoiding double counting through the Article 6.4 mechanism; the use of pre-2020 units to meet NDC targets; and supporting adaptation action through Article 6. The possible bridging proposals were suggested by Parties during two virtual ministerial consultations held on 7 and 12 July and shared with ministers ahead of the July Ministerial meeting. A copy of this document can be found on the UNFCCC website.

Ministers recognised that compromise will be necessary to reach an agreement. While a few ministers welcomed the possible bridging proposals in their current form, others indicated reservations and suggested that further work would be required if the options were to be further considered. Many ministers stressed that an outcome could not come at the expense of the environmental integrity of Article 6 and could not undermine the ambition of the Paris Agreement. In this context, some ministers suggested further work on additional safeguards to the possible bridging proposal to avoid double claiming through the Article 6.4 mechanism, to reduce the risk of perverse incentives against the expansion of NDCs and to increase transparency.

In reflecting on the use of pre-2020 units to meet NDC targets, many ministers highlighted the risk of allowing their use, including on our collective ability to keep 1.5°C within reach. Others stressed the importance of enabling carry-over of pre-2020 units to retain investor confidence. Without prejudice to the acceptability or not of a possible bridging proposal involving a limited amount of use of pre-2020 units to meet NDC targets, ministers recognised the benefit of a greater understanding of the potential impact of different options, including how many pre-2020 units might be eligible under different scenarios and the impact on environmental integrity. Ministers also discussed other approaches, for example, putting the units into a reserve to avoid flooding the market and to preserve investor confidence. 

While ministers agreed on the importance of more predictable adaptation finance, there remains no clear bridging option on how Article 6 should achieve this. Many ministers expressed existing views: a mandatory share of proceeds on Article 6.2 activity as the only way to ensure balance between the instruments and to generate finance; or such an approach being outside of the mandate set out in the Paris Agreement, which limits a share of proceeds to Article 6.4. A few ministers referenced the approach of a voluntary encouragement together with mandatory reporting in Article 6.2, as proposed in COP25, but others questioned whether this would generate predictable finance. A number of ministers pointed out the link between this issue and other discussions on adaptation and finance; which should be addressed as part of the ongoing work on those issues.

Ministers highlighted that the three issues above represent a subset of issues to be addressed under Article 6. Other priority issues raised by ministers include operationalising the Article 6.8 work programme, ensuring an overall mitigation of global emissions (OMGE), protecting human rights and the role and rights of indigenous peoples, and capacity building for participation in Article 6 activities. Many ministers stressed the importance of not considering the outstanding issues in isolation but instead as part of a package.

In closing the session, the COP26 President Designate thanked Minister Fu of Singapore and Minister Rotevatn of Norway for agreeing to continue their informal ministerial consultations on Article 6 as we approach COP26. The COP26 President Designate also thanked Minister Mujawamariya of Rwanda and Minister Sommaruga of Switzerland for accepting his request to lead informal consultations on Common Time Frames for NDCs. The COP26 President Designate encouraged urgent progress to be made on the Enhanced Transparency Framework at the technical level and he will consider the appropriate timing to elevate to Ministers.

Mobilising Finance

Ministers emphasised the need to scale up climate finance and the fundamental importance of delivery on the $100bn goal for trust, credibility and confidence in the UN climate change process, recognising finance as an enabler for driving ambitious climate action at scale, and for binding other elements of the Glasgow outcome together. A number of ministers stressed that developed countries must set out how they will mobilise the $100bn a year through to 2025, and supported the proposal for a delivery plan or roadmap to do so. Ministers from developed countries noted encouragement in the upwards trajectory, their regret at not having achieved the collective goal to date, and expressed their commitment to doing so with urgency.

Some ministers highlighted that the Paris goals can only be secured through the rapid mobilisation of significantly increased levels of climate finance from all sources, including international public climate finance, domestic and private flows, and the importance of ensuring that all finance is consistent with a pathway to low emission, climate resilient growth. Some ministers highlighted specific innovations, such as green bonds, which were helping to raise finance for enhanced action. Ministers noted that this growth in climate finance from domestic and private sources and international support both have a critical role to play in meeting the needs of developing countries.

Ministers highlighted the need to improve the accessibility, quality and effectiveness of climate finance. This included both the need to significantly increase levels of adaptation finance, as well as the importance of concessional and grant-based finance given the reduced fiscal space of many vulnerable countries in the context of Covid-19. In this context, the importance of progress being made on indebtedness beyond the direct provision of climate finance was highlighted, with some ministers proposing the consideration of debt swaps. Some ministers also noted that their countries face challenges accessing concessional finance despite being acutely vulnerable to climate change and noted the need for further consideration of this matter.

Ministers converged on the importance of constructively initiating deliberations on the new collective quantified goal at COP26. The proposal of formulating a clear plan with structured milestones for setting the goal, which involved discussions at both political and technical levels, enjoyed broad support. Ministers stressed the importance of an inclusive process, with some suggesting a role for informal settings such as workshops and one minister raising a proposal for a transitional committee to undertake work. The need for inputs from non-Party stakeholders, including the private sector, was also noted.

A range of views were expressed on matters that should be taken into account in future deliberations. These included, inter alia, that the setting of the goal should: be based on the needs and priorities of developing countries; be in the context of Article 2.1c of the Paris Agreement; be informed by lessons learnt from the $100bn goal and previous climate finance provision; provide greater clarity on what is being counted towards the goal; consider the circumstances of those Parties most vulnerable to climate impacts; be informed by a consideration of how a balance should be struck between mitigation and adaptation; and consider the base of climate finance contributors. One Minister provided a specific proposal on the quantified level of the new goal, suggesting that this could be a $750bn mobilisation goal made up of public and private sub-components. This was supported by some Ministers whereas others expressed significant concerns over putting numbers on the table before deliberations commenced. 

In closing the session, the COP26 President Designate thanked State Secretary Flasbarth of Germany and Minister Wilkinson of Canada for agreeing to lead developed countries in setting out a plan for how they will collectively deliver the $100 billion per year climate finance mobilisation goal through to 2025. He also encouraged further consideration of how to scale up adaptation finance in advance of further ministerial discussions ahead of COP26, which could be reflected in the developed country plan. Some ministers raised a proposal for a pledging moment at or around the UN General Assembly, which the UK as incoming Presidency will consider. The incoming Presidency will continue to take forward its intersessional work plan on climate finance, including on the new collective quantified goal. The incoming Presidency will also keep Ministers apprised of both the Access to Finance Taskforce, and work launched under the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero to mobilise private finance into developing countries. 

COP26 Logo 'UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021 In partnership with Italy'

22.07.2021

Milestone as Pacific Islands Leaders meet with the COP26 President-Designate

10 minute read

COP26 President-Designate Alok Sharma’s Chair’s summary from the Pacific-UK High Level Climate Dialogue, where Pacific Islands Leaders were brought together ahead of the UN climate change summit in November.

COP26 President-Designate Alok Sharma’s Chair’s summary

The Pacific-UK High Level Climate Dialogue brought together Pacific Islands Leaders with the COP26 President Designate in an important milestone ahead of COP26 in Glasgow this November. This event, delivered in collaboration with Wilton Park and One CROP (Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme and the Pacific Community), built on previous engagement with the region on climate change, and provided a unique opportunity for Pacific Island Leaders and the COP President to engage in open and frank discussion ahead of COP26.

Leaders from Fiji, the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Tuvalu, Niue, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Ministers from Nauru, Cook Islands, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, the CEO of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Samoa, youth leader Gladys Habu, the Secretary General of the Pacific Island Forum, Directors General from the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, the Pacific Community and the Forum Fisheries Agency attended the event.

Opening

COP26 President welcomed Leaders and representatives and expressed sympathy for the impacts of the pandemic being felt by Pacific countries. He recognised that countries across the Pacific region face extensive challenges due to climate change. Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS) are amongst the world’s smallest emitters of greenhouse gasses, but face some of the most extreme impacts of a changing climate. He emphasised his commitment to working closely with PSIDS for two key reasons; to ensure COP26 delivers for the countries most vulnerable to climate change, and because the PSIDS are essential to the success of COP26, playing a pivotal role in the multilateral system and being a formidable power in negotiations. COP26 President remarked that the most important thing that COP26 can deliver for the Pacific, is to keep alive the possibility of staying within the 1.5 degree temperature limit.

The UK Presidency set out the four COP goals and highlighted the progress being made against them, including the commitment of all G7 countries to end international coal financing and to net-zero 2050 targets, alongside nationally determined contributions to get them to this goal. However, COP26 President noted this is not enough, and G20 countries need to follow suit. COP26 President urged Pacific Leaders to use their influence and moral authority to encourage G20 countries to step up with greater ambition and action, and for those Pacific countries still to do so to come forward with their own ambitious NDCs and net-zero targets.

COP26 President emphasised his focus on adaptation and climate finance. He spoke of the need to deliver on the agreed target of US$100bn per year, referring to recent progress with G7 countries but recognising the need for increased commitments more widely.

COP26 President welcomed this opportunity to hear the priorities of PSIDS Leaders for COP26 and their thoughts on where the UK and Pacific can work together in the lead up to Glasgow to make those priorities a reality.

Discussion: Pacific priorities for COP26

Leaders agreed with the COP26 President that the world needs to step up its emissions targets and its actions to keep the 1.5 temperature limit alive, noting that we have now reached levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that we have not seen for 3 million years. Leaders talked about the need for greater action sooner, commenting that flattening the curve on temperature warming by the middle of the century would be too late, that emissions must peak by 2025. Early peaking is necessary not only to protect climate vulnerable Pacific SIDS but also larger, more resilient countries who will also experience greater severity and frequency of heat domes, wildfires, floods and storms and therefore need to take action to close the mitigation gap. High emitters, especially G20, must commit to higher mitigation targets now, and COP26 must set the path for peaking emissions by 2025. Finance and access to finance are lagging behind the needs of countries.

Participants highlighted the importance of including super pollutants, such as methane, black carbon and HFCs, in reduction targets. Rapid reduction of these powerful GHGs could make a significant difference to the achievability of the 1.5° target.

Throughout the event, Leaders spoke of the heightened vulnerability of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), particularly in light of the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. Challenges due to the pandemic may affect PSIDS presence at Glasgow, with travel remaining difficult, but Leaders and COP26 President agreed on the importance of ensuring PSIDS representatives are fully briefed on logistical issues, including the provision of vaccines where necessary. Pacific Leaders encouraged the UK Presidency to consider Ministerial proxies and remote participation, where practical.

Many participants 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. Leaders highlighted that the $100bn goal is still unmet and shared concerns regarding the insufficient focus of finance on adaptation. Leaders spoke of the need for development partners to significantly reduce loans as an instrument of climate finance, suggesting unlocking private-sector finance as an alternative, through grant-based or highly concessional de-risking funds. Leaders also emphasised the difficulty of accessing climate finance, calling for simplification of the bureaucracy surrounding funds; using a more programmatic approach; and supporting countries’ capacity to manage these processes.

The finalisation of the Paris Rulebook was also highlighted by participants. Several speakers referred to the need to set common five-year time frames, along with calls for Kyoto credits to not be brought forward as Article 6 mechanisms are agreed.

Participants highlighted the need to prioritise adaptation. For a region where GHG emissions are minimal, and climate impacts severe, significant adaptation is required for their survival. Loss and damage continues to be an important topic for PSIDS, with leaders calling for the operationalisation of the Santiago Network.

Pacific countries welcomed the COP26 Presidency’s focus on the climate-ocean nexus, making clear their desire for the ocean to be incorporated in UNFCCC processes. Countries highlighted the role the ocean plays in regulating temperatures across the globe. Speakers also noted the reliance on the ocean across the Pacific for culture, livelihoods, food security and sustainability of coastal communities. Efforts to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change must also protect marine environments and biodiversity, and many participants echoed calls for climate finance to be available for ocean projects.

The voice of today and tomorrow

Youth Leader Gladys Habu of the Solomon Islands spoke passionately about the impacts of climate change, including the very personal story of Kale, one of several islands now completely submerged in the Solomon Islands as sea levels rise. Kale Island was the home of Gladys’ grandparents, and the personal loss felt by Gladys as Kale became submerged has motivated her to become a powerful climate advocate. Gladys Habu called on PSIDS Leaders to overcome political divisions. She called on all leaders to declare a climate emergency to prioritise the climate crisis and work together to protect her generation and those to come. Gladys highlighted three top priorities ahead of COP26:

  • Increased representation from Pacific youth in climate negotiations and events
  • For all countries to comply with their commitments to the Paris Agreement, highlighting the urgency in doing so over the next decade
  • Increasing support to developing countries to access climate finance, to manage the impacts of climate change

Next steps

All participants spoke passionately about the need to work in unity, within the region and with the UK Presidency, to encourage greater ambition from large emitters, mentioning key milestones such as the G20, the latest IPCC report, UNGA and COP itself.

The UK Presidency is holding the July Ministerial, which will be an opportunity for Ministers from Fiji, RMI and PNG to come together in-person to discuss expectations for COP26, the shape and substance of the potential outcome, and to provide guidance on outstanding negotiations issues. The Ministerial will discuss keeping 1.5 alive; scaling up adaptation; loss and damage; finalising Article 6 in the Paris Rulebook; and mobilising finance. Ministers from Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands and Fiji have been invited to attend.

PSIDS welcomed opportunities to work together on climate finance in the lead up to COP26 including the work of the Access to Finance Taskforce, co-chaired by Fiji.

The High Ambition Coalition was very effective in Paris, at COP21, and RMI will be mobilising this coalition ahead of COP26 to set a high bar for negotiations and work closely with the UK Presidency on ambitious outcomes.

COP26 Logo 'UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021 In partnership with Italy'

28.06.2021

Vaccines FAQ – [Party, Observer and Media Representatives]

10 minute read

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced at the G7 Summit that the UK will work to provide COVID-19 vaccines to COP26 Delegates who would be unable to get them otherwise.  Working closely with the UN and other partners, we are now asking all those individuals looking to take up this vaccine offer to identify themselves through the COP registration process.

For COP26 to be a success, representatives from around the world need to be sitting around the same table in Glasgow this November. The safest way to make this happen is for as many representatives as possible to be fully vaccinated.

The UK, the UNFCCC and partners will work to provide vaccines to Party, observer and media representatives who are registered for the COP and are unable to get them otherwise. We are exploring with the UN and partners how we can work together to deliver this offer as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Participants will still be required to fully comply with and adhere to covid regulations as mandated by the host country.

What is the vaccine offer?

The UK has announced the offer of vaccination to COP 26 UNFCCC registered Party, observer and media representatives as part of a wider package of measures we will have in place to be able to host a safe COP26 with in-person participation.

It is recognized that there are different circumstances in different countries and we would strongly encourage those who wish to take up this offer to register their interest through the UNFCCC registration portal as soon as possible and no later than 23 July.

How do I get access to the vaccine offer?

Those who wish to take up this offer should register their interest through the UNFCCC registration portal as soon as possible and no later than 23 July. The registration acknowledgment letter emailed to each confirmed participant will include a link to a web page where the participant can indicate interest in being vaccinated through this offer. 

We are working with the UN to prepare the logistics, aiming to ensure the vaccines can be delivered to all interested participants in their home countries. Details of the logistics and appointments will be emailed to those participants as soon as possible.

Once I have registered for the vaccine offer, when will I hear further about my vaccination appointment?

We are working with the UN to prepare the logistics for this vaccine offer. Given their complexity, it may take a short period of time before they are confirmed and we are able to contact you with appointment options and further details. In the meantime we thank you for your patience and will endeavour to keep you updated on progress using the email address provided.

How long do I have to register my interest for the vaccine offer?

We’re asking registered participants to notify us of their interest in taking up this offer through the UNFCCC registration portal by 23 July. We strongly encourage all those who would like to take up the vaccine offer to register their interest as soon as possible.

Which vaccines will you be offering?

We’re exploring with the UN and partners to understand which WHO-approved vaccines will be supplied.

Do I get a choice of vaccine?

There will not be a choice of which WHO-approved vaccine you receive.

Do I need to have two doses before travelling to the COP?

If two doses are required for you to be fully vaccinated, then you will be given both doses before COP26. Not all WHO-approved vaccines, however, require two doses.

Will having a vaccine be a requirement for attendance?

It is strongly recommended that those who wish to attend are vaccinated, but vaccination is not mandatory.

We will ensure the approach respects diversity and inclusion but also safeguards the health and safety of all attendees and the local population.

Does the vaccination offer include observers and media?

This offer is open to Party, observer and media representatives who are registered for the COP and cannot access COVID-19 vaccines through other means.

Should representatives wait for their COP vaccination rather than take up their own in-country offer?

Registered COP participants are strongly encouraged to take up any offer of vaccination they can receive in their country.  This offer is for registered COP participants from countries where COVID-19 vaccines are less readily available.

Who is paying for it – is the offer free?

The UK government, as COP26 host, is exploring with the UN and partners how we can work together to deliver this offer.

Will you also be offering vaccines before the July Ministerial meeting in London?

No, owing to the relatively small number of delegates, we are planning to introduce measures to ensure these discussions are safe without the need for vaccination in advance. However, delegates will still be expected to take steps to ensure the safety of the local population.

Will funding be available to travel for a vaccination?

We are working with the UN to prepare the logistics for this vaccine offer, aiming to deliver it in the home country of each participant.

How will this affect youth representatives due to attend COP26?

Vaccination of those under the age of 18 is not currently recommended by the World Health Organization or the UK health authorities.

We are continuing to work hard to amplify the voices of young people in the lead-up to and at COP26. Our contingency planning will continue to look at the most appropriate options for engagement to ensure we stay committed to an inclusive COP26.

How will this affect the participation of others, for example invited speakers, special guests, etc.?

While strongly encouraged, vaccination is not mandatory for the COP and we are working hard to ensure a package of COVID-related safety measures to ensure the COP is safe for all attendees. We know that giving a platform to the voices of many stakeholders is important to an inclusive COP and will continue to work on making this possible.

What happens if I only find out I am going to the COP after 23 July? Can I still get a vaccine?

While we are aware that sometimes last-minute changes or additions to delegations are made, the logistics of a global vaccine offer are such that it is unlikely to be available to people who have not registered by the 23 July deadline. We will, of course, do our utmost to support those who were unable to meet the deadline.

Observers would like to have a separate deadline for confirming their delegation members who will not require a vaccine offered through the UK. Is this possible?

The 23 July deadline is only for those who would like to be vaccinated through the UK programme; this date cannot be changed. Confirmation of observer participants for people who do not require to be vaccinated through the UK vaccine offer will be set separately by the UN and communicated in its notification to admitted observer organizations.

Observers would like to consider replacing vaccinated colleagues with non-vaccinated ones. Is this possible?

It is strongly recommended that those who wish to attend are vaccinated, but vaccination is not mandatory.

We will ensure any approach respects diversity and inclusion but also safeguards the health and safety of all attendees and the local population.

Some participants do not feel secure being vaccinated in UN premises or UK embassies. Is there anywhere else they can go?

UN Department of Operational Support (UN DOS) is leading on the distribution and administration of the vaccine around the world. In most cases, the vaccinations will take place at established UN offices. Any individual logistical challenges will need to be resolved on a country-by-country basis.

Could you confirm the eligibility requirements?

This offer is for those registered COP26 participants from countries where vaccines are less readily available. Any registered participant who is unable to access a vaccine through other means is eligible to register through the UK programme.

Funding for participation cannot be confirmed by 23 July for many. Will a second round of single-jab vaccinations be offered?

The logistics of a global vaccine offer are such that it is unlikely to be available to people who have not registered by the 23 July deadline. We will, of course, do our utmost to support those who were unable to meet the deadline.

Are you capping the numbers at the COP?

As with all COPs, the total number of people who can be on site at any one time is limited by the safety regulations. As per previous practice, no caps are anticipated for national delegations, and a quota system applies to admitted observer organizations.

Would those in countries where vaccines are not available need to travel to a neighbouring country that can administer the in-country vaccination? If so, who bears the travel cost?

We are working with the UN to prepare the logistics for this vaccine offer aiming to deliver it in the home country of each participant. No vaccination-related travel funding is anticipated.

Can the vaccination be combined with the visa application (if the nearest UK embassy is in the same country)?

No. These are two separate exercises. The UK does not plan to offer vaccinations at its embassies.

If I am vaccinated and I test positive for COVID-19, will I be expected to self-isolate?

Yes. We would expect everyone who tests positive for COVID to self-isolate for 10 days irrespective of their vaccination status.

How would the UK handle the moral question of queue jumping?

Tackling the climate emergency cannot wait and requires representatives from the whole globe sitting around the same table in Glasgow this November. 

We are not seeking to run a COP26 vaccination programme. Rather, we want to make sure that registered COP26 participants from around the world who will not be able to access a vaccine before the COP will have the option to get one.

It is important that different levels of vaccine supplies around the world do not impede attendance at the COP.

The UK has announced that we are sharing 100 million vaccines with the world by the end of this year. This is in addition to the funding the UK has already given to the COVAX programme and our work to ensure the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is distributed at no cost to the world.