The UK Presidency of COP26 has been underpinned by strategic partnership with Italy.

The United Kingdom and Italy have a proven track-record of working together effectively to champion the need for urgent climate action globally.

This partnership formed the cornerstone of a wider strategic relationship on climate change between the UK and Italy, running from their respective 2021 Presidencies of the G7 and G20 through to COP26.


Pre-COP was the final official ministerial meeting ahead of the COP.

Each Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change is preceded by a preparatory meeting held about a month before, called Pre-COP.

The Pre-COP brought together climate and energy ministers from a selected group of countries to discuss and exchange views on some key political aspects of the negotiations and delved into some of the key negotiating topics ahead of COP26.

As the UK’s COP26 Presidency partners, Italy hosted the Pre-COP at the Milan Conference Centre, MiCO, on 30 September – 2 October 2021.

The Conference was attended by around 40-50 countries, representatives of the UNFCCC Secretariat, the chairs of the Subsidiary Bodies of the Convention and a number of stakeholders from civil society who play a key role in the fight against climate change or in the transition to sustainable development.

Building on the conversations at the July Ministerial in London, Pre-COP was the final formal, multilateral opportunity for ministers to shape the negotiations in detail ahead of the meeting in Glasgow in November.

Read the Pre-COP Chairs’ Summary and find more information about Pre-COP and Youth4Climate.

Youth4Climate 2021: A chance for young people to propose ideas and concrete actions to address climate change

Almost 400 young people aged between 15 and 29 from 186 countries met in Milan from 28–30 September 2021 to address the main urgencies and priorities of climate action.

The ‘Youth4Climate2021: Driving Ambition’ event was organised by the Government of Italy, in partnership with the UK ahead of pre-COP. The 400 youth delegates formed four working groups according to the following thematic areas: youth driving ambition, sustainable recovery, non-state actors’ engagement, and climate-conscious society. 

The first two days of the event were dedicated to the development of a manifesto, while the last day featured a discussion on the manifesto’s priorities between youth delegates and Ministers attending Pre-COP26. 

At COP26’s Youth & Public Empowerment Day, Italian Minister of Ecological Transition, Roberto Cingolani, and COP26 President Alok Sharma, facilitated a discussion with young people and Ministers on the outcomes of the Youth4Climate event. 

The Glasgow Climate Pact creates a permanent youth-led climate forum and encourages parties to involve youth in delegations and decisions, following calls from young people.

Read the Youth4Climate Manifesto.

Read the COP26 Youth & Public Empowerment Day Press Release.

Find out more about the Youth4Climate thematic areas and follow Pre-COP26 on social media for further updates.