by Malek Romdhane
The most awaited summit for this year in the climate agenda is without dispute the 26th Conference of Parties under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP26). Many reasons make this two-week long summit the most anticipated climate conference for this year. The climate emergency is unlike any other time before, a reality we are living in, that’s why many young people around the world are taking to the streets and pledging the policymakers to adopt climate justice in the heart of their national policies and strategies. They feel concerned by the climate crisis and are advocating for the rights of the future generations to inherit a healthy and sustainable environment.
More details on COP26
The UK will host COP26 in partnership with Italy in the period ranging from 1 to 12 November 2021 at the city of Glasgow. This summit will bring together heads of state, climate experts, young people, NGO communities, civil society groups, trade unions, faith groups and Indigenous Peoples to discuss and find solutions to climate challenges. The expected number of delegates is around 30,000 people from over 200 countries.
COP26 will be held in two venues inside the city of Glasgow. The Blue Zone will be located at the Scottish Events Campus (SEC). whereas the Green Zone will be located at the Glasgow Science Centre (GSC). The main difference between those two sites is that the Blue Zone is a UN-managed space that will mainly host the climate negotiations, in addition to pavilions, side events, exhibits and discussion panels. Admission to the venue is only reserved for accredited parties and observer organizations by the UNFCCC. The Green Zone is a UK government-managed space that will serve to insight the interaction of the public attendees.
It’s worth mentioning that the UK has committed to giving the COP26 summit a sense of dynamism, inclusivity and global engagement whether in the Green Zone or the Blue Zone through new additions like allowing some selected photographers, artists etc, to showcase their artwork inside the summit.
What is special about the twenty-sixth session of the Conference of Parties?
The preparations for the COP have already started quite a bit earlier this year compared to the previous COPs due to the COVID19-outbreak that led to the postponement of COP26 to November 2021 instead of November 2020. We can feel the COP vibes already here. For example, a series of events related to the Climate Dialogue and the COP26 is taking place online. Some countries, like the UK or Costa Rica, have submitted stronger, updated NDCs in December 2020, whereas others, like Australia or Brazil, did not increase their ambition.To see an up-to-date analysis, you can check the Climate Action Tracker page.
In addition to the above, presiding over COP26 the UK is aiming to deliver a sustainable and carbon-neutral summit. They strive as well to engage different audiences (governments, businesses, civil society and young people) to work together to progress some of the climate change challenges like adaptation and resilience, nature, energy transitions, clean transport, finance.
To sum up, we hope that the joint efforts of the youth and civil society towards climate action, in addition to the outcome of the COP26, and the country’s commitments to raise their ambition and adhere to the Paris agreement principles, will be enough to direct the global capacity to meet targets set by the Paris Agreement, stop the climate crisis and help switch into zero carbon neutrality by 2050.