Photo credit  |  S4C

Introduction to COP26

19 August, 2021  |  Reading time: 3 minutes

The world’s largest and most influential climate summit – COP26 – is being held in the UK for the first time and Space4Climate is proud to be spotlighting the UK’s world-leading climate data from space community on this global stage.

The UK are co-hosts with Italy and the conference will take place in Glasgow from October 31st – November 12th, 2021. While heads of states, national delegations and climate experts from around the world will gather in the Blue Zone, the Green Zone will be open to a wider audience of climate-focused organisations and the public.

COP26 promises to be an inspiring programme of online and face-to-face events, ranging from performance and visual arts, to knowledge-sharing, demonstrations, lively debates and high-level policy discussions.

Space4Climate @ COP26

Space4Climate, representing the UK’s Earth observation and space community, is collaborating with our members and international organisations to showcase the UK’s world-leading expertise in climate science and climate services.

Our members will join leading scientific, policy, industry and government organisations from around the world at events before and during COP26, and afterwards in Presidency and legacy activities.

We will focus on the vital role that UK expertise plays in gathering Earth observation data, processing it and supporting its application in developing climate technology for innovative climate services and informing climate action now and in a climate resilient future.

Read more on Space4Climate members’ COP26 activities.

What is COP?

COP stands for ‘Conference of the Parties’ and it is convened every 2 years by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This will be the 26th conference, having been postponed from 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It signals the start of the UK-Italy Presidency which aims to bring international governments together in pledging to significantly accelerate progress towards net zero and fulfilling the Paris Agreement.

The UK Government has three key science themes for COP26:

  • Climate Risk
  • Net Zero
  • Health

In addition the themes of the UK’s COP Presidency are:

  • Adaptation & Resilience
  • Nature
  • Energy
  • Transport
  • Finance

Space4Climate members are at the forefront of Earth observation climate data, climate science and technology across all these themes in the UK and around the world and will be showcasing their case studies in the Blue Zone and in the Green Zone in person, digitally and online.

What difference will COP26 make?

COP summits focus the attention of decision-makers around the world on working together to address climate change, making tangible commitments to reducing carbon emissions as a whole-planet community and adopting meaningful and effective policies.

In the Blue Zone cutting-edge climate science and research – including world-leading UK work – is put in front of decision-makers from all nations, big and small. Climate justice is a key focus, ensuring that vulnerable countries and communities are not left behind.

Media coverage, policy announcements and the wide-ranging programme of activities raise awareness and increase knowledge about climate change, the potential impacts on the environment and our future lives, and the climate science that is at the core of informing decisions about how we mitigate those impacts and how we can adapt.

In the Green Zone these developments and messages are shared with wider audiences, including the public, giving the opportunity to hear directly from international experts and to explore hands-on interactive displays, promoting climate literacy, inspiring the future generation of climate talent and climate action at every level from multi-national corporations to SMEs, local government and institutions to individuals.