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What is COP26?

In 1994, a treaty named the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was agreed, and signed by over 190 countries. There are annual meetings – known as Conference of the Parties (COP) – designed to tackle climate change. 2021 will mark the 26th meeting, hence the name COP26.

The last event was held in Madrid in 2019, concluding with all member nations agreeing to put a plan in place to reduce carbon emissions, in particular reducing carbon dioxide.

The “Paris Agreement” has been a key feature for COP for many years. This was an international agreement on four key points between all 195 attendees of the COP21 in Paris. These points included:

  • Reduce the amount of harmful greenhouse gasses, and increase renewable sources such as wind and solar power.
  • Keep global temperature well below 2C, and ideally below 1.5C
  • Review progress made every 5 years
  • Spend $1Billion a year in climate finance to enable poorer countries to adopt climate friendly practices.

Glasgow plays host to COP26 later this year, and will be the largest summit the UK has ever hosted. Progress since the Paris Agreement is to be reviewed, and significant new changes are expected as a result of the conference.

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