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Blog Post 1 November 2021

Energy Saving Trust and COP26: why does it matter?

Today (1 November) marks the start of the global climate event COP26, hosted by the UK Government together with partner Italy, in Glasgow, Scotland.

Over the next two weeks, world leaders will come together to discuss and negotiate issues related to climate change in an attempt to work together to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

What is COP26?

Established by the United Nations at the Earth Summit in 1992, COP – or Conference of the Parties – brings together almost every country in the world to negotiate issues related to climate change.

The last few COP meetings have been gathering pace in importance. Since the 1990s, climate change has gone from being a minor issue to a global priority. At the 21st meeting, which took place in Paris in 2015, 196 nations agreed to work together to limit global warming to well below 2°C – and ideally to 1.5°C.

The set of rules to tackle climate change have become known as the Paris Agreement. As well as limiting global warming, they include reducing carbon dioxide emissions and increasing energy generation from renewable sources.

Who is Energy Saving Trust?

We were formally established in November 1992 in response to the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. The 1992 Earth Summit was the first of the now annual Conference of the Parties.

We are a trusted, independent voice, with over 25 years’ experience providing expert advice and information on home energy efficiency, low carbon heating, low carbon transport and renewable energy generation.

Through our mission to address the climate emergency, we empower millions of householders to make better energy choices; deliver transformative energy programmes working with governments; and support businesses on their journey to a sustainable, net zero future.

During COP26, we will focus on four key areas where householders, businesses and governments alike must make changes to reduce emissions: homes and buildings, transport, green finance and jobs, and energy access.

Why does COP26 matter?

COP26 is set to be the most significant environmental meeting since Paris in 2015. Many elements of the Paris Agreement are still up for debate. Every nation must report on how they will reduce their carbon emissions and agree on a new, ambitious emissions path for the future, known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

Ensuring that the Paris Agreement is implemented globally, and that countries meet their commitments, will be essential to protect our planet for future generations.

It’s hoped that four key aims will be achieved at COP26:

  1. Secure global net zero by 2050 and keep 1.5°C within reach

To achieve this, nations will need to accelerate the phase-out of coal, encourage investment in renewable energy, limit deforestation and speed up the switch to electric vehicles.

  1. Adapt to protect communities and natural habitats

Nations will need to work together to enable countries affected by climate change to protect and restore ecosystems, build defences and increase resilience to avoid further losses.

  1. Mobilise finance

Developed countries must deliver on their promise to raise at least $100 billion in climate finance every year. Trillions in private and public sector finance must be unlocked to secure net zero by 2050.

  1. Work together to deliver

Tackling climate change requires a global effort, in which everyone must work together. Ambitions must be turned into action by accelerating collaboration to deliver global climate goals faster.

The event will focus on several key themes across the two-week period, which we’ve summarised below:

Our trusted experts are attending the conference, offering their views on key topics and debates. We’ll also be bringing you daily updates from Glasgow on the climate negotiations, including the latest news on:

  • How nations are limiting global warming to 1.5°
  • The conference’s key issues, including energy, transport and buildings.
  • Advice to help businesses reach net zero.
  • Our international collaborations.

Head to our Climate talk at COP26 hub to keep up to date with the latest news and announcements from the climate conference.

Last updated: 1 November 2021