The Presidency Programme at COP26 separated topics into each specific day where delegates announced, discussed and debated different measures required to meet the COP26 goals.
Below you will find a short description into the importance of each topic in tackling our collective climate action goals as well as a summary of the announcements made.
- Finance Day – Wednesday November 3rd
Channelling both public and private finance is arguably one of the most important shifts we need and most powerful mechanisms we can leverage to scale up efforts sufficient to keep us on track for our climate targets. The big announcements from Finance day:
- The Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net-Zero (GFANZ) committed more than $130 trn of assets under management towards net-zero.
- The UN’s Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance, responsible for $10 trn in assets, commits to phase out most thermal coal assets by 2030 for industrialized countries and worldwide by 2040.
- More than 20 countries and financial institutions vowed to halt all financing for fossil fuel development overseas and divert the capital to green energy instead starting from 2022.
- Energy Day– Thursday November 4th
The energy system contributes around a quarter of the world’s GHG emissions. The key challenges are interlinked and threefold, to do with how we meet 1) the environmental sustainability of the energy sector i.e. by transition as fast as possible to renewable energy while at the same time 2) ensuring energy security for the globe so our lights stay on and industry keeps humming, all while 3) attaining energy equity so the cost of energy stays affordable for the masses and does not create unwanted economic burdens on people. Below are some announcements from Energy day:
- A ‘Global Coal to Clean Power Transition Statement’ was signed by more than 40 countries covering more coal capacity than the currently in the US or India. This aim of this is to rapidly scale up the development of clean power and transition away from coal power generation in the 2030s for major economies and in the 2040s globally.
- The COP26 Product Efficiency Call to Action was spearheaded by the UK Government and the IEA to double efficiency of key internationally traded products by 2030 to reduce consumers’ energy bills and curb GHG emissions.
- The UK Government set up the Energy Transition Council (ETC) to enable effective dialogue between countries that require support for the energy transition, and those offering support. Since March 2021, the ETC have responded to 24 requests on a wide range of policy areas and committed funding of almost £10 mil to support energy efficiency, grid infrastructure and energy planning of countries in need.
- Nature Day – Saturday November 6th
The natural environment regulates life on earth through the functioning of ecosystems such as oceans and forests. This is because nature plays a vital role in absorbing Earth’s carbon emissions through carbon sequestration and sinks. Currently nature and biodiversity are significantly depleted and degraded with 50% of forests lost in the 20th century. Biodiversity provides ecosystems for life on Earth and the depletion of this undermines the crucial services such as food, water, as well as cultural and spiritual needs beneficial to our wellbeing. Some announcements made on Nature day include:
- The Global Action Agenda on Innovation in Agriculture pushed for increased investment in agricultural research for climate solutions and showcase successful business models to promote public-private partnerships.
- More than 30 financial institutions with over $8.7 trn in assets committed to tackle agricultural commodity-driven deforestation.
- The Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use was signed by more than 100 world leaders to put an end to and reverse deforestation by 2030.
- Adaptation, Loss & Damage Day – Monday November 8th
Currently, global temperatures have increased by at least 1.1 degrees Celsius since pre-industrial times with more warming to come. This means that we will inevitably have to ensure adaptation measures are taken to limit the harms to our natural and social environments. With this comes the social element across developing countries in particular, as those who are most susceptible to the negative impacts of climate change are in many cases the ones who contribute least to causing the rise in emissions. Adaptation will require capacity-building to ensure people’s livelihoods can continue into the future – and the transition needs to be equitable and just to those most vulnerable. Adaptation, Loss and Damage day had announcements such as:
- Before COP26, it was announced that the $100 bn of climate finance by 2020 goal would be delayed until 2023. COP27 may see historic shortfalls addressed to ensure the goal would be fulfilled.
- The Adaptation Fund raised $356 mn to support adaptation and resilience projects across the most vulnerable communities of developing countries.
- The UN Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action was signed by fashion industry leaders to push for procuring 100% renewable electricity and delivering coal-free supply chains by 2030.
- Gender Day – Tuesday November 9th
Climate change has a significant negative impact on those sections of the population that are most reliant on the natural environment for services and livelihoods while at the same time having the least capacity to respond to climatic events such as extreme weather, flooding and drought. Educating women across the global can play a significant role in limiting global warming. In doing so, this can allow for more equal and equitable participation in decision-making processes and drive political and business roles from the local to the international level. The Gender and Science & Innovation day had announcements including:
- Canada committed to ensure 80% of its $5.3 bn climate investments over the next 5 years would target gender equality outcomes.
- The UK set up two new programmes to boost women’s climate leadership through £165 million of funding for grassroots women’s groups in Asia and the Pacific as well as supporting education and skill building in Bangladesh.
- Germany announced a new Gender Strategy under its International Climate Initiative to promote transformative approaches to international climate and biodiversity cooperation.
- Transport Day – Wednesday November 10th
The transportation sector contributes around a quarter of global emissions. A key determinant of decarbonising the transportation sector includes improving fuel efficiency, scaling up electrification, and producing renewable alternative fuels – all while ensuring equity and security for users. In doing so lies various challenges largely due to the significant role that transportation plays in how and where people live, work, and play. Below are some announcements from Transport day:
- The Clydebank Declaration for Green Shipping Corridors was set up to support the establishment of green shipping corridors – zero-emission maritime routes between two (or more) ports.
- The International Aviation Climate Ambition Coalition outlined commitments between aviation companies to reach net-zero.
- The Sustainable Aviation Buyers Alliance (SABA) was opened to new members for the first time to stimulate sustainable aviation fuel development for a low-carbon aviation future.
- Cities, Regions and the Built Environment Day– Thursday November 11th
Most people worldwide live in cities, which remain the economic and cultural hubs that dominate our modern world. As a result of our dependence on cities, the built environment contributes approximately 39% of global emissions due to the demands of our existing residential and commercial needs (think heating, cooling, and lighting) as well as the materials required to build new buildings and the embodied carbon that comes as a result. See below for announcements on Cities, Regions and the Built Environment day:
- UK launched the Urban Climate Action Programme to support cities across Africa, Asia and Latin America to tackle climate change.
- The Under 2 Coalition led by The Climate Group saw 68 state, regional and city governments affirm cross-sector actions to address the climate crisis.
- The UK Green Building Council plotted the Whole Life Carbon Roadmap to help the built environment sector to measure and cut carbon from materials, operation, and processes.
Sancroft works together with a wide range of businesses across a breadth of sectors to tackle sustainability issues such as climate change and decarbonisation. If you would like to find out how we provide bespoke expert sustainability guidance to your business, please contact Ilkka.Saarinen@sancroft.com or Felix.Gummer@Sancroft.com.