What is COP?
COP26 stands for the Conference of the Parties. Each year, 197 countries come together to agree on a path for climate action. Now in it’s 26th year, they’re meeting in Glasgow, Scotland on November 1-12, 2021. And The Wild Center will be there.
COP26 is important for climate action because it provides an opportunity for countries to agree on and commit to climate targets that are necessary to keep global temperatures from rising above 1.5 degrees Celsius. During COP26, countries will be reviewing progress made since the signing of the 2015 Paris Agreement, and developing a concrete plan to meet the targets outlined in the Paris Agreement.
What about all of those acronyms and jargon?
Here’s a guide for sifting through all of those abbreviations and COP26 jargon:
Blue Zone – The area of COP where the international climate change negotiations take place. Only accredited individuals and organizations are permitted within the Blue Zone. The Wild Center is one of 2 museums accredited to enter the Blue Zone.
COP – Conference of the Parties. Since 1995, UNFCCC has met annually to take stock of progress to deal with climate change. These meetings, called the Conference of the Parties (COP), are annual culminations of a year of work, ongoing throughout the year. They occur in a different country every year.
COY – Conference of Youth. The biggest and most substantial youth conference related to the multilateral UN climate processes. It is the official gathering of YOUNGO members and all interested youth and it happens a couple of days before the annual Conference of the Parties (COP) at the same location.
Green Zone – The Green Zone is managed by the UK Government, and is a platform for the general public, youth groups, civil society, academia, artists, business and others to have their voices heard through events, exhibitions, workshops and talks that promote dialogue, awareness, education and commitments.
UNFCCC – United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. It is an international environmental treaty to address climate change that has no enforcement or binding greenhouse gas emission reductions. It was adopted in 1994 by 197 countries, or “parties.” The framework provides opportunity for more specific treaties called Protocols or Agreements to be negotiated.
YOUNGO. The official youth constituency at the UNFCCC. YOUNGO is made up of organizations and individuals who identify as youth, and they work to bring youth delegates together during the Conference of Youth.
Who will be there?
Heads of state and a lot of NGOs (non-governmental organizations—think non-profits like The Wild Center). We’re sending a group of delegates to observe negotiations and share their experiences from the frontlines of COP26.
What are the goals?
COP26 has laid out the following four goals:
- Secure global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach. To deliver on this, countries will need to accelerate the phase-out of coal, reduce deforestation, speed up the switch to electric vehicles and encourage investment in renewables.
- Adapt to protect communities and natural habitats by protecting and resorting ecosystems and building defenses, warning systems and resilient infrastructure and agriculture to avoid loss of homes and livelihoods.
- Mobilize at least $100bn in climate finance per year.
- Work together to deliver finalization of Paris Rulebook and accelerate action to tackle climate crisis through collaboration between governments, businesses and civil society.
Is there anything else happening in Scotland leading up to COP26?
Yes! And we’ll be there, too.
The TEDx Countdown Summit is a four day conference (October 12-15) in Edinburgh, Scotland that will bring together hundreds of leaders to share ideas and learn from each other. It will be filled with inspirational presentations, small group sessions and master classes, as well as opportunities for fruitful connections and collaborations.
The Countdown Summit will include many of the “brightest thinkers and doers” from around the world including policy makers, Indigenous leaders, youth activists, politicians, business leaders, scientists, artists, philanthropists, and more. Jen Kretser and Elodie Linck from The Wild Center will be attending and participating.