COP stands for Conference of the Parties.
Parties are the signatories of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) - a treaty agreed in 1994 which has 197 Parties (196 countries and the EU).
The 2021 conference, hosted by the UK, in partnership with Italy, is the 26th meeting of the Parties.
Glacier by Annie-SprattUnited Nations Climate Change Conference COP26
What Happens at COP?
Activity at a COP takes place in two different zones: the Blue Zone and the Green Zone. Delegates from around the world meet for both formal negotiations and informal consultations with other delegations, UN agencies and non-profit organisations.
The Blue Zone
The Blue Zone is for people registered with the UN body tasked with coordinating the global response to the threat of climate change – the UNFCCC.
The Green Zone
The Green Zone is delivered by the COP’s host country (called the Presidency). In Glasgow the UK Government has created a space for youth groups, civil society, academia, artists, and business to host events, exhibitions, cultural performances, workshops and talks.
Amazon Rainforest by Alexander GerstUnited Nations Climate Change Conference COP26
What do we need to achieve at COP26?
Secure Global Net Zero by 2050 and keep 1.5 degrees of global warming within reach. To do this, countries will need to accelerate the phase-out of coal, encourage investment in renewables, curtail deforestation and speed up the switch to electric vehicles.
Floods affect people, a house almost submerged, family members on the roof and in a small coracle. (2020-07-16) by Moniruzzaman Sazal / Climate Visuals CountdownUnited Nations Climate Change Conference COP26
Adapt to Protect Communities and Natural Habitats
The climate is already changing and it will continue to change even as we reduce carbon emissions, with devastating effects. We need to work together to protect and restore ecosystems, build defences and make infrastructure and agriculture more resilient.
Urban centre covered in Smog in winter, high volume of pollution from coal fired sources in the city centre. (2020-05-06) by Raunaq Chopra / Climate Visuals CountdownUnited Nations Climate Change Conference COP26
To realise our first two goals, developed countries must deliver on their promise to raise at least $100bn in climate finance per year. We need to work towards unleashing the trillions in private and public sector finance required to secure global net zero.
A group of men in a rural valley, using working horses to move felled timber, in traditional forest management. (2016-09-17) by Ondrej Kameniar / Climate Visuals CountdownUnited Nations Climate Change Conference COP26
Work Together to Deliver
We can only rise to the challenges of climate change by working together. At COP26 we must finalise the Paris Rulebook and, we have to turn our ambitions into action by accelerating collaboration between governments, businesses and civil society to deliver climate goals faster.
Explore the Green Zone on Google Arts and Culture and think about what you can do, how you can make your voice heard, how you can become part of something bigger. Collectively we can seize this opportunity, choose a positive future for our planet and ensure our world flourishes for future generations.