At COP26, President Biden Must Keep his Climate Promises
As world leaders gather for COP26, the United Nations climate change conference, the stakes couldn’t be higher. To avoid climate catastrophe, we must take decisive, ambitious climate action. That means keeping fossil fuels in the ground, beginning a just transition to a renewable energy economy, and ending the era of fossil fuels. President Biden came into office with a promise to be the “Climate President” and stand up for the vulnerable communities first and worst affected by the climate crisis. At COP26, he must keep those promises, stand with people, and inspire other nations to seize this historic moment on behalf of this and future generations.
To help you get ready for COP26, we’re here with answers to all the most pressing FAQs.
What is COP26?
Every year, world leaders gather to discuss the state of climate change and climate action in a “Conference of the Parties,” more commonly known as a COP. This year marks the 26th summit, hence the name COP26.
Where and When is COP26 Being Held?
Since the UK is this year’s host, COP26 is in Glasgow, Scotland, and will take place from October 31st to November 12th. In light of current climate realities, this years’ COP has a unique urgency, and presents an unprecedented opportunity for global leaders to unite the world in the fight to get climate change under control and avoid climate catastrophe.
Who attends COP26?
The summit will be attended by the nearly 200 countries that signed the United Nations’ 1994 Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which was created to begin combatting climate change on a global scale. Overall attendance at COP26 will number into the tens of thousands, including negotiators, government representatives, businesses, climate activists, and citizens.
What Happens at a COP?
Activity at a COP takes place between two different zones, Blue and Green. The Blue Zone is for formal meetings, negotiations, and agreements. The Green Zone is for the public and consists of a wide range of events, from musical performances and art installations to tech demos and presentations.
Why is COP26 so important?
To answer that question, we have to go back a few years.
In 2015, at COP21 in Paris, something amazing happened. Every country in attendance agreed to work together to keep global warming below 2 degrees, and to shoot for 1.5 degrees, by setting ambitious new emissions standards and climate priorities. The Paris Agreement was born. Those nations also agreed to update their climate plans every five years to reflect the latest science and bolder ambitions. Since 2020’s COP was postponed due to the Pandemic, COP26 marks the moment when countries must update their climate plans.
As important as Paris was, COP26 must be even bolder and more decisive.
What can be accomplished at COP26?
In short, everything. World leaders have a chance to leave COP26 with an ambitious new vision for how the world will combat, and triumph, over climate change and end the era of fossil fuels.
The UK, the host nation, has set ambitious goals:
Achieve Global Net Zero by mid-century. By producing less carbon than we use, we can achieve “Net Zero” emissions and give ourselves the best chance of keeping 1.5 degrees of warming within reach.
Adapt to Protect Communities and Habitats. From warning systems to improved infrastructure, we need to adapt our approach to better protect vulnerable communities, natural resources, and fragile ecosystems.
Mobilize Finance. We must back up our climate promises with funding to realize our climate goals.
Work Together. Our global climate challenges can only be met if we come together.
What Can We Do to Help?
Here in the United States, a growing coalition of activists, scientists, and businesses, including Seventh Generation, are calling on President Biden to keep his climate promises and stand up for people—especially the vulnerable communities who have done the least to create the climate crisis, yet feel its worst effects. So far, the President has fallen short, failing to stop new fossil fuel projects like the Line 3 oil pipeline, but there is still time for decisive action. The need for real climate leadership has never been greater.
Want to get involved?
Take action and send President Biden a clear message that you stand with those calling for an end to the era of fossil fuels.