COP26 Briefing – updated

Key facts on the COP26 climate talks, the largest international summit ever hosted by the UK, starting on Sunday 31 October 2021.

Scottish Events Campus. Copyright Thomas Nugent and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

DrillOrDrop will be reporting from the conference. To help us, and you, we’ve compiled this briefing of key facts and the expected events. Each day, we’ll publish articles and a digest of the main COP26 headlines. There’s a quick link from our COP26 page to all the material.

Key facts

Full name: 26th session of the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties

Dates: Sunday 31 October 2021-12 November 2021 (originally scheduled for 2020 but delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic

Presidency: UK government in partnership with Italy. Alok Sharma is the president designate

Location: Scottish Event Campus and Glasgow Science Centre, Glasgow

Significance: Regarded by some nations and organisations as the last opportunity to keep alive the hope of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5C. National targets on emissions reductions (nationally determined contributions or NDCs) agreed in Paris in 2015 don’t go far enough to meet the 1.5C target. This is the largest summit ever hosted by the UK, according to the UK government.

Aims: World leaders will be asked to make more ambitious cuts in greenhouse gases to limit global temperature rise

UK Presidency goals:

  1. Secure global net zero emissions by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach
  2. Adapt to protect communities and natural habitats
  3. Mobilise finance
  4. Work together by finalising the Paris Rulebook and accelerate action through collaboration

More detail: All countries that have not yet set out fully their nationally determined contributions on cutting carbon emissions will be encouraged to do so. Developing countries are calling for commitments to be met on climate finance.

Possible announcements:

  • Faster switch to electric cars
  • Speeding up the phase out of coal-fired electricity generation
  • Cutting down fewer trees
  • Protection from the impacts of climate change, such as funding coastal-defence
  • Statements on protecting nature

What would make COP26 a success?

For the UK government: strong commitment to net zero emissions by 2050 and big reductions by 2030

For developing countries: significant climate finance in the next five years to help adapt to rising temperatures

For the Cop26 Coalition of environmental groups: climate justice, system change and power from below, with climate action based on justice, redistribution of resources and decentralisation of power. The coalition calls for real zero emissions (as opposed to net zero), no new fossil fuel investments or infrastructure, no carbon markets and unproven technologies.

For the Climate Change Committee: Its chair, Lord Deben, told BBC’S Any Questions that success would be a commitment by lots of nations to net zero emissions by 2050, a commitment from rich countries to pay for the transition by poor countries and real changes by one or two countries which would make a “huge difference”.

For Greta Thunberg:

1. Keep the precious goal of 1.5°C alive with urgent action to halve global emissions by 2030.
2. End all fossil fuel investments, subsidies, and new projects immediately, and stop new exploration and extraction.
3. End ‘creative’ carbon accounting by publishing total emissions for all consumption indices, supply chains, international aviation and shipping.
4. Deliver the $100bn promised to the most vulnerable countries, with additional funds for climate disasters.
5. Create green jobs, protect the most vulnerable, and use climate action to reduce inequality.

Background: The first COP meeting was held in 1995 in Berlin, Germany. It is the main decision-making body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), an agreement made by 197 countries to stabilise greenhouse gas emissions and avoid dangerous climate change.COP26 is the fifth COP since COP21 in Paris in 2015. The Paris Accord agreed then saw countries sign treaties promising to strive towards keeping warming under 1.5ºC.

Who will attend COP26?: More than 30,000 participants, including leaders from nearly 200 countries, as well as experts, campaigners, reporters, business people and government officials. The Queen and Pope Francis will not attend on medical advice. Vladimir Putin of Russia, Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil and Xi Jinping of China are also not expected to come.

Conference zones: The blue zone, to be managed by the UN, is in the Scottish Event Campus and is where the negotiations will take place, behind the security cordon. The green zone in the Glasgow Science Centre will be open to the public and will host events organised by organisations, academics and artists.

DrillOrDrop’s reporting at COP26 has been made possible by donations from individual readers.

Events schedule

Week 2: What’s left to be resolved

  • Outstanding national plans for cutting greenhouse gas emissions in line with limiting temperature rise to 1.5C
  • Call for a Glasgow Emergency Pact by the Climate Vulnerable Forum of 55 developing countries that would require all countries to report annual on emissions reductions
  • Calls by the Alliance of Small Island States for major emitters to stop their climate action now, not in 2025

Sunday 7 November 2021: Start of People’s Summit for Climate Justice – 200 events, in person and online (until 10 November 2021)

Monday 8 November 2021: Adaptation, loss and damage

Tuesday 9 November 2021: Gender and industry

Wednesday 10 November: Transport

Thursday 11 November 2021: Cities, regions and the built environment

Friday 12 November 2021: Closing day

Sunday 31 October 2021

COP26 climate change conference 2021 begins with opening address from Prince Charles and first plenary meetings

COP26 Coalition opening ceremony at the Landing Hub streaming link. Speakers include:
Mary Church, Friends of the Earth Scotland
Tom Ballantine, Stop Climate Chaos Scotland
Lauren MacDonald, Stop Cambo
Asad Rehman, War on Want and COP26 Coalition
Lidy Nacpil, Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development pre-record video
Yusuf Baluch, Fridays For Future Balochistan and MAPA
Camille Barbagallo and Quan Nguyen, COP26 Coalition

World Meteorological Organisation launches provisional State of the Global Climate 2021 report

Plenary meetings of UNFCCC organisations

Press conference by COP26 Coalition and Demand Climate Justice: We demand climate justice: expectations for COP26

Friends of the Earth press conference on expectations for COP26

Also: launch of An Eye on MethaneInternational Methane Emissions Observatory 2021 Report

What to watch for:  Climate pledges from China, India and Saudi Arabia. Climate cash from France and Italty. G20 communique reaffirming the goal of limiting warming to 1.5C.

Monday 1 November 2021: World Leaders Summit

Heads of state and government arrive at conference venue

12 noon-1pm                    
Opening ceremony for the World Leaders Summit hosted by Boris Johnson

Opening of the First Part of the high-level segments for heads of state and government

National statements of heads of state and government (approx 3 mins each) with expected calls for more climate action. See provision lists of speakers at the end of this briefing

Action and solidarity – Leaders’ event

Tuesday 2 November 2021: World Leaders Summit

Heads of state and government arrive at conference venue

National statements

Action on forests and land use (presidency event)

Presidency’s dialogue with local communities and indigenous people

Leaders’ event on accelerating clean technology, innovation and deploy

More national statements

Closing of World Leaders Summit

Wednesday 3 November 2021: Finance

Financing our future (presidency event)

12 noon-2.45pm              
Marrakesh Partnership event on

UN Environment Programme meeting: The Finance we need for the future we want

4th biennial High Level Ministerial Dialogue on long-term climate finance (presidency event)

UN Environment Programme meeting: Climate and Clean Air Coalition at COP26, Health Pavilion

Achieving sustainability: the role of corporations, strategic litigation and ecocide law. Online Zoom

Thursday 4 November 2021: Energy

Accelerating a just and inclusive energy transition Energy Day opening event (presidency event)

The Glasgow Declaration: a commitment to a decade of climate action in tourism (Global Climate Action event), Climate Action room 1

Unpacking the new scientific knowledge and key findings of the Working Group 1 contribution to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report

Launch of UN Environment Programme Adaptation Gap Report

12 noon-2.45pm              
Marrakesh Partnership event on energy

Presidency’s open dialogue between UNFCCC NGO constituency representatives and Parties on energy

Powering the world past coal. Powering Past Coal Alliance

What to watch for: new signatories to the UN’s No New Coal pact

Friday 5 November 2021: Youth and public empowerment

UK and Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA) blue finance roundtable: Mobilising finance for ocean resilience and tackling climate risk (presidency event)

Unifying for change: The global youth voice at COP 26 (presidency event)

11am-12 noon                  
The role of parliaments in climate and nature policy (presidency event)

12 noon-1.30pm              
Intergenerational inquiry: Youth stepping up climate action (presidency event)

The UN Youth Advisory Group and Post COP26 Youth-led Climate Action (Global Climate Action event)

The power of public engagement for harnessing Climate Action: Stories and lessons of empowerment from around the world (presidency event)

Joint event of Education and Environment Ministers Summit Together for tomorrow: Education and Climate Action (presidency event)

Youth4Climate at COP26 (presidency event)

COP 26 Presidency Ocean Action Ministerial Event ‘A call for Ocean Action: Towards ocean heath and resilience’ (presidency event)

All day                                 
From Scotland to Sarawak photograph exhibition, Tramway arts venue, until 12 November 2021                      

What to watch for: Youth demonstrations

Saturday 6 November 2021: Nature and land use and Global Day of Action

All day                                 
Global Day of Action: Grassroots-organised events across the world. UK events include Glasgow, London, Cardiff, Brighton, Manchester, Birmingham, Oxford. More details here

Facing the facts: Unpacking the forest, agriculture & commodity trade dialogue to tackle deforestation (presidency event)

March through Glasgow, starting at Kelvingrove Park, G3 6BY

12 noon                              
March through London, starting at the Bank jof England, Threadneedle Street, EC2R 8AH

Accelerating a just rural transition to sustainable agriculture (presidency event)

Get nature positive (presidency event)

Nature and land use in deliver of the Paris goals (presidency event)

Closing plenary meetings and statements from Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice and Subsidiary Body for Implementation

The future of climate change litigation after Milieudefensie v Royal Dutch Shell, hosted by Friends of the Earth Netherlands (Milieudefensie), multimedia studio, Blue Zone

Provisional list of speakers at World Leaders Summit

Monday 1 November 2021

Heads of state (1.45pm-7pm)

  • His Excellency Mr. Pedro Sánchez Perez-Castejón, President of Spain (Host of COP 25)
  • His Excellency Mr. Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani, President of Mauritania
  • His Excellency Mr. Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia
  • His Excellency Mr. Wavel John Charles Ramkalawan, President of Seychelles
  • His Excellency Mr. Emmanuel Macron, President of France
  • His Excellency Mr. Ali Bongo Ondimba, President of Gabon
  • His Excellency Mr. Joseph R. Biden Jr., President of United States of America
  • His Excellency Mr. Juan Orlando Hernández, President of Honduras
  • His Excellency Mr. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, President of Kenya
  • Her Excellency Mrs. Maia Sandu, President of the Republic of Moldova
  • His Excellency Mr. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, President of Egypt
  • His Excellency Mr. Stevo Pendarovski, President of North Macedonia
  • His Excellency Mr. Luis A. Arce Catacora, President of Bolivia (Plurinational State of)
  • His Excellency Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, President of Sri Lanka
  • His Excellency Mr. Milo Đukanović, President of Montenegro
  • His Excellency Mr. Faustin Archange Touadera, President of Central African Republic
  • His Excellency Mr. Emomali Rahmon, President of Tajikistan
  • His Excellency Mr. Denis Sassou Nguesso, President of Congo
  • His Excellency Mr. Charles Michel, President of the European Council and Her Excellency
  • Ms. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, European Union
  • His Excellency Mr. Barham Salih, President of Iraq
  • His Excellency Mr. Guy Parmelin, President of Switzerland
  • His Excellency Mr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, President of Malawi
  • His Excellency Mr. Khurelsukh Ukhnaa, President of Mongolia
  • His Excellency Mr. Ibrahim M. Solih, President of Maldives
  • His Majesty Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein, King of Jordan
  • His Excellency Mr. Laurentino Cortizo, President of Panama
  • His Excellency Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Turkey
  • His Excellency Mr. Mohamed Bazoum, President of Niger
  • His Excellency Mr. Jae-in Moon, President of the Republic of Korea
  • His Excellency Mr. Hakainde Hichilema, President of Zambia
  • His Excellency Mr. George Manneh Weah, President of Liberia
  • His Excellency Mr. János Áder, President of Hungary

Heads of government (1.45pm-7pm)

  • His Excellency Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia
  • Her Excellency Mrs. Angela Dorothea Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
  • His Excellency Mr. Abdulhamid M. Aldabia, Prime Minister of Libya
  • His Excellency Mr. Xavier Bettel, Prime Minister of Luxembourg
  • His Excellency Mr. Andrew Michael Holness, Prime Minister of Jamaica
  • His Excellency Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Prime Minister of Greece
  • Her Excellency Ms. Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh
  • His Excellency Mr. Stefan Löfven, Prime Minister of Sweden
  • His Excellency Mr. Mohammad Shtayyeh, Prime Minister of State of Palestine
  • Her Excellency Ms. Kaja Kallasm, Prime Minister of Estonia
  • His Excellency Mr. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
  • His Excellency Mr. Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Fiji
  • His Excellency Mr. Janez Janša, Prime Minister of Slovenia
  • His Excellency Mr. Naftali Bennett, Prime Minister of Israel
  • His Excellency Mr. Andrej Babiš, Prime Minister of Czechia
  • His Excellency Mr. Gaston Alponso Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda
  • His Excellency Mr. Mohamed Beavogui, Prime Minister of Guinea
  • His Excellency Mr. Abdalla Hamdok, Prime Minister of Sudan
  • His Excellency Mr. Sher Bahadur Deuba, Prime Minister of Nepal
  • His Excellency Mr. Pravind K. Jugnauth, Prime Minister of Mauritius
  • His Excellency Mr. Chinh Minh Pham, Prime Minister of Viet Nam
  • His Excellency Mr. Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia
  • His Excellency Mr. Moeketsi Majoro, Prime Minister of Lesotho
  • His Excellency Mr. John A. Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize
  • His Excellency Mr. António Costa, Prime Minister of Portugal
  • His Excellency Mr. Matuesz Morawiecki, Prime Minister of Poland
  • His Excellency Mr. Narendra Damodardas Modi, Prime Minister of India
  • His Excellency Mr. Scott J Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia
  • His Excellency Mr. Alexander Schallenberg, Federal Chancellor of Austria
  • His Excellency Mr. Imran Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan
  • His Excellency Mr. Askar Mamin, Prime Minister of Kazakhstan
  • His Excellency Mr. Mario Draghi, Prime Minister of Italy

Tuesday 2 November 2021

Provisional list of speakers (9am-1pm)

  • His Majesty Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, Emir of Qatar
  • His Excellency Mr. Umaro Sissoco Embaló, President of Guinea-Bissau
  • His Royal Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco
  • His Excellency Mr. Guillermo Lasso Mendoza, President of Ecuador
  • His Excellency Mr. Aleksandar Vučić, President of Serbia
  • H.S.H Prince Alois of Liechtenstein
  • His Excellency Mr. Sadyr Zhaparov, President of Kyrgyzstan
  • His Excellency Mr. Chandrikapersad Santokhi, President of Suriname
  • Her Excellency Ms. Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of Tanzania
  • Her Excellency Ms. Zuzana Čaputová, President of Slovakia
  • His Excellency Mr. Klaus Werner Iohannis, President of Romania
  • His Excellency Mr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of Guyana
  • His Excellency Mr. Gitanas Nausėda, President of Lithuania
  • His Excellency Mr. Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine
  • His Excellency Mr. Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé, President of Togo
  • His Excellency Mr. Hage G. Geingob, President of Namibia
  • His Excellency Mr. Eglis Levits, President of Latvia
  • His Excellency Mr. Nicos Anastasiades, President of Cyprus
  • His Excellency Mr. Alberto Fernández, President of Argentina
  • His Excellency Mr. Julius Maada Bio, President of Sierra Leone
  • His Excellency Mr. Sauli V. Niinistö, President of Finland
  • His Excellency Mr. Ivan Duque, President of Colombia
  • His Excellency Mr. João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço, President of Angola
  • His Excellency Mr. Luis R. Abinader, President of Dominican Republic
  • His Excellency Mr. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana
  • His Excellency Mr. Andry Rajoelina, President of Madagascar
  • His Excellency Mr. Željko Komšić, President of Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • His Excellency Mr. Surangel S. Whipps, Jr, President of Palau
  • His Excellency Mr. Carlos Alvardo Quesada, President of Costa Rica
  • His Excellency Mr. Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria
  • His Excellency Mr. Felix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • His Excellency Mr. Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, President of Zimbabwe
  • His Excellency Mr. Giacomo Simoncini and His Excellency Mr. Francesco Mussoni,
  • Captains Regent of San Marino
  • His Excellency Mr. Azali Assoumani, President of Comoros
  • His Excellency Mr. Carlos Manuel Vila Nova, President of Sao Tome and Principe
  • His Excellency Armen Sarkissian, President of Armenia
  • His Excellency Mr. Fumio Kishida, Prime Minister of Japan
  • His Excellency Ms. Mia Amor Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados
  • His Excellency Mr. Alexander F. H. De Croo, Prime Minister of Belgium
  • His Excellency Mr. Keith C. Rowley, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago

Provisional list of speakers (3pm-5pm)

  • His Excellency Mr. Jonas Gahr Støre, Prime Minister of Norway
  • His Excellency Mr. Philip Joseph Pierre, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia
  • His Excellency Mr. Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands
  • His Royal Highness Prince Salman Bin Hamad Alkhalifa, Prime Minister of Bahrain
  • His Excellency Mr. Xavier Espot Zamora, Prime Minister of Andorra
  • His Excellency Mr. Najib Makati, Prime Minister of Lebanon
  • Her Excellency Ms. Mette Frederiksen, Prime Minister of Denmark
  • His Excellency Mr. Cleopas Sipho Dlamini, Prime Minister of Eswatini
  • His Excellency Mr. Micheál Martin, Prime Minister of Ireland
  • His Excellency Mr. Andrej Plenković, Prime Minister of Croatia
  • His Excellency Mr. Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Dominica
  • His Excellency Al-sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid AI-Sabah, Prime Minister of Kuwait
  • His Excellency Mr. James Hame Marape Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea
  • His Excellency Mr. Edi Rama, Prime Minister of Albania
  • His Excellency Mr Kausea Natano, Prime Minister of Tuvalu
  • His Excellency Mr. Philip E. Davis, Prime Minister of Bahamas
  • His Excellency General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of Thailand
  • His Excellency Mr. Carlos Agostinho do Rosário, Prime Minister of Mozambique
  • Her Excellency Ms. Katrin Jakobsdottir, Prime Minister of Iceland
  • His Excellency Mr. Christophe Joseph Marie Dabire, Prime Minister of Burkina Faso
  • His Excellency Mr. Stefan Dinchev Yanev, Prime Minister of Bulgaria
  • His Excellency Mr. Robert Abela, Prime Minister of Malta
  • His Excellency Mr. Édouard Ngirente, Prime Minister of Rwanda
  • His Excellency Mr. Aziz Akhannouch, Prime Minister of Morocco
  • His Excellency Mr. Jose Ulisses De Pina Correia E Silva, Prime Minister of Cabo Verde
  • His Eminence Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State of the Holy See

COP26 Presidency events:

COP26 Coalition:

Provisional press conference schedule:

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