From October 1st to November 12th 2021, the UK, together with our partners Italy, hosted COP 26 – an event many believe to be the world’s best last chance to get runaway climate change under control. For nearly three decades the UN has been bringing together almost every country on earth for global climate summits – called COPs – which stands for ‘Conference of the Parties’. In that time climate change has become a global priority. 2021 was the 26th annual summit – giving it the name COP26.
We are now seeing the effects of climate change in every country and region, with severe weather events becoming ever more frequent, resulting in food shortages and major displacements of people. Our planet is warming up and during the last decades this has actually been speeding up rather than slowing down. Our most urgent and challenging global goal is to secure global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach.
How will this happen?
Countries are being asked to come forward with ambitious 2030 emissions reductions targets that align with reaching net zero by the middle of the century.
To deliver on these stretching targets, countries will need to:
- accelerate the phase-out of coal
- curtail deforestation
- speed up the switch to electric vehicles
- encourage investment in renewables.
We can all help to do this by
- Checking out the list of goals on the COP 26 website: https://ukcop26.org/cop26-goals/
- Joining the movement together for our planet: https://together-for-our-planet.ukcop26.org/onestepgreener/
- Getting involved in local action for a sustainable planet and sharing our experiences: https://together-for-our-planet.ukcop26.org/get-involved/
If you need some more ideas, these websites provide ideas and resources for individual, schools, faith groups, community groups and businesses. And do share your actions with others.
Ros Wade - Professor of Education for Sustainability