Student Blog: How you can get involved with COP26

Conference of the Parties, or COP, is a gathering of 197 parties from across the world that will go to a host city once a year and talk about the progress which is being made by the United Nations (UN) to ‘limit’ climate change. COP happens every year, with very few exceptions, and is currently being hosted by the UK in Glasgow. This is the 26th COP (COP26) that has happened with some being more successful than others!

What is COP?

Conference of the Parties, or COP, is a gathering of 197 parties from across the world that will go to a host city once a year and talk about the progress which is being made by the United Nations (UN) to ‘limit’ climate change. COP happens every year, with very few exceptions, and is currently being hosted by the UK in Glasgow. This is the 26th COP (COP26) that has happened with some being more successful than others! It is happening 31 October - 12 November 2021, and it is a chance for world leaders to come together to discuss how to tackle the climate crisis. There are more organisations within COP, to find out more click here.

What’s been happening at COP26 so far?

There have been some interesting developments happening at COP26 with the absence of China’s People’s Republic leader Xi Jinping and Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin. Some key decisions so far:

  • So far, just over 100 world leaders have promised to tackle deforestation, this promise is ‘better funded’ so has more of a chance to follow through.
  • The next big development is that just over 100 countries have ‘joined a scheme to cut methane emissions by 30% by 2030’.
  • Another is that more than 40 world leaders have agreed to ‘shift away’ from coal.
  • Over 450 organisations have ‘agreed to back clean technology’. 450 organisations does not sound like a lot but it will be ‘around 40% of global private assets’ which is about $130 trillion dollars.
  • There has been plenty more discussed but not all of it has been good, for example, India’s prime minister pledges net zero by 2070 which is 20 years after the 2050 COP26 target.

How can you get involved with COP26?

Lots and lots of people are already meeting, protesting and volunteering at COP26. If you can’t make it up to Glasgow to get stuck in, there is plenty to do closer to home! Here are some ideas:

  • Come to this march on Saturday 6 November which starts at 12:00 on College Green, it is a Global Day of Action for Climate Justice so marches are happening all over the world. This is a fantastic way to get involved with likeminded people and show Bristol and the world that climate change is something urgent and important.
  • Go to some of these COP26 events, such as this ‘Introduction to COP26’.
  • Here are some other fantastic virtual events, which COP26 Coalition have organised for the People’s Summit from 7-10 November.
  • Post and share posts about COP26 on social media to spread awareness.
  • Here you can keep up with the news, and remember to talk to your friends and family about it too.

How can you get involved with sustainability at UWE?

  • Join The Green Team, a network of students at UWE who care about environmental issues, follow us on social media here.
  • If you want a more active role, use this form to apply to be part of the Sustainability Committee to steer what The Green Team does (you have until 14 November to apply!).
  • Join UWE’s new Extinction Rebellion group here, or the Vegan Society. They all play their part in helping to change the course of the climate crisis.

If you want to know more about COP26 and how to get involved, check out the source links below!

https://together-for-our-planet.ukcop26.org/

https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/climate/cop/what-is-cop

https://www.unep.org/news-and-stories/story/alarming-rise-global-temperatures

https://www.theccc.org.uk/what-is-climate-change/measuring-a-warming-world-2/

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-56901261

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-59138578

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-59125143

https://www.thestudentsunion.co.uk/opportunities/societies/