Countdown to COP

By Andrew Adie

Welcome to the first in our weekly Countdown to COP26 updates, charting the developing milestones on the road to Glasgow, with just over 50 days to go.

We’ve been providing updates and insights on COP26 since the start of this year but as we enter the final push, we will be providing a hub of information and weekly analysis to keep you abreast of all the latest developments.

The UK Government is reportedly engaged in a huge ‘shuttle diplomacy’ push to get ambitious carbon reductions agreed by the world’s nations to ensure we can still aim for the Paris targets.

While that goes on in the background, this week started with The Climate Action Network calling for COP26 to be cancelled if, what the FT called, the Vaccine Apartheid was not resolved – i.e. ensuring that delegates from the ‘Global South’ can attend and be part of the negotiations by ensuring they are vaccinated against Covid 19.

Greta Thunberg added her voice saying she may not attend unless ‘everyone can attend on the same terms’.

The activity around COP26 then stepped up another gear with Pope Francis, The Archbishop of Canterbury and leader of the Orthodox Christian Church imploring world leaders to ‘listen to the cry of the Earth’ and consider ‘what kind of world we want to create for future generations’.

Justin Welby (a former oil executive) then found himself being cross-examined this morning on Radio 4’s Today Programme on whether the Church of England’s own investment management was focused on divesting from fossil fuels. Reiterating the growing focus on impact and concerns about green washing, directed at all organisations.

The temperature is set to keep rising, as are expectations for what COP26 must deliver. It was never going to be a quiet backroom negotiation on the Clyde. The next seven weeks will be intense, and then the hard work really begins.