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What is COP26 and why does it matter?

Earlier this week the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its latest climate report, Climate Change 2021: the Physical Science Basis. The landmark study, which the UN chief is calling "a code red for humanity", has delivered a clear message - the climate crisis can no longer be ignored or avoided and the window to limit global warming to 1.5°C is quickly closing.

There are now just 80 days until COP26 - the most ambitious climate summit ever.

As many countries look to build back better in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, Boris Johnson and other world leaders must take ambitious action. The Earth’s climate is rapidly declining but action now can make a difference.

COP26 comes at a crucial moment. But what is it and why does it matter? Here's our quick guide...

COP, or 'Conference of the Parties', is an annual climate change conference of nations hosted by the United Nations. This year’s conference, the 26th COP (COP26), will take place in Glasgow from 1 - 12 November 2021. (It's the UK’s first COP!)

Who's at the table?

World leaders, climate experts and campaigners will come together to discuss the

Climate Emergency and negotiate the rules, guidelines and cooperation needed to tackle the global crisis and accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement.

The Paris Agreement

At COP21 in Paris in 2015, every country agreed to work together to limit global warming to a target of 1.5 degrees. The countries also agreed to come back every 5 years with an updated plan reflecting their highest possible ambition at that time. That time is now. And the window for achieving the Paris commitments is closing.

A crucial moment

This year, floods and unprecedented heatwaves have been seen across the UK. But many other countries have suffered devastating loss of life and livelihoods far longer. The IPCC's landmark study warns of increasingly extreme heatwaves, droughts and flooding, and a key temperature limit being broken in just over a decade.

As the host nation of COP26, the UK's plans and actions could have a huge impact on the fight for climate action and justice. We must act now.

Stay tuned for more information and commentary as we #CountdownToCOP.



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