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East Midlands Chamber News

COP26 begins in Glasgow: East Midlands Chamber blog

Throughout COP26, East Midlands Chamber’s Sustainable East Midlands policy officer Amy Kopyrko will provide updates on how key announcements at the climate change conference will impact businesses in our region. As it gets underway, she looks back at what’s already happened and the agenda for the next fortnight.  


After being postponed last year, COP26 has finally arrived in Glasgow. On Sunday morning, COP26 launched at the Scottish Events Campus, welcoming delegates from around 200 nations. The aim is to outline and commit to plans to cut emissions by 2030, with the ultimate goal of reaching net zero by the mid-21st century.

COP26 also allows the business community to gain an insight into future policy and regulation, the green finance market and opportunities for innovation. Businesses that engage with COP26 may gain a competitive advantage due to being better informed about emerging trends.

Prior to COP26, world leaders met in Rome for the G20 summit. The G20 communique includes several agreements related to the climate crisis, as well as the economic recovery from Covid-19. 

Pre-COP26 announcements

Net zero by mid-century

This included reiterating the commitment to 1.5°C and the acknowledgment that every country will have a role to pay in reaching this target. The communique states that G20 nations should aim for net zero by, or around, mid-century.

An end to international coal finance

The communique states a commitment to put an end to the provision of international public finance for new unabated coal power generation by the end of 2021.

Biodiversity loss

Following the 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework at COP15 in Kunming, there is an intention for nations to draw up plans to reach the commitment to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030.

It also details the ambition to collectively plant one trillion trees, and to scale up the implementation of nature-based solutions and approaches, which include the participation of local communities and indigenous people.

COP26 opening ceremony

Alok Sharma's opening speech stressed the importance of reaching the 1.5°C target agreed previously at Paris, calling COP26 "our last best chance".

He outlined his intention to "seize the enormous opportunities for green growth, for good green jobs, for cheaper, cleaner power".

Timetable of COP26 themes

Week 1


1st & 2nd November  

World Leaders Summit

Welcoming world leaders to COP to put forward high-level ambition and action towards securing global net zero and keeping 1.5 degrees in reach; adapting to protect communities and natural habitats; and mobilising finance


3rd November


Mobilising public and private finance flows at scale for mitigation and adaptation

4th November


Accelerating the global transition to clean energy

5th November

Youth and public empowerment

Elevating the voice of young people and demonstrating the critical role of public empowerment and education in climate action

6th November


Ensuring the importance of nature and sustainable land use are part of global action on climate change and a clean, green recovery


Week 2


8th November

Adaptation, loss and damage
Delivering the practical solutions needed to adapt to climate impacts and address loss and damage

9th November

Progressing gender equality and the full and meaningful participation of women and girls in climate action

Science and Innovation
Demonstrating that science and innovation can deliver climate solutions to meet, and accelerate, increased ambition

10th November

Driving the global transition to zero-emission transport

11th November

Cities, regions and built environment
Advancing action in the places we live, from communities through to cities and regions

12th November

Closure of negotiations















The Chamber will be uploading blogs and information as it comes in over the following fortnight. Keep up to date with COP26 via our EMC Policy Team Twitter account @EMC_Policy.