The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (known as COP26) is the 26th annual conference held at the SEC Centre in Glasgow, Scotland. Between 31st October and 12th November 2021 under the presidency of Conservative MP and cabinet minister Alok Sharma. The focus of the yearly conferences -since first being held in 1995- is climate change and how it has impacted around the world and ways in which it can be combatted.
Greta Thunberg speaking at the Annual World Economic Forum in 2020 by Manuel Lopez
Former president of the United States Barack Obama spoke at the conference and was met with cheers and applause from many in the crowd proof that the former president can attract crowds. He was given an hour in the COP26 programme for his speech in comparison to the three minutes which is usually given to different heads of state. Earlier this week on Monday showed that while progress had been made overall, there was still a long way for the summit to deliver what could be called success. There had been protests made largely by young people who were angry at how slow the talks were.
Barack Obama speaking on military intervention in Libya in 2011 at the National Defence University by Katie Lewis
Obama had attempted appealing to both sides with his speech quoting Shakespeare: “What wound did ever heal but by degrees”, having also told listeners and young activists during the meeting: “I’m ready for the long haul if you are. So, let’s get to work”. Unfortunately, there had been problems with regards to securing the $100bn which had been promised around 12 years previously to poorer countries coping with climate change. Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson had earlier come under fire from locals in Glasgow, Scotland following his return to the conference with quotes such as from Simon Worth, 48. Simon had stated “I don’t think Boris really cares [about Cop26]. I’m not sure what he cares about really, other than his own ego, he’s not very good at facing up to any responsibilities I think. But he’s very good at smoke and mirrors and deflecting attention.”
Boris Johnson speaking at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland by Simon Dawson
Sue Hillman, 76, who is also a producer was also left unimpressed stating “He likes to be in the limelight,” she said. “He’ll do anything to divert the attention from what’s really happening in this country. There is no getting away from it, the Tory party has become so embedded in sleaze and corruption. I don’t see how anybody in the UK can’t see what’s happening.”
The conference had come to several conclusions including:
- Acknowledging the impact of COVID-19 on the world and recognising the importance of ensuring a sustainable, resilient and inclusive global recovery, showing solidarity particularly with developing country parties.
- Realises the important advances made through the UNFCCC multilateral process since 1994, including in the context of the Convention, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement.
- Acknowledges the important role of civil society, including youth and indigenous peoples, in addressing and responding to climate change, and highlighting the urgent need for action.
- Recognizes the importance of the best available science for effective climate action and policymaking.