What is COP26? Why should you care? How you can get involved…
Now that COP26 has officially started, we’re inviting you to join us in speaking up and making some noise about how we can protect our planet.
What is COP26?
COP, or Conference of the Parties, is a UN Climate Change Conference which is taking place in Glasgow from 31st October to 12th November. 197 countries signed a treaty which stated that each government would work together to protect and restore the planet. Each country will come together to make bold, yet vital, pledges to the environment – such as significantly reduscing harmful emissions, restore ecosystems and adapt to protect communities and their natural habitats.
Arguably, the most important conference since a vital climate change pledge was made at the Paris Climate Talks in 2015, the COP26 is putting pressure on governments to action these promised changes.
Why is the COP26 so important?
As a planet, the biggest threat facing us at the moment is climate change and conferences like COP26 shed light on how serious the arising problems are, and most importantly, what we can do to prevent them. With natural disasters such as storms, floods and forest fires becoming more intense, action has to be taken now before it is too late and there's no turning back for humanity and our planet...
“Every fraction of a degree of warming matters, and why we are dedicated to keeping the prospect of holding temperature rises to 1.5 degrees alive.”
- UN Climate Change
One of the biggest goals of the COP26 is to limit global temperature rising to a rate of 1.5°C, rather than the current projection of 2°C. This goal may seem small but achieving the difference of half a degree would be significant for the planet, without it the negative results would be severe. For example, most warm water reefs would be destroyed, Artic Sea ice would melt at a devastating rate (flooding islands and rising sea levels), and a third of the population would be exposed to extreme temperatures – leaving the planet in a critical state.
What changes do we want to see implemented?
The COP26 agenda has been summarised as “coal, cash, cars and trees”. These four aspects are crucial catalysts in the charge for climate control.
The coal mission is simple: eliminate it. Coal must be rapidly phased out, with countries committing to not opening any new coal-fuelled power stations across the globe. The pledge forces world leaders and governments to provide clean energy alternatives for our growing, global population.
The switch to zero emissions cars, vans and trucks must be introduced globally soon, with the ultimate goal to clean our air. The UK have already pledged to stop the sale of new petrol or diesel cars by 2030, which is a positive step in the right direction for our planet, but undoubtedly, more needs to be done.
As a company that is incredibly passionate about the environment, protecting trees is at the forefront of our business working alongside the WWF 2030 Circle and the Trillion Trees project. Trees are one of our best environmental defences against climate change, with the ability to reduce global warming through carbon absorption. Above all we should be protecting our natural forests and reduce deforestation, in addition to planting and caring for new trees, to help reduce the planets CO2 levels, as well as providing more space for natural habitats to thrive.
Ways to get involved
The WWF are a great tool for education, and for change. You can explore how to reduce your personal impact on our natural environments, as well as understand the vital work WWF do to care for our world and it’s inhabitants.
With trees being such a powerful force when it comes to tackling the climate crisis, Ecologi, another partner of ours, have a simple, yet effective, goal – to plant more of them. Working with a great range of partners, Ecologi plant millions of trees each month all around the globe, alongside aiding local communities, helping to prevent the ecological collapse.
“There are enough climate solutions out there right now, that if we supported them, it would undo 30 years of carbon damage by avoiding 1,500 billion tonnes of CO2. This is our opportunity”
One of the easiest ways to get involved when it comes to protecting the planet is to simply keep talking about it and spread the importance of climate action and be part of the journey to creating change, so future generations have a planet to enjoy.