With COP26 just around the corner - find out how you can get involved!

Dear Experts,

With COP26 just around the corner (October 31 – November 12), it’s the perfect time to outline the likely agenda and the ways in which scientists can get themselves involved. COP26 will provide the setting for world leaders to negotiate climate policies, targets, and the next steps that need to be taken to reduce global emissions. The decisions made at COP26 will have a huge impact on the world’s future climate policies and whether we’re able to stay under 1.5 °C or 2.0 °C of warming.

This month’s EGU Science for Policy Newsletter will outline the key issues that will be discussed during COP26, new European climate initiatives that might feed into the new climate targets, and how scientists can get involved in them! You can also read more details in this month’s GeoPolicy blog post.

If you have any questions about COP26 or the other climate initiatives highlighted in this newsletter, please reach out via policy@egu.eu or on Twitter @Chl0e_Hill.

Best wishes,

Chloe Hill, EGU Policy Manager

COP26: what’s on the agenda?

Revisiting the Paris Climate Agreement

COP26 is the first time the Paris Climate Agreement will be revisited, and countries will need to show what they have done to meet their national targets as stated in the document, a legally binding international treaty adopted by 196 Parties (countries) at COP21 in Paris. Countries will also present their 2030 emissions reductions targets and agree on a common time frame for their next commitments.

Scaling up climate finance and compensation

Climate finance seeks to support climate mitigation and adaptation in countries in the global south. It is hoped that the amount of climate finance available to these countries can be increased to $100 billion annually but this will require greater commitments from countries in the global north. It is also hoped that COP26 will establish a “loss and damage” finance facility that will enable countries in the global south to be compensated for the costs they’ve incurred as a result of climate change.

Establishing an effective international carbon market

Another goal of COP26 is to establish an international carbon market and detail how countries in the global south that have already suffered climate change impacts should be compensated (i.e. loss and damage).

How scientists can get involved with COP26

COP26’s Blue Zone

COP “Blue Zones” are where the negotiations happen. Seats are reserved for representatives of Parties to the Convention and Observer States (e.g. national representatives), members of the press and media, and representatives of Observer Organisations. Most scientists who have access to the Blue Zone of the COP do so under the status of an Observer Organisation.

The process of obtaining an Observer Organisation status for your institute is relatively straightforward but very time-consuming. The process has already closed for COP27 but it could be a viable option if you would like to attend COP28 (in 2023). Some scientific organisations offer their members badges to attend the COP under their Observer status. You can find the full list of Observer Organisations here.

COP26’s Green Zone

COP “Green Zones” are much more accessible! The Green Zone is a platform for the general public, youth groups, academia, artists, and business, and others to have their voices heard. Those working within this space will host numerous events, exhibitions, workshops, and talks. You can view the programme of these events here or subscribe to the COP26 YouTube channel here.

Other ways that you can get involved with Europe's climate goals

EU Consultation: Land use, land use change & forestry

European Commission Consultations allow the public to contribute to the EU policymaking process by giving feedback on Commission legislation as it is being drafted or evaluated. As part of the European Green Deal, the European Commission is making a number of legislative proposals that aim to reduce emissions and encourage all citizens to work towards a more sustainable Europe. The Commission is subsequently reviewing its regulation on land use, land use change, and forestry where the goal is to increase this sector’s efforts to reduce emissions and enhance its carbon removals.

You can have your say and submit your feedback on this consultation here until midnight CET on 8 November 2021

European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change: Call for expression of interest!

The European Environment Agency is selecting 15 scientists to participate in the European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change. The aim of this Advisory Board is to serve as a point of reference on scientific knowledge relating to climate change and to give scientific and technical expertise. It will provide independent scientific advice and produce reports on EU measures, climate targets, and the indicative greenhouse gas budgets and their coherence with the European climate law and the EU’s international commitments under the Paris Agreement.

You can read more about this Advisory Board and how to apply here. Make sure you apply soon as the deadline is noon CET on 1 November 2020.

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