Glasgow, Scotland, where the COP26 will take place. Stephen O'Donnell, Unsplash

Bi-weekly digest: COP26 special

News to know ahead of the UN climate summit in Glasgow

It’s finally happening: this week, world leaders are convening in Glasgow for the COP26 climate summit. But this time, will they follow it up with real action?

From climate strikes to the latest country pledges, here’s all you need to know in this special pre-COP bi-weekly news roundup.

LANDSCAPE NEWS

On the sidelines of COP26, join us at the GLF Climate hybrid conference (5–7 November), where we’ll explore how forests, food and finance can step in and help catch us up on meeting the Paris Agreement targets.

All eyes are on world leaders to raise their game, because their current plans will probably still lead to 2.7 degrees Celsius of global warming by 2100.

Young people, too, want to see real action – and they’ve gathered at a pre-COP youth event in Milan, Italy to present a lengthy list of recommendations, from capacity building to climate education.

If you want to be briefed on expectations for the negotiations, listen back to this GLF Live with COP expert and international lawyer Stephen Leonard.

What progress are you hoping to see at COP26? Let us know by taking this short poll and earn a free digital ticket to GLF Climate.

CLIMATE: Where we stand now

The sun as seen through the smoke of forest fires in Washington State, U.S. in August. Todd Petit, Flickr
The sun as seen through the smoke of forest fires in Washington State, U.S. in August. Todd Petit, Flickr

What will the world look like at 1.5 degrees of warming – or more? These infographics show how we can expect heatwaves, floods and wildfires to multiply in the decades ahead.

As greenhouse gas levels reach their highest in 3 million years, people are demanding tough climate action like never before.

Not a single sector is acting quickly enough to prevent us from reaching 1.5 degrees by 2030. Even some of the world’s most protected forests have turned into carbon emitters over the last 20 years.

And not everyone is equally responsible for the climate crisis: rich countries making up 10 percent of the world population have contributed 40 percent of carbon emissions since 1850.

POLICY: Will world leaders step up?

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson with Sir David Attenborough at the launch of the U.K. hosting of COP 26. Andrew Parsons, No10 Downing Street
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson with Sir David Attenborough at the launch of the U.K. hosting of COP 26. Andrew Parsons, No10 Downing Street

So, what exactly is COP26 – and could it really be our last chance to prevent climate catastrophe? Here’s you all you need to know, plus a brief history of previous UN climate summits.

As heads of state arrive in Glasgow, here’s where some of the main players stand:

PEOPLE: Activists, scientists and locals weigh in

Glasgow has a population of around 600,000 people. sctkirk, Flickr
Glasgow has a population of around 600,000 people. sctkirk, Flickr

Glasgow is gearing up to welcome some 30,000 people for COP26 – but with just 15,000 hotel rooms, striking refuse workers and a long history of flash floods, is the city ready?

Civil society groups will host their own counter-events, including a Fridays for Future strike on 5 November, a Global Day of Action on 6 November and a People’s Summit on 7 November.

But when all is said and done, scientists are doubtful that any meaningful agreement will be struck to keep warming below 1.5 degrees.

Where does this leave young people who will inherit an increasingly unlivable planet? Here, 20 youth activists share their stories and speak out on the changes they want to see.

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