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Update from COP26

Abi Palmer-Greenwood

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Update from COP26

Week 1 of the crucial climate summit in Glasgow is drawing to a close.

Around 120 world leaders gathered in Glasgow this week for humanity's 'last, best chance' to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

Glasgow's Scottish Events Campus officially became UN territory on Friday 29 October - its transformation into the 'Blue Zone' setting the stage for key negotiations between world leaders to take place. Until negotiations close, only parties accredited by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will be able to access the venue.

The conference drew some early criticism for its lack of accessibility, with climate activist Alexandria Villaseñor observing: 'The negotiating space that we create, as a planet, is one of the most important aspects of these talks and can ultimately set it up for failure or success.'

LI President Jane Findlay has been in attendance at the Blue Zone this week, as well as a number of fringe and external events. Below are just a few of the highlights...

43rd TB Macaulay Lecture: in conversation with Christiana Figueres. After a break in 2020, the annual lecture moved from Edinburgh to Glasgow on 2 November, and focussed on the interplay between sustainable land use, science, communities, and the economy.

UKGBC Scotland launch event. The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) officially established its Scottish network on Thursday 4 November. Guest speakers included Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants’ Rights Patrick Harvie MSP.

The Holyrood Fringe Festival. Holyrood events is hosting a four-day climate fringe festival in Glasgow, with a different climate-based theme each day. Today was all about sustainable cities: with 80% of the world's population living in urban areas, cities worldwide will shoulder much of the responsibility for delivering on the outcomes of COP26. Today's session focussed on innovation in sustainable city management in pursuit of net zero.

Tomorrow's session, which Jane will also attend, covers how we mobilise global and local partnerships to reach net zero. The universal challenge of the climate emergency gives us the opportunity to build comprehensive partnerships. Success will mean mobilising and connecting people, communities, organisations, and governments to experiment and innovate, and to design and test the radical policies we need to help us live sustainably.

Look out for more updates from week 2 of COP26 on on the LI website and social media channels!
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