COP26

Coverage and updates on the COP26 conference in Glasgow and related issues by the Cambridge Zero team.
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Three delegates have a conversation in the COP26 plenary room
Dr Joanna Depledge, expert in international climate change negotiations, unpicks the intricate global politics which underlined COP26 in Glasgow.
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People with larger than life flower flags on the COP26 march
The People’s summit for Climate Justice in Glasgow was attended by Cambridge Student Maryam Grassley who has fed back the poignant quotes which moved her from the range of talks and discussions.
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Tuvalu’s Minister of Finance Seve Paeniu holding up a photo of his grandchildren, urging countries to take action
On COP26’s impromptu Saturday, an agreement was made by the parties. Friederike Hartz stayed in Glasgow and caught almost all interventions, including an emotional plea from Tuvalu’s representative, emphasising the agreement’s human impact by showing his grandchildren.
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Friederike Hartz stands in front of the #COP26 sign made out of plants.
On COP26’s final Friday, pressure mounted for parties to reach an agreement. Friederike Hartz reports on the presidency’s informal stocktaking and the people’s plenary which discussed transparency and inclusivity problems.
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Alok Sharma addressing COP26 presidency hall
On the penultimate day of COP26, negotiations were ongoing and issues like finance proved difficult. Read the highlights alongside on the ground reporting from Friederike Hartz.
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Friderike Hartz at the front of a plenary session at COP26
A round up of week two’s Tuesday and Wednesday negotiation developments, and Cambridge’s involvement ranging from COPTV to students attending the Presidency event and updating on China’s energy transformation.
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Sign made of plant's saying #COP26 with a suspended globe above in the COP26 entrance hallway.
A round-up of highlights and reports from Cambridge on the Ground at COP26 on Adaptation, loss and damage day. Here from Friederike Hartz about her first day at COP26, and read about Cambridge Zero's Arctic Basecamp event.
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Protest walking in between avenue of trees with a placard centre shot reading 'less bla blah blah, more bold action'
In an incredibly busy Friday and weekend at #COP26, many Cambridge academics and students alike were involved and have fed back their insights! Read here highlights, two politics lecturers protests commentary and see two student’s photos from taking part!
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COP26 Negotiating Hall
My personal view would be “so far so good”. In fact, I would venture even further, and say that COP 26 has exceeded my (admittedly low) expectations. Perhaps it’s because I am following the Conference from the comfort of my home office, and haven’t been frustrated by queues, restricted access, the threat of Covid, and poorly functioning online systems. But I detect a positive buzz and – dare I say it – a sense of cautious optimism among many, especially veterans of the process.
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COP26 Protest in a park, surrounded by trees. Colourful placards are throughout the march.
Young people, families with little children, teachers with groups of students, the elderly, representatives of indigenous communities… Climate marches are no longer a scream from the youth, traditionally viewed as less-risk averse, more innovative, impulsive, eager or even rebellious. The Climate March that we have seen this morning 6th of November in Glasgow is an example of that.
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Launch of the Report at COP26 - numerous people in a room arranged in a panel lay out. TV screens on the wall with the report title.
In the evening of November 4 (“Energy Day”) in the COP26 UK Pavilion, researchers from the project on the Economics of Energy Innovation and System Transition (EEIST) presented the new flagship report on “The New Economics of Innovation and Transition: Evaluating Risks and opportunities”. The report, which has 28 authors, was led by Prof. Michael Grubb (UCL) and has seven authors from Cambridge's Centre for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance.
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Three images from Dr Sam Strand at COP26. The first is of a hall with a large globe suspended. The Second is Sam in front of a sign saying UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021. The third is a photo of a negotiating hall.
COP26’s energy day proved to be suitably explosive in its announcements! To help you make sense of all day 5’s news, read the highlights alongside on-the-ground thoughts from Cambridge’s Dr Sam Strands. We also include insightful comments highlighting the need for regional nuance when discussing Energy at COP26 from Dr Sam Short and Dr Ryan Nehring.
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COP26 Screening: Act Now Film Screening: A cop26 youth voices project. 11th November, 1.30-2.30p, St Catherine's McGrath Centre. Images of the film and protests
Cambridge Zero has been working with Green Officers around Cambridge to support them in streaming COP26 Green Zone Events. An exciting and broad range of events have been chosen, engaging students with the historic conference.
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Methane flare against blue sky.
We wrap up the the pledges and commitments from day 3 of COP26, alongside commentary from Emily Shuckburgh and student Rosa Posser’s thoughts and feelings for her COP26 attendance!
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Young Climate protestor sits holding cardboard on which is written 'Our future is on the line'.
ActNowFilm – an official COP26 Universities Network project - will be shown in the Green Zone at COP26. ActNowFilm was produced by student volunteers, Cambridge Zero and the University of Bath Institute for Policy Research (IPR), in partnership with GAUC. It showcases the views of 16-30 year olds, and is drawn from films submitted by over 140 young people from 32 countries.
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Text: Careers to solve the climate crisis. Featuring Caroline Lucas (Green party MP) and Mya-Rose Craig (Popularly known as 'Bird Girl'. Blue background with image of waves. 4 floating circles with interviewees from the film in them.
This summer, Cambridge Zero’s Rosa Prosser produced six short films which showcase current and future careers necessary to achieve net-zero by 2050. With COP26 and associated protests ongoing in Glasgow, it is clear a green recovery is necessary, and that young people are motivated to be a part of it. Providing the right information is pivotal to ensuring those at the beginning of their careers feel empowered to make their employment contribute to tackling the climate crisis.
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Glasgow on a map with a red pin in it.
After a busy COP26 day 2, read highlights from world leaders' statements and negotiations. Also, hear Cambridge’s Professor Laura Diaz Anadon’s thoughts on the opening ceremony.
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French Mountain, shrouded in cloud, overlooking a lake.
A series of briefs written by the US-UK Youth Coalition on Climate Policy offers insights on UK and US shared interests. The authors, including Cambridge Marshall scholars, produced recommendations for the US and UK at COP26 and beyond, spanning domestic and international policymaking. Across themes of global security, lands and ecosystems, just energy transitions, and youth mental health, these include recommendations for adapting to and mitigating climate change within COP26 negotiations.
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Image: COP26 branding image of the globe. 'Futures we want' in green on a public background.
The ‘Futures We Want’ project - coordinated by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Deloitte, and Cambridge Zero - brought together teams from around the world and across disciplines to develop ideas for feasible, desirable futures to present at the upcoming COP26 climate conference. Hear about the eight Cambridge-based postdocs' experiences of being involved in the process.
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Image: Glasgow building with 'People make glasgow' in pink on it.
Numerous festival discussions are available on-demand and showcase COP26 relevant research and work carried out across Cambridge and its wider global community. Here we highlight three of the many available discussions and signpost other events occurring across the Cambridge community.
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Image: Sky show of wind turbines through the clouds. Text: COP26 Universities Network Briefing
In association with the COP26 Universities Network, a new paper from a group of UK University Students including multiple Cambridge authors urges policymakers to look beyond the horizon of 2050 and consider policies' impacts across future generations' lifetimes.
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Climate Risk Summit - Session 7b
If you want policymakers to ‘get’ climate risk, link the hazard you research to concerns they already understand. These could be issues like jobs, economic growth, or national security.

Insights from psychology and neuroscience suggest individuals engage with a risk most effectively when it speaks to their ‘inner elephant’: the part of the brain responsible for our intuitive, automatic thinking.
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Climate Risk Summit - Session 7a
AU4DM is a community of researchers and professionals from policy, industry, and academia, seeking to improve decision-making under uncertainty. The core of our work is decision science. At the same time, we have discovered the value of sparkling interdisciplinary collaboration across the social sciences and arts and humanities. On 1 October 2021, AU4DM teamed up with Climate Action Unit to host a special workshop on Communicating Climate Risk, supported by Cambridge Zero and the COP26 Universities network.
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Climate Risk Summit - Session 5
Global cities share recommendations on how to strengthen urban resilience and embed adaptation into wider city processes and systems