Protest walking in between avenue of trees with a placard centre shot reading 'less bla blah blah, more bold action'

COP26 Round Up of the Long Weekend: Youth Day, Protests, and further negotiations

Round up of COP26 Youth Day (5th November) and a weekend of further protests and negotiations (6-7th).

Cambridge Researcher Natalie Jones is reporting for The Earth Negotiations Bulletin. In their round up of Youth Days’ (5th) main proceedings and their highlights of the Saturday (6th) , the bulletin highlighted ongoing negotiations focussing upon:

  • Finance - extensive discussions centred on the new collective quantified goal on climate finance. A specific number isn’t aimed to be settled in Glasgow, rather, establishing a process through which countries decide how much finance developed countries (and those able and willing) will provide and mobilise. On the Saturday, developing countries called for climate finance to be of better quality and quantity. It was emphasised climate finance should not be in the form of loans which increase vulnerable and poor countries’ debt burdens, and that the USD 100 billion per year by 2020 goal has not yet been met.
  • Adaptation - many of the agenda items focused upon supporting developing countries in implementing national planning processes for bettering resilience and decreasing vulnerability to climate change effects. Developing countries are disproportionately affected given low to negligible contributions to global emissions.
  • Loss and damage - referring to permanent, detrimental effects of climate change, this agenda item’s negotiations tried to consider how to correlate diverse communities of practice working on areas like disaster risk reduction to support developing countries.
  • The Saturday included the closing plenaries of Subsidiary bodies who undertake technical work in the first week of COPs. There are limits to what technical bodies can achieve, sometimes requiring political-level guidance to guide technical rules. Such issues are forward to the second work, and COP26’s have included:
    • Article 6 (co-operative approaches; transparency; loss and damage; response measures; adaptation and; common time frames for national determines contributions.

Other events around the venue also highlighted included:

  • On the Friday, the ‘Youth Statement from the 16th Conference of Youth’ was unveiled in Youth NGO’s event ‘Unifying for Change: The Global Youth Voice at COP26’. Most keenly, it demands youth’s meaningful and active involvement in decision making processes. It was signed by over 40,000 youth representatives, inputted from 2000 organisations from 130 countries.
  • Former US Vice-President Al Gore opened an event titled ‘Destination 2030: Making 1.5°C a Reality’, focussing upon the need for radical transparency to match up pledges and actions.
  • Lord Adair Turner, Energy Transition Council, presented initial estimates of COP26 pledges, finding IF they are realized they would lead to deduction of 9 of the needed 22 Gigatons of C02 equivalent to keep 1.5°C in sight.
  • On the Saturday, an estimated 150,000 people marched through the streets of Glasgow for climate action.

For more detail, read their full daily report for November 5th and November 6th.

Follow Natalie Jones on twitter for live updates and our socials for coverage from across the Cambridge Community:

Cambridge on the Ground

On the 5th November in COP26’s science Pavilion, the COP26 Universities Network launched the ‘Communicating Climate Risk Toolkit’. This was part of the event ‘Communicating Climate Risk - what works and what doesn’t’ which explored the challenges of communicating uncertain and complex information to decision makers, and how it can be done better. Cambridge Zero’s Dr Emily Shuckburgh moderated the event alongside Dr Erik Mackie who characterise climate risk. Watch the event on-demand here.

Cambridge students and academics alike were involved in COP26’s weekend, with numerous partaking in the huge mobilisation of people power on the streets of Glasgow.

Dr Cristina Peñasco was in attendance of the Saturday protests. When reporting on her experience, she has commented:

The people are speaking: “Time is running out”, “There is no planet B”, “System change not climate change”. These are some of the messages we saw this morning along the 3 miles that separate Kelvingrove Park from Glasgow Green when the climate march had its finish line. As a participant, I have felt this “protest” has been a celebration: a celebration of life, of nature, of diversity, of plurality. It has been exciting and thrilling being part of a massive group of people rising their voices for just and fair solutions to the climate crisis. 

To read her full commentary on the Saturday, read her blog article here. Dr Tobias Müller was also in attendance on the Saturday and has provided his explanation of the protests’ ins and outs, watch here.

From the student contingency, both Nick Koeing and Rosa Prosser were in attendance and have fed back on their weekend of action in Glasgow.

On the Saturday Nick Koeing was one of the thousands marching and dancing in the streets of Glasgow. On the Sunday, Nick alongside other members of Cambridge was teaching portions of the Climate Law and Governance Specialisation Course 2021 before attending the People’s summit for Climate Justice hosted by the COP26 Coalition. When discussing his weekend, he commented:

It was a surreal moment to be mobilising with people all around the world and learning some of the strategies and ways to make real change in our local and global community!

Nick Koeing, in a wet rain jacket at a protest, holding a placard with a black background and writing in green reading 'promises do not equal progress'
Nick Koeing leading a room full of people in Climate Law and Governance specialisation course 2021

Student Rosa Prosser was also in attendance along with her camera and has produced many beautiful shots from the protests on Saturday and the Green Zone on Sunday which we will continue to share in the next few weeks. Here are two of her Green Zone shots:

Green Zone hallway - people gather around various displays
Art work - person with head in their hands and yellow text above them reading 'don't let the world burn'

Back in Cambridge, the weekend saw numerous COP26 screenings and the chance for students to get involved many miles away from the negotiating Halls. On Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, Darwin hosted two COP26 Green Zone screenings. The first entitled ‘Climate Justice, Education and Gender Equality: Targeting the connections’ and the second, ‘Green Careers Pathway event’.

The Green Careers pathway event was streamed from COP26 and included the final Episode of Rosa Posser’s films entitled ‘Careers to solve the climate crisis’, produced during her internship with Cambridge Zero this summer. Watch the films here, or in-person followed by a Q&A Panel with Rosa and interviewees at Wolfson Hall, Churchill College on Wednesday 10th November, 5-6pm.


If you would like to be involved with our COP26 coverage or have any questions, please email Ella Palmer,