The road to COP26

COP26 – or the 26th conference of the parties under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change UNFCCC - is set to be the largest gathering on climate issues ever and one of the biggest events hosted in Scotland. The conference is planned for the first two weeks of November in Glasgow and will include hundreds of heads of state, diplomats, climate experts, business leaders, journalists, and campaigners.

For the private sector, COP provides an opportunity to support national governments in meeting their NDCs, demonstrate industry leadership, and engage with key stakeholders.  Opportunities to engage with the COP agenda and participate in related events begins long before November, with regional dialogues and a youth COP as just a few examples.

Global Counsel has provided support to clients on COP engagement over the last five years. In the lead up to COP26, the Global Counsel team will be providing evolving analysis and insights into all developments, in the form of monthly newsletters and events. 

Our offer to clients supports both their engagement with the COP26 process, and participation in wider industry initiatives like Race-to-Zero to demonstrate climate leadership, through:

  • Climate mitigation and adaptation strategy development and engagement with government and corporates;
  • Development of thought leadership on core issues on the agenda;
  • Strategic planning for COP26 including identification of key themes and entry points based on sector and geography, and planning of events in the lead up and during the conference itself;
  • Support during the event including side event management, corporate communications, and day to day analysis of negotiations and announcements;

Contact us here if you would like to receive our COP prospectus.

Team

Insights

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COP26: game changing or just changing the game?

Sustainability

Charley Roberts
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After almost two years of build-up, COP26 finally took place during the first two weeks of November. The expectations were high and the media attention significant – both positive and negative. Amidst the flurry of pledges, side agreements and negotiated texts, it is challenging to decipher whether COP26 was ‘a success’ and what it means for global (and local) climate…

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On the ground in Glasgow: everything you need to know from COP26

Sustainability

Charley Roberts
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The UK’s presidency of the climate change conference COP26 was seized as an opportunity to define themselves as a leader in this space on the global stage. The key goals set out by Alok Sharma, COP26 President, was “cars, coal, cash, and trees”, with other important areas requiring resolution being the finalisation of the emissions trading chapter of the Paris Agreement.

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Russia, going for green?

Sustainability

Frederick Michell
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When President Vladimir Putin declared in 2020 that climate change was a critical, manmade threat to Russia, he took many observers by surprise. Until then, climate change in Russia was often spoken of as a potential positive, given its frozen northern land and sea. But with COP26 approaching, Russia appears to be relatively serious about its route map for its low carbon…

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Summer archive: How can the UK get to net zero? In conversation with Lord Deben

Sustainability

Geoffrey Norris
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This summer, we are revisiting episodes from the Global Counsel podcast archive, looking at what they can tell us about topical developments in public policy and regulation ahead of the autumn. From COP26 to the education system in the US, the GC team offers timeless insight into global and national trends to look out for across sectors and around the world.

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Determining whether the AUS-UK FTA is a success for London

Trade & Manufacturing

Joe Armitage
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Following a post-NATO dinner between the premiers of Australia and the UK, it was announced that a free trade agreement between the two countries had been agreed in ‘broad terms’. Further details are expected to be fleshed out soon, but it is not yet clear when the full text of the agreement will be finalised from a technical perspective and published.

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The G7 Summit: Building Back Better

General Policy

Jon Garvie
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Summits are high-stakes affairs, particularly for their hosts. The format of relatively free and unsupported interaction between leaders leaves more to chance than the final, carefully drafted communiques suggest. The strength or weakness of relationships comes to the fore. The ability of the chair to forge a path through the competing egos and interests matters. 

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The G7 UK Summit: what you need to know

General Policy

Denzil Davidson
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Jon Garvie, Practice lead for Policy; Denzil Davidson, Adviser; and Charley Roberts, Associate, Climate and Sustainability unpack the G7 leader’s summit, which will take place from Friday to Sunday in Carbis Bay, Cornwall.

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How can the UK get to net zero? In conversation with Lord Deben

Sustainability

Geoffrey Norris
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On an event for the Global Counsel network, Elizabeth Beall, Climate and Sustainability Practice Lead and Geoffrey Norris, Senior Adviser, are joined by Lord Deben, Chair of the UK Committee on Climate Change and Former Secretary of State for the Environment.

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Three ESG policy trends to watch in 2021

Sustainability

Elizabeth Beall
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2020 marked a step change in how both corporates and investors consider ESG, driven in large part by policy and regulatory changes. 2021 is set to be a year where ESG will start to have real bite. With greater regulatory and market scrutiny, increased reporting and thus greater data, the bar on what is considered as ‘good’ ESG performance will continue to rise. 

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Prospects of a transatlantic deal on energy and climate change

Energy & Commodities

Giorgio Corbetta
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Climate and energy policy will be a dominating feature of Biden’s cabinet. Decision-making will be more systematic but could also be complex given the high seniority of the (at least) seven cabinet members who will be involved in energy policy (all awaiting Senate confirmation except for John Kerry and Gina McCarthy). Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, as Energy…

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Nature-based solutions: cost-effective and credible?

Sustainability

Charley Roberts
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Not all solutions for mitigation and adaptation to climate change are technological. So-called ‘nature-based’ solutions are rapidly increasing in prominence, successfully breaking through conservation circles to mainstream policy since the 2019 Madrid UN climate conference.

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Adaptation and resilience: Who builds? Who pays?

Sustainability

Elizabeth Beall
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Over the last few years, climate finance investment has focused on mitigation over adaptation and resilience. A few things are probably driving this. One is the sense that adaptation and resilience are responses to potential physical changes still in the relatively distant future. Mitigation, by contrast, is seen as an urgent race to reduce emissions to forestall more…

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The race for climate finance leadership

Sustainability

Mollie Brennan
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Last week, the City of London Corporation and the UK Green Finance Institute hosted a ‘Green Horizon Summit’. At the event, a package of proposals was unveiled by the UK government aiming to cement the UK as a global centre for green finance and signal something of the UK government’s post-Brexit vision for the City of London. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak’s…

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What decisions are needed for the UK to achieve its hydrogen ambitions?

Energy & Commodities

Lilah Howson-Smith
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With the prime minister set to make a set-piece speech next week on how the UK meets its net-zero commitment, the big question remains how far he will emphasise the importance of hydrogen to the country’s green ambitions. Pressure has been ratcheting up in the context of Europe and China committing substantial funds to hydrogen in their recovery plans, but the UK has not…

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Climate policy - coming to your plate

Sustainability

Charley Roberts
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On November 3rd, Global Counsel hosted a panel discussion on the role of diet in achieving climate objectives. The discussion focused on how likely we are to see forthcoming UK policy aimed at addressing a dietary shift and whether we can expect to see governments increasingly intervene in this area in the same way they do in energy or transport.

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EU farm policy reform: what’s on the table?

Sustainability

Mollie Brennan
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Last week’s extensive negotiations in the European Parliament have set the tone for how far the EU is willing to integrate its stated sustainability objectives with agricultural policy. The two areas of policy have often been at loggerheads, but the Green Deal and the Farm to Fork strategy released earlier this year had created some expectation that things may be shifting…

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Is an EU-wide ban on petrol and diesel cars imminent?

Sustainability

Ermenegilda Boccabella
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A decision is imminent on whether the UK will bring forward its phase-out date for vehicles with internal combustion engines (ICE) from 2035 to 2030 – in itself already a radically different position than this time last year where the phase-out date was set at 2040. Pressure is mounting from all sides as without this decision, the UK stands no chance of meeting its net…

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Does the election actually matter for the US energy transition?

Energy & Commodities

Ermenegilda Boccabella
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There is no doubt that the US will be key to global decarbonisation and for the energy sector, the upcoming American elections in November will be a turning point. While it is clear that a returned President Trump would not actively seek to reduce emissions in a second term, net-zero expectations from other major states have nevertheless moved ahead without his version of…

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