Welcome to C40’s coverage of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26). We are on the ground at COP26 to bring you the latest news, key announcements and proceedings from Glasgow, for what is being penned as our best and last chance to stop runaway climate change.
In a time of multiple global crises, the world’s mayors have been providing the bold vision and political leadership that this moment requires — by taking groundbreaking, collaborative and urgent action. Mayors and the cities they lead are on track to hit emissions reduction targets, and alongside a coalition including civil society groups, business, labour unions and activists are delivering health benefits, creating jobs and tackling systemic inequality.
FOLLOW THE (CITY) LEADER: the power of local action on the climate crisis
Tune into the latest Reasons to be Cheerful podcast episode, where C40 Executive Director Mark Watts joined co-hosts Ed Miliband and Geoff Lloyd to highlight how cities around the world are taking urgent climate action. Listen below, or wherever you get your podcasts.
C40 mayors are on track for COP26
Today, 12 C40 mayors set out together on the journey from London to COP26 in Glasgow to show that C40’s 97 cities are united around science-based targets and are leading the global fight against the climate crisis.
The international delegation of mayors — including London, Los Angeles, Athens, Phoenix, Paris, Dhaka North, Oslo, Freetown, Stockholm, Seattle — are working together to share best practices and resources to tackle climate change on the streets of their cities, and raise ambition.
The mayors made the 4.5 hour, 645km (401 miles) overland journey from London’s Euston Station to Glasgow’s Central Station on Avanti West Coast’s electric Pendolino “Climate Train”. Per capita passenger emissions for the train journey are estimated to be seven times lower than flying the equivalent distance.
COP26 speakers kick off conference with call for action now
COP26 kicked off earlier today at the Scottish Event Campus with speeches from global leaders and other key figures.
Brianna Fruean, an activist and climate campaigner from Samoa, opened her speech with a Samoan proverb, “stones decay, but words remain”, and spoke of the power of language.
Impassioned speeches and calls to action from multiple climate activists and Sir David Attenborough, the People’s Advocate, were followed by a video featuring contrasting vignettes of global disasters and images of hope and the joy in everyday life, presenting two realities of what our future could look like depending on how we choose to act today.
In the closing keynote address, Kenyan climate activist Elizabeth Wathuti told the audience that their “will to act must come from deep within.” After detailing the climate change impacts Kenya is currently experiencing, she emphasised that “the children cannot live on words and empty promises, they are waiting for you to act.”