Preserving The Planet For You – COP26

Record heatwaves, turbulent storms, droughts, and flooding. These are all symptoms of the warming climate and you might have witnessed the devastating effects right in front of your eyes.

As you will probably know, the UK is hosting the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow from 31st of October to 12th of November, 2021.

COP26 is to make sure that the leaders of today make the right decisions to preserve the planet for future generations. After all, the older generation, currently in charge, are just guardians of this planet. It will be teenagers whohave to pick up the pieces – and live with the consequences - in years to come. Hence this generation needs to be involved in the discussion on how we can waste less, reduce air pollution and, most importantly, keep temperatures under control.

The UK's president for COP26 said the presence of youth delegates and activists in Glasgow has really energised the process. The agenda of COP26 has certainly been influenced by the group of teenage climate activists who attended the pre-COP26 meeting, held in Milan from September 28th to the 30th, 2021. This event, called Youth4Climate, was organised by the Italian government in partnership with the UK and 400 lucky young delegates made it to Milan to discuss their country-specific climate issues and to write out the Youth4Climate manifesto, which can be found here.

There has been a lot of chat (or “blah blah” as Greta Thunberg says) about climate change and what we can do to preserve the planet. Prince Charles told world leaders in a speech at the G20 – ahead of the COP26 – that “they can no longer ignore the despairing voices of young people”.

So, what will be discussed at COP26?

This meeting will accelerate action towards the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement, which saw 196 countries signing a pledge to limit global warming well below an average of 2 degrees Celsius.

You may think that 2 degrees Celsius is not so dramatic, as daily temperatures where we live can easily fluctuate more than that. But 2 degrees Celsius is really a lot because it takes unbelievable amounts of heat to warm the oceans, atmosphere and land by only 1 degree Celsius, let alone 2! To put this into context, in the past, a 1- or 2-degree Celsius temperature drop was enough to plunge the Earth into the Little Ice Age.

In short, a global average rise in temperatures will create unsustainable temperature variations all over our planet and create dangerous weather conditions; from droughts in some places to excess rain and deadly flooding in others; from extreme heat and wildfires in California and the Arctic, snowstorms in Texas to rising seas threatening many coastal communities.

What will COP26 discuss?

The current summit will focus on achieving four key aims:

  1. Secure global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees Celsius within reach.
  2. Adapt to protect communities and natural habitats.
  3. Mobilise finance to support net zero goals.
  4. Work together to deliver.

The UK, as the host nation, is full of optimism and is making big promises to ensure we are carbon-neutral and meet that goal of net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050, which some say is too far away for today’s politicians to be held to account. But we must start somewhere as being carbon neutral is a pretty difficult thing to achieve…

UK’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, states:

“Securing a brighter future for our children and future generations requires countries to take urgent action at home and abroad to turn the tide on climate change. It is with ambition, courage and collaboration as we approach the crucial COP26 summit in the UK that we can seize this moment together, so we can recover cleaner, rebuild greener and restore our planet”.

Get involved and have your say

You can attend the Royal Society’s live virtual Q&As with some of the leading scientists on the frontline in the battle against climate change and biodiversity loss (book your FREE tickets here) or you can tune in to the livestream on

You could be the next David Attenborough or teen climate activist, this is the greatest crisis humanity is facing and it’s time for the scientist, entrepreneurs, and thinkers of tomorrow to put their heads together for a greener future. Could that be you?

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