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Supporting climate action on the road to COP 26


COP 26: for the climate action we urgently need

The COP 26 UN Climate Change Conference, hosted by the UK in partnership with Italy, will take place from 31 October to 12 November 2021 in Glasgow, UK.

Hosted in the UNECE region, this will offer an important opportunity to UNECE member States and all Parties worldwide to scale up commitments to deliver on the Paris Agreement. On the road to COP 26, UNECE will be mobilizing to support the climate action we urgently need.

For more information, visit the UNFCCC website


UNECE will organize or participate in a variety of events at COP26


Water & Climate

The UNECE Water Convention Secretariat will be involved in several sessions of COP26 - see the list of events here.

Climate Breakfast with Mayors: a dialogue with Norman Foster and John Kerry (3 November)

Cities play a critical role in climate action. Mayors from all over the world are invited to join a conversation with renowned architect Lord Foster and US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry on the post-COVID-19 city. This will offer a forum to ask questions, and share experiences and challenges. The discussions will be moderated by Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, and feature speakers including Claudia Lopez, Mayor of Bogota and C40 Vice-Chair for Latin America alongside UNECE Executive Secretary Olga Algayerova.   

Carbon Neutrality beyond borders: Carbon neutral energy intensive industries (3 November 9:00-10:15am University of Glasgow)

The decarbonisation of energy intensive industries - including cement, steel, and chemicals, which are responsible for over 25% of total CO2 emissions globally - is crucial to reach net-zero CO2 emissions. This event organized by UNECE and the University of Glasgow will explore approaches that can be taken by governments, industry and financial institutions, and will launch a new UN policy brief on carbon neutrality in the energy intensive industries.

Climate-neutral housing - Decarbonizing the housing stock in an inclusive and affordable way (4 November 2021 13:15—14:30 GMT Lomond Auditorium, The Scottish Event Campus)

Buildings account for 40% of CO2 emissions. They thus offer a large potential for improving energy efficiency and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. However, decarbonizing the housing stock is very costly and can lead vulnerable populations to energy poverty. This event will showcase how the UNECE-Housing Europe-UN-Habitat #Housing2030 Toolkit on affordable climate-neutral sustainable housing can be used to mitigate the potential negative social impacts of decarbonization strategies on vulnerable sections of society, particularly youth.   

Meet the UNECE Centres of Excellence on High-Performance Buildings (3 November)

Buildings consume over 70% of electric power generated and 40% of primary energy and  are responsible for 40% of CO2 emissions as a result of the energy services they require. The High-Performance Buildings initiative aims at disseminating best practices to deliver the buildings we need to address the climate emergency while improving quality of life.  This collaborative event will bring together representatives from the international buildings community to extend UNECE’s network of centres of excellence and to elaborate the outcomes that should be expected of the built environment.


Supporting action in the region

The UNECE region – stretching over North America right across Europe, covering the Balkans, the Caucasus and Central Asia – is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, responsible for 34% of the world’s CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion. The people of the region are increasingly feeling the impacts of climate change - from wildfires to flooding, heatwaves and drought.

Faced with the climate emergency and to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals, UNECE member States are taking important climate action in key areas. Through its norms, standards, conventions and policy assistance, UNECE provides practical tools to support countries’ efforts for both climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Selected events and key milestones

In the build up to COP 26 and beyond, several key events and milestones will shape UNECE’s contribution to countries’ climate action: