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COP26: How can it achieve what the world needs? 

This November, Glasgow hosts the most important climate talks of all: the UN Climate Change Conference, COP26. But will it be the stage upon which the world unites to take serious action on climate change?

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About the talk

The conference will see leaders from across the globe come together with the aim of agreeing new and ambitious targets to tackle the climate crisis. To reach net zero carbon emissions by mid-century, nations must cut their reliance on fossil fuels, protect ecosystems and invest in efficient infrastructure and clean energy solutions globally.  

The landmark 2015 Paris Agreement at COP21 set into binding international treaty, for the first time, targets to limit global warming to well below 1.5 degrees Celsius, and preferably 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, but many say those targets were not ambitious enough and, worse still, most countries have missed the targets set so far.  

What needs to happen in Glasgow to ensure that nations make even bolder commitments, and more importantly, what needs to be agreed to ensure they act on those Paris pledges?  

To consider some of these questions and set the agenda for COP26, we have assembled a brilliant panel of experts in climate science, policy and economics: 

  • Professor Sir David King: Founder and Chair of the Centre for Climate Repair, Cambridge (CCRC), UK Special Representative for Climate Change from September 2013 until March 2017, Government Chief Scientific Advisor from 2000 to 2007.  
  • Professor Robert Stavins: A.J. Meyer Professor of Energy & Economic Development, JFK School of Government, Harvard University. 
  • Dr Radhika Khosla: Research Director of the Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development and Associate Professor at the Smith School of Enterprise and Environment, University of Oxford.
  • Dr. Myrna Cunningham Kain: Chair of the Fund for Development of Indigenous Peoples of Latin America and Caribbean.
  • Simon Sharpe: COP26 Unit Deputy Director, Energy, Transport and Nature.
  • Qasa Alom (Chair): Investigative journalist who has presented numerous documentaries and programmes for TV and radio, including most recently the Asian Network's flagship current-affairs phone-in The Big Debate