With just over 100 days to go until the UN climate summit, we kick off our running blog with a COP26 recap and a look at what’s next.

The United Nations’ climate conference COP27 is set to take place in Egypt this November. Lisa Sizeland in Schroders’ global content team has summarised what COP27 is and why it matters in this Q&A.

July 26: just over 100 days to go until COP27
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With just over 100 days to go until COP27, we are initiating this live blog to share the latest news and perspectives on the climate crisis around the world.

The annual Conference of the Parties is one of the world’s most important international events. It sees representatives from governments and other organisations gather to report on their country’s progress against the goals set out in the Paris Agreement and make new decisions on to how to reduce carbon emissions.

At the 2015 conference, countries were asked to make changes to keep global warming “well below” 2°C above pre-industrial levels – and to try to aim for 1.5°C.

Over the last few weeks of November 2021, all eyes were on Glasgow as global leaders, businesses and charities gathered for COP26, which was hosted by the UK.

As Simon Webber, a lead portfolio manager at Schroders who has invested in climate change trends for more than 15 years, said at the time: “Some conferences can be a formality, but COP26 is arguably the most important climate conference in a decade.”

Topics covered were wide-ranging. From developments in natural capital and carbon markets and the creation of the Natural Capital Investment Alliance to accelerate natural capital as a mainstream investment theme, to the phasing down of coal and commitments to end harmful deforestation.

We’ll be bringing you the latest climate news in the run-up to negotiations in Sharm El Sheikh.

In a nutshell: COP26 recap

  • COP26 was the fifth since Paris in 2015, which saw nearly 200 countries signing up to the Paris Agreement, the framework to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C.
  • Sir David Attenborough, the broadcaster and natural historian, kickstarted the event with a speech urging world leaders to turn “tragedy into triumph” as “People’s Advocate for COP26”.
  • By the end of the conference, a new global commitment – the Glasgow Pact – was agreed.
  • For the first time, an explicit plan to reduce use of coal, which is responsible for more than a third of emissions, was agreed.
  • 100 individual country leaders came together, as well as a lot of companies, including Schroders, committing to ending deforestation – certainly commodity-based deforestation, which is deforestation related to farming primarily – by 2030.
  • China and the US, the world’s biggest emitters, agreed to boost climate co-operation over the next decade.
  • A request to double the amount of spending to around $40 billion annually to support developing countries was met. In particular to help enable them to mitigate or reduce the impacts of physical climate change – rising sea levels, increased weather damage – on their economies.
  • A scheme to cut 30% of methane emissions by 2030 was agreed by more than 100 countries.

In a nutshell: COP27 and what’s next

  • COP27 is set to take place from 6-18 November and will be the 27th COP since the first (COP1) in Berlin, Germany, in 1995.
  • A detailed agenda has not yet been released, but you can read about the Egypt Goals and Vision on the Egypt Presidency website.
  • After COP26, countries were asked to come back by this year’s conference to strengthen their 2030 commitments.
  • Mahmoud Mohieldin, the UN climate change high-level champion for Egypt, has said the summit must focus on adapting to loss and damage from climate change.
  • A commitment from 2009’s Copenhagen conference that developed countries would provide significant finance to support countries in the emerging world has still not fully materialised. A $100billion a year target has not been met.
  • The “double counting” problem in carbon markets – whereby a country that’s creating an offset, for example through forestry, would count the benefit while the country buying the offset would also count the benefit – has still not been solved.
  • There is still no global carbon price.
  • The latest updates from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have been stark warnings on the impacts of climate change on people and the planet that are already materialising.

Originally published by Vicki Owen Sustainability & Wealth Specialist, Schroders