COP26 provides a key moment for transformational diplomacy, says the Foreign Affairs Committee in a new report published today.
The UK is set to host the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow on 1-12 November 2021.
Current global commitments are a long way off what will be needed to keep global temperature rises under 1.5°C, but in the new report, the committee has highlighted that this conference represents a key moment in establishing our global response to the climate crisis.
The report highlights that to ensure the success of the conference the UK must take the lead and set a clear path to net-zero and begin making real changes to the economy.
With Britain’s Presidency of the G7, Italy’s Chair of the G20 and the appointment of a new US President who is committed to climate action, the conference represents a real moment to engage in transformational diplomacy.
Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, Tom Tugendhat MP, said: ‘Cooperating to manage and even reverse the causes of a changing climate transcends borders. It demands international cooperation and scientific understanding.
‘Diplomacy has a critical role to play in the coordinated effort against climate change, and the annual COP summits provide a moment to bring world leaders and experts together to assess the continuing challenges and pace of progress.
‘Though covid has changed plans across the world, and for some, shortened horizons, the need for a strategic outlook and more radical thinking has never been more important. The way we trade, travel and interact is so different from only 18 months ago that we must rethink the traditional diplomatic jamboree.
‘The lessons of the pandemic offer a way of turning away from airmiles and onto airwaves, especially when discussing the climate emergency. Alongside the networked diplomacy, this committee has called for in the past, Britain has a chance to embed partners into the hosting of regional events and connect them all through technology, making this a truly global, truly green event.’
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