Eco-Thursdays: COP26 First Roundup

Today marks day 5 of COP26 in Glasgow, so we’re going to provide a brief overview of the major events that have happened so far, and any relevant outcomes for young people.

Deforestation Pledge

100 countries, including the Brazil, Russia, Canada, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, have signed a pledge committing them to ending and reversing deforestation by 2030. There is £14 billion behind the pledge, which also acknowledges the importance of indigenous communities’ stewardship and knowledge to the protection of forests.

However, there will need to be serious changes in global food production, agriculture, and land use to help meet this pledge, and move it beyond words.

Global Methane Pledge

Over 100 countries have signed the Global Methane Pledge, committing to reducing global methane emissions by 30% by 2030. Reducing methane emissions is generally viewed as a good way of short-term reductions in the rate of global warming.

Climate Finance – Innovation

The EU has launched its Catalyst Programme, which will be used to finance investment in new technologies to combat climate change. It will support their launch in European countries, and has been prepared with the European Investment Bank.

Climate Finance – Companies and Assets

Financial firms that control 40% of global assets, worth £95 trillion, have committed to align themselves to 1.5 degree limit set in the Paris Agreement.

The UK has announced that from 2023 it will become compulsory for financial

institutions and listed companies (companies publicly listed on the stock exchange) to publish their transition plans to net zero publicly.


Young climate activists have been very involved in and around COP26 over the past few days. There are a wide range of events going on outside of the formal negotiating events, including rallies, workshops and food stalls. Greta Thunberg arrived and joined youth activists outside the summit to criticise the empty words and inaction of global leaders. At the closing ceremony of the youth equivalent of the COP26 – COY16 – a group of delegates accused the COP26 Chair Alok Sharma of hypocrisy, particularly in relation to the Cambo oilfield near the Shetland Islands to the North of Scotland.

Tomorrow, Friday 5th, is the youth engagement discussion day, so we’ll share a detailed summary of those conversations and any key outcomes next week!