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!

James is the Chief Executive officer of Ormiston Trust. He has worked as an organisation advisor in the private, public and voluntary sectors, helping organisations to grow sustainably over the medium to long term. He has helped charities for over 20 years in the fields of strategic development, partnership setup, programme and project delivery.

Poppy is the Youth Engagement and Partnership Officer at Ormiston Trust, responsible for coordinating our team of Young Advisors and developing effective working relationships with external organisations. She is currently studying ‘Politics, International Studies and Global Sustainable Development’ at Warwick University and previously worked as Board Advisor for a non-profit youth-focused organisation in Croydon. She has experience in activism work – attending COP26 with environmental education company Force of Nature and had been a member of the UK Youth Parliament for many years, speaking on environmental issues in the House of Commons for its ‘Make Your Mark’ campaign.

Genéa is the Communications and Events Coordinator at Ormiston Trust. She plays an integral role in overseeing the communications and media strategy – along with leading the content development for internal and external comms and PR across the Trust and the #WeWill programme. As well as supporting all event planning across campaigns, including the delivery of comms workshops with the Youth Advisory Council. 

She has worked predominantly in broadcasting PR, comms and editorial and now works as a narrative designer alongside her work since completing her MA in Narrative Environments at Central Saint Martins. 

Fiona is the Grants Assistant at Ormiston Trust and in her role she supports the Grants team. Previously, she worked in the City for 10 years, firstly as a dealer on the floor of the London Stock Exchange and then as an equity salestrader.  

Samia is a business and ICT Teacher with over 20 years of leadership experience in Education, working with leaders from Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 5. Her experience has ranged from working as an Acting Head Teacher to a Deputy for an Education Trust. Some of the key highlights from her education career have included building schools and setting up education provisions, including a teaching school, and winning several National awards. Samia is passionate about ensuring the young people in her care have the best possible experience and has always led by example by sending her own children to the schools she has been a part of.

Ray leads the youth engagement, partnerships and fundraising work streams at Ormiston Trust, in particular having strategic oversight of how we as an organisation can embed the voices of our young people in everything we do, and how we can work with partner organisations to maximise shared outcomes and opportunities.

His background is in community project development and funding, having worked with charities, schools, and local authorities in East Anglia to develop a plethora of projects including primary-secondary school transition, award-winning youth amateur theatre, social prescribing in rural GP practices, and youth commissioning boards, for which he was recognised as a Prime Minister’s Point of Light.

Ray is a global health and medicine graduate, alongside his work at Ormiston, he is a hospital doctor and public health academic. He is also an #iWill Ambassador and national #iWill Partnership Board member.

Anne is Finance Manager at Ormiston Trust and has worked for Ormiston Trust for over 30 years, overseeing the property portfolio and asset management. She combines her work at the Trust with voluntary community work and has raised thousands of pounds to enhance leisure and education opportunities for young people in disadvantaged communities. 

Karlene is Finance Manager at Ormiston Trust and has been handling the Financial Management of Ormiston Trust since 2014. Her background is in Financial Services with 20 years working in the industry and she has a passion for systems, processes and spreadsheets to enable good finance management. 

Aneela is the Head of Education at Ormiston Trust. Prior to joining Ormiston Trust, she was Head of Professional Development and School Improvement at Beaconhouse Group, overseeing the professional development of over 8000 teachers and implementing systems for school improvement across 200 international schools, in the Southeast region. Prior to this, she worked at Universities in the UAE, where she taught on the Bachelor of Education and Diploma programmes, and previous to this she was a Lead Advisor for Nord Anglia Education services, working with head teachers and principals to raise educational standards across schools in Abu Dhabi.

Melissa is a Programme Management Officer at Ormiston Trust. In her role she supports the #WeWill programme management, and works closely with the monitoring & evaluation, social action toolkit & skills, and youth engagement teams. She completed her undergraduate degree in International Development at the University of Sussex, and her postgraduate degree in Global Health and Development at UCL. Over the last eight years, she has dedicated much of her time to working with non-profit organisations in the UK, Nigeria, China, and Tanzania.