With the UN’s COP26 climate conference rushing toward us like a battery-powered freight train, we’ve rounded-up a mix of stories and resources to help you get ready, and stay informed.
COP26 President Alok Sharma and others have called this gathering to negotiate global climate policy the last, best chance to respond to the climate emergency. Hopes are high for leaders to deliver meaningful progress.
To better understand the why, how, and who behind the conference as well as better understand what you can actually do in this climate fight, we’ve put together a short list of COP26 reads.
ClicktoTweet this essential COP26 reading list.
7 Must Reads for COP26
SO, WHAT'S THE PARIS AGREEMENT HAVE TO DO WITH COP26 AGAIN?
It’s the poster child of climate treaties. This treaty didn’t end a fight, but instead started one against global warming. Learn why this agreement has teeth, what plans and resolutions it’s built on (hello Kyoto Protocol) and how it underpins COP26. To understand how it all fits together, check out: Your Everyday Guide to Climate Plans, Climate Treaties, Climate Policy, and More.Read Here
BUT WHY DOES COP26 REALLY MATTER AND WHAT'S GOING TO COME OUT OF IT?
Four experts share what they expect from the conference. Hear what Daniel Kammen, UC Berkeley Professor of Energy says could spell failure at COP26. Learn why oceans, with their CO2 absorption super powers, can’t be overlooked from Sustainable Ocean Alliance CEO Daniela Fernandez. Read why Mario Molina, Executive Director of Protect Our Winters, believes climate policy is a fundamentally non-partisan issue.Read Here
WHO ARE THE MOVERS AND SHAKERS TO KEEP AN EYE ON?
Sure, the Bidens, Johnsons, Putins, and Macrons might be the names capturing the headlines. But if you look past the marquee you’ll find women have been leading the climate fight. Meet six women influencing the COP26 agenda, pushing policymakers, wrangling heads of state and inspiring the grassroots climate movement. From a Nigerian herdsman’s daughter, to a retiring chancellor, and of course the young climate activist fiercely demanding more than “blah, blah, blah” from political leaders.Read Here
FIGHTING CLIMATE CHANGE IS GOING TO COST A LOT, RIGHT? WHO'S PAYING?
The Climate Policy Initiative estimates the world must spend $4.13 trillion every year through 2050 to fund an energy transition to limit global warming. In 2019 and 2020, the world was 85% short of that goal. So, how do we make up the difference? Who, from the handful of stakeholders—governments, corporations, venture capitalists, banks, and individuals—should be opening their wallet more widely? Learn how the bill to fight climate change is currently being split, who needs to pay more and how we can all invest in change with our day-to-day purchases. Reminder: NOT fighting climate change comes with a much bigger bill. The US alone rang up more than $104 billion in disaster costs in the first nine months of 2021.Read Here
HOW CAN PEOPLE ENGAGE WITH COP26?
Glasgow is a long ways away for most people. That doesn’t mean you can’t immerse yourself in all things climate change leading up to and during the vitally important event. Whether you’re looking for virtual events, social media options, or environmental organizations to join, here’s a good guide to get started: How to Engage with Issues You Care About During COP26.Read Here
IS THERE AN “OFFICIAL" COP26 DEEP DIVE?
The UK, as the host country, is glad you asked. COP26 explained is an in-depth welcome brochure for the conference. Did you know the UK has “decarbonized their economy faster than any other country” and is “the largest producer of offshore wind energy in the world,” according to Prime Minister Boris Johnson? Learn the difference between the blue zone and the green zone at the conference. Hint: One’s for taking care of official climate business.Read Here
WDBT (WHAT DOES BILL THINK?)
Bill McKibben that is. The influential environmentalist and author. His writings have deftly illuminated the role of banks in funding global warming and the opportunity for them to bail us out of the crisis. As the founder of climate action group 350.org, he’s sounded a clarion call to arms for “ordinary people working to end the age of fossil fuels and build a world of community-led renewable energy for all.”Read Here
What’s the biggest risk McKibben sees coming out of COP26? That leaders continue failing to understand the urgency of the climate crisis. With only 10 years to reverse climate change, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, we’re facing a timed test. We must cut emissions in half by 2030 or else “kiss the targets set in the Paris accords adieu.” Hear his thoughts on clean tech solutions, US climate policy and learn about his favorite method for coping with climate grief. Finally, if you want to keep up with the climate conversation, we’ve compiled a handful of our favorite newsletters. From hard news aggregators, and insightful analysis, to deep dives and short reads. These should help you separate the signal from the noise.
5 Essential Newsletters Reporting on Climate Change
- Climate Nexus Newsletter: A daily aggregation of the day’s top climate stories.
- Today’s Climate from Inside Climate News: Pulitzer Prize-winning, nonpartisan reporting on the biggest crisis facing our planet.
- The Green Daily Newsletter from Bloomberg: A daily digest of climate news and insights on the latest in science, environmental impacts, zero-emission tech and green finance.
- The Green Light from the Guardian: A newsletter bringing you weekly headlines, debate and analysis of “the planet’s most important stories” from the global independent media organization.
- The Climate Crisis: Weekly newsletter covering environmental news and the climate crisis from Bill McKibben and The New Yorker.