The Parliamentary Meeting at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) took place in Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, United Kingdom, on November 7. The meeting was held in-person along with livestreaming, and was co-organized by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the British Group of the IPU (BGIPU). Over 200 parliamentarians and experts from around the world took part in laying out an ambitious roadmap for increased parliamentary engagement to address climate change.
The COP26 Parliamentary Meeting consisted of the Advocacy Session themed “Parliamentary action,” Interactive Panel Discussion “Climate finance,” and the Debate “Loss and damage.” The four sessions for expert opinions also took place. Participants agreed on the importance of parliaments, with their core legislative, oversight, budgetary and representation functions, in ensuring the implementation of the climate change objectives contained in the Paris Agreement, the world's major legally-binding international treaty on climate change.
In the opening session, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the United Kingdom House of Commons, stated that “as I say to children when I visit their schools, they are the future,” and that “it is their planet we need to save - and we need to save it now.” In her keynote address, Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland, stressed that “enlightened parliamentarians can help build coalitions to ensure that whatever is decided in Glasgow can be put into practice.” Duarte Pacheco, President of IPU, said “parliaments can act as agents of change and take climate action now, supporting the translation of international commitments made under the Paris Agreement into concrete measures at the national level.”
As a result of the meeting, participants adopted the final document which includes commitments to strengthening the response to the threat of climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions to limit global temperature rise this century to well below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and by pursuing concerted efforts to limit any temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Held annually by the United Nations for 27 years, COP (Conference of the Parties) is the foremost international conference on climate change, which brings together world leaders to promote implementation of the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement. COP26 was originally set to take place from 9 to 19 November 2020, but was postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In an attempt to engage parliamentarians to effectively address climate change issues, Parliamentary Meeting on the occasion of COP is held annually.
For more information, please visit www.ipu.org.
Inter-Parliamentary Union. (2021, November 7). Parliamentary Meeting at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26). https://www.ipu.org/event/parliamentary-meeting-26th-united-nations-climate-change-conference-cop26#event-sub-page-24236/
Nimmo, R. (2021, November 9). COP26 Parliamentary Meeting says to world leaders “Waiting is not an option.” BGIPU. https://www.bgipu.org/activity-reports/cop26-parliamentary-meeting-says-waiting-is-not-an-option/
UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) at the SEC – Glasgow 2021. (2021, November 5). What is a COP? https://ukcop26.org/uk-presidency/what-is-a-cop/
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