COP26 is the name given to the 26th global United Nations Climate Conference. COP stands for ‘Conference of Parties’ and refers to the supreme decision-making body of the convention. This annual event brings together representatives from all 196 countries around the world to take action on climate change and decide on how best to implement the necessary next steps.
At COP21 in Paris in 2015, 196 Parties including the United Kingdom, committed to The Paris Agreement; a legally binding international treaty on climate change. Following this, the UK committed to reducing economy-wide greenhouse gases by 68% by the year 2030.
At COP24 in Poland 2018, the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action was launched. This charter formed an international commitment to drive greenhouse gas emissions in the fashion industry down to net-zero by 2050. To put this into perspective, the fashion industry currently contributes 10% of global GHG emissions annually, therefore this was a massive milestone for the industry.
COP26 is scheduled to take place on 1st-12th November, one year later than initially planned. COP26 was originally scheduled to take place in 2020, however it was postponed amidst the rise of the coronavirus pandemic. Of course, this was to prioritise public safety and to ensure the event remained as inclusive as possible.
The UK and Italy are co-hosting COP26, and the events will take place in Glasgow, Scotland. The events at COP26 are organised in two areas that are called zones. The Blue Zone is where the official international negotiations take place and this is controlled by the UNFCCC. The Blue Zone will be in the Scottish Event Campus (SEC). The second zone is the Green Zone. The Green Zone is publicly accessible and offers businesses, youth groups, and others a platform to showcase their work and have their voices heard. The Green Zone activities will be in the Glasgow Science Centre.
Not only is COP26 taking place in our hometown, Glasgow, but ACS (and partners) have applied to exhibit in the Green Zone! To clarify, this is the biggest conference to ever come to Glasgow. Our goal is to enable fashion without the footprint and our passion for driving change in this industry knows no bounds. We know that COP26 will be a driving force for change and we look forward to seeing fashion on the agenda!