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What is COP26?

The 2021 United Nations climate change conference 

It was 1992 — The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted and opened for signatures in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at the UN Conference on Environment and Development, also known as the Earth Summit. Three years later in 1995 the first COP was held in Berlin. 

COP stands for ‘Conference of the Parties’ and it is a global climate summit, which has involvement from almost every country on the Earth. This year will be the 26th annual summit, hence the name COP26, and it will be hosted by Glasgow, Scotland, as part of the UK Presidency. For almost thirty years climate change has gone from being a fringe issue to a global priority.

In the run up to COP26, the UK is working with every nation to reach an agreement on how to tackle climate change. World leaders will arrive in Scotland, alongside tens of thousands of negotiators, government representatives, businesses and citizens for twelve days of talks.

But it is not just yet another international summit. Most experts believe COP26 has a unique urgency because it represents the final opportunity for countries to update their plans to reduce emissions and hold the temperature rises to 1.5 degrees as set by the Paris Agreement in 2015. 


Northern Ireland plans for COP26

Zero Carbon Tour 

The Zero Carbon Bus Tour is being hosted by Planet Mark and will feature a number of digital and physical events to demonstrate what zero carbon means, why it is important and how organisations can align with net-zero targets. The UK wide tour of the 'Zero Carbon Bus tour' also aims to gather carbon stories of actions and initiatives being taken by organisations, community groups, services and individuals to play their part in creating a sustainable future.

NILGA and Translink in partnership with Planet Mark have planned the tour of Translink's new zero-emission hydrogen bus. The tour is supported by Belfast City, Mid and East Antrim, Derry City and Strabane and Causeway Coast and Glens Councils.

The bus is visiting a number of places in Northern Ireland on 27 September including Wrightbus in Ballymena and Kilroot Energy Park. It will then head to Derry / Londonderry on 28 and 29 September, before completing its Northern Irish Tour in Belfast on 30 September at Stormont.

Zero Carbon Tour flagship event 

A special event to highlight the actions the business community can take to address the global climate change crisis will take place in the Guildhall on Wednesday, September 29th at 11 am when the UK's first 100% Hydrogen bus makes its way into the city. The bus will be available for people to come along and see at the Guild Hall Square from 11 am until 2 pm. Organisations can sign up to attend the event here.

Date Location
27 September Ballymena
29 September Derry
30 September Belfast

The event held in Derry had impressive speakers with their Carbon stories.

The event can now be viewed online here.

Carbon Reduction Workshops for Businesses 

Through the collaboration of local authorities, NILGA, Planet Mark and others, Northern Ireland firms will be offered carbon-cutting workshops and practical net-zero advice as part of the Planet Mark's Zero Carbon Tour across the UK ahead of COP26. The workshops will be provided by Planet Mark and will take place between 27 September and 1 October as part of the UN-backed Race to Zero and Together for Our Planet campaigns. Businesses can sign up for the events through Eventbrite.