Applications to help shape COP26 open today

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Applications have opened today to help shape the COP26 venue in Glasgow ahead of the world’s leaders coming together for crucial climate change talks later this year.

Businesses, civil society, academia, trade unions, indigenous groups, and young people have the opportunity to bring climate action to life through fun and lively events, displays and workshops in November.

COP26 President Alok Sharma, who was just announced to leave his position as Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy for his new full-time role, commented on the announcement: “COP26 will be the largest summit the UK has ever hosted and this is an exciting opportunity for all of society to be involved.

“I would encourage those who are interested, to join with us to inspire climate action around the world.”

The activities are likely to include demonstrations of virtual reality technology, showcasing innovation helping to tackle global climate change, opportunities for local voices from around the world through culture and arts, and providing youth groups a platform to show the impact they are making.

With the government expecting a level of demand for this opportunity, organisations are being encouraged to work together with collaborative proposals wherever possible with a focus on profiling the voices of those most impacted and on the front line of climate change.

Criteria for organisations and businesses participating in the UK-Government spaces of COP26 are as follows:

  • Large businesses with over 250 employees to sign up to Science Based Targets and/or the Race to Zero.
  • SMEs, cities, regions and local governments signing up to the Race to Zero. By joining this campaign, organisations show they are committed to a clean future, and allows the organisers to show in one place the collective global momentum to net zero.
  • Civil society organisations (such as NGOs, activists and faith based organisations), schools, universities & colleges, and individuals do not require specific commitment

This announcement part of a wider call for action from individuals, organisations and businesses to get involved in the run-up to COP26 through the Together for Our Planet campaign.

The Expression of Interest process includes a range of opportunities for businesses and organisations to get involved within the UK Government-managed spaces at COP26, including the UK Pavilion within the Blue Zone and the Green Zone.

The Blue Zone is a UN-managed space, which hosts the negotiations, bringing together delegations from 197 countries, alongside observer organisations to share their stories at panel discussions, side events, exhibits, and cultural events.

The Green Zone is managed by the UK Government, and is a platform for the general public, youth groups, civil society, academia, artists, business and others to have their voices heard through events, exhibitions, workshops and talks that promote dialogue, awareness, education and commitments.

In October, government announced their plans for a strategy which will set out their vision for transitioning to a net zero economy ahead of COP26.

Further guidance on how to get involved with COP26 is available on an official event page.

A downloadable PDF guidance pack can also be found here.

The Expression of Interest process closes at 5pm on Friday 5 March 2021.

After being postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the COP26 is set to take place between 1 and 12 November 2021.