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C40 COP26 Daily Briefing
Week 1
Looking back at Saturday, 6 November, 2021
Welcome to C40 COP26 Daily Briefings, a new C40 service to inform you of what's happening at the 26th UN Conference on Climate Change taking place in Glasgow, Scotland from October 31 to November 12, 2021. This daily COP26 briefing recaps the activities and announcements of the day and lets you know what's coming up the following day to ensure you are kept fully up to date on all COP26 discussions. You are receiving this email because you are a C40 member, or a C40 partner, or have joined the Cities Race to Zero campaign. If you do not wish to receive our emails, please unsubscribe using the link at the bottom of this briefing. We hope these briefings will help you understand what's at stake at COP26. Happy reading!
What happened in the formal COP26 intergovernmental process?
  • Saturday 6 November marked Nature and Land Use Day at COP26. 
  • While the major announcements on forests and land use were made during the World Leaders Summit earlier this week, there were still a flurry of commitments from governments, the finance sector, companies and consumer platforms on more sustainable management of land and oceans, the restoration of nature, and the reform of food and farming systems
  • These came against the backdrop of a second day of intense citizen mobilization for climate justice in the streets of Glasgow and around the globe. Calling out greenwashing by governments and the private sector was one of the key messages of the Saturday marches
  • 45 nations, led by the UK government, including major economies like the United States, Japan, Germany, and developing nations such as India, Indonesia, Morocco, Vietnam, The Philippines, Gabon, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Uruguay pledged urgent action to transform agriculture and food systems in order to reduce emissions and protect nature, while securing food and jobs and shift to more sustainable ways of farming. This includes leveraging over US$4 billion of new public sector investment into agricultural innovation, including the development of climate resilient crops and regenerative solutions to improve soil health, helping make these techniques and resources affordable and accessible to hundreds of millions of farmers.
  • The Transforming Agriculture Innovation Systems for People, Nature, and Climate initiative, also known as ClimateShot, established back in January at the Climate Adaptation Summit, launched its Global Action Agenda on Transforming Agricultural Innovation. This initiative seeks to increase investment in agricultural research and innovation to create more climate-resilient, low-emission technologies and practices and is backed by over 160 allies that include multilateral development banks and national governments, such as Indonesia, Madagascar, Morocco, Nigeria, Guinea, Lesotho, Vietnam, the UK, and Malaysia. 
  • A £65 million Just Rural Transition support programme was launched by the UK to assist developing countries' transition towards more sustainable methods of agriculture and food production.
What did cities do in Glasgow?
  • The Glasgow Food and Climate Declaration was officially presented by 100 local governments at Glasgow City Chambers. Initiated by IPES-Food and Nourish Scotland, in collaboration with Glasgow City Council, ICLEI, the Under2 Coalition, and C40, the declaration marks a commitment by subnational governments to tackle the climate emergency through integrated food policies, as well as to call on national governments to put food and farming at the heart of the global response to the climate emergency.
  • The German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), C40, and The Coalition for Urban Transitions hosted the official UNFCCC side-event “Localising NDCs and supporting city action for a 1.5 degree world and a green and just recovery”, a session that brought together national governments, mayors, experts and leaders from the finance sector to explore the importance of national policies and targeted finance in delivering local climate action, focussing on how national governments can place cities and local governments at the heart of their plans to increase resilience, reduce emissions and generate green jobs, thus creating a more sustainable and equitable future for all.
  • At the halfway point through the COP and having convened the Energy, Finance, Oceans and Coastal Zones and Water action events, the Marrakech Partnership events are one of the most popular in the Action Zone in-person and through the online platform. Full programme and agenda for next week, including the Cities, Regions and Built Environment Day on 11 November can be found here.
Other announcements/updates?
  • Over 100,000 people braved the torrential rain in Glasgow to take part in a massive march against climate inaction at COP26. The action did not just unfold in Glasgow but spread out across the globe, as tens of thousands of people from Sydney to Paris, including Istanbul, followed suit and collectively took part in one of over 250 events held that day, in addition to a digital global rally that called for climate and racial justice, ending fossil-fuels investments and denounced the lack of action and greenwashing practices of many governments and private companies.
  • Representing the biggest parent mobilisation in history, a delegation of mothers met COP26 President Alok Sharma and handed him a letter addressed to heads of state on behalf of over 500 parent groups around the world urging them to end financing for all new fossil fuels to protect their children’s health.
  • A pledge by Co-op, M&S, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose to cut their environmental impact across climate, deforestation and nature in a ‘Retailers Commitment for Nature’ with WWF will see them committing to halve UK shopping baskets impacts by 2030.
  • Over 95 UK businesses made a joint commitment to deliver ‘nature positive’ operations by the end of the decade. Businesses like Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose, Marks & Spencer, the Co-op, OVO Energy, Severn Trent, and Burberry committed to develop best-practice targets that will be verified through the upcoming Science-Based Targets (SBTs) for Nature Initiative. Science-Based Targets for corporate emissions have existed for several years now and nature targets are expected next year, following the publication of a draft framework this year.
  • The Consumer Goods Forum’s (GCF) Forest Positive Coalition of Action, a coalition launched at NYC Climate Week in 2020, unveiled its new strategy for driving transformational, forest positive change in the regions where the Coalition’s key commodities are produced and sourced by 2030. By collaborating with local stakeholders, organisations, and governments, the Coalition seeks to use its influence as 20 of the world’s leading retailers and manufacturers to catalyse deforestation-free commodity supply chains, production landscapes, and jurisdictions worldwide to reach a ‘net-positive’ forest impact by 2030.
  • While announcements by private companies flourish at COP26, they are under active scrutiny by civil society groups and the denunciation of greenwashing was one of the key messages of the climate marches on Friday and Saturday.
  • The UN is also improving its mechanisms to assess the credibility and accountability of commitments by Non-State Actors (NSA), with the relaunch of the UNFCCC’s Global Climate Action Portal with new metrics on tracking progress of commitments made by states and regions, cities, businesses, investors and international cooperative initiatives. The changes were developed in partnership with the Camda analytical community in response to a COP25 mandate from countries to start tracking voluntary climate action work. The creation of a Group of Experts on Non-State Actors' accountability announced by the UN Secretary-General on Monday is another example of that movement within the UN.  
What's coming up today?
  • The Under2 Coalition is holding its annual General Assembly, where it will announce the commitment by 68 state, regional and city governments to addressing the climate crisis by signing up to a range of cross-sector actions ahead of 2030.  Governments from the Under2 Coalition, U.S. Climate Alliance, and C40 acknowledged the need to move beyond 2050 targets and focus on the short-term actions in order to keep global temperature rise to 1.5°C. This means taking measures across all sectors to drive down emissions and protect biodiversity. The range of actions announced today cover intergovernmental cooperation and planning, built environment, clean transportation, energy, environmental justice, nature-based solutions, waste and agriculture
  • The COP26 Coalition (a UK-based civil society coalition of groups and individuals mobilising around climate justice during COP26) holds the first day of the People’s Summit for Climate Justice, which is a three-day space for movements, campaigns and civil society, aiming to provide “an alternative to business as usual of false solutions and inaction from rich nations and corporations.” The Summit will take place until Wednesday this week in various locations across Glasgow (see website for full events programme), and is a hybrid event to increase inclusivity, with a wide array of workshops, panels and talks scheduled.
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