The Journey to COP26: Building Momentum

by Sophie Mbugua

The 26th annual UN Climate conference (COP26) will take place between 31 October and 12 November this year in Glasgow, Scotland.

Did you know that the climate journey did not start at COP21 with the Paris agreement in 2015? In June 1972, the first world conference to make the environment a critical issue was held in Stockholm, Sweden. That is the United Nations Conference on the Environment.

The Stockholm Declaration placed environmental issues at the forefront of international concerns. It also marked the start of a dialogue between industrialised and developing countries on the link between economic growth, air, water, and oceans pollution, and people’s well-being globally.

Twenty years later, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development was held in June 1992.

Among the five global agreements signed then was the Convention on Biological Diversity (CDB), the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), and the United Nations Framework Convention on climate change (UNFCCC).

In this series, expected to run through October to November, we will discuss the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), African push for recognition for their special needs and circumstances, just transition, Africa’s position at COP26. Critical issues for the continent include finance, adaptation, loss, and damage, among others.

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