31 October - 12 November

The twenty-sixth Conference of the Parties (COP) will take place in Glasgow over the first two weeks of November 2021.

One of the most important conferences to be held in recent years, the global climate summit, known as COP26, provides an opportunity for world leaders to unite in tackling climate change and agree on concrete commitments to achieve zero carbon emissions by mid-century.

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Listen to Prof Andy Jarvis from the Centre for Tropical Agriculture talking about his thoughts on COP26.

00:00 / 04:54

Our man at COP26

Intrepid Zero Carbon Harrogate supporter, Philip Purkis, travelled to Glasgow to get up close to the action. You can read his daily diary reports below.

Monday 8 November


Just arrived in Glasgow. All a bit bewildering! But the train ride over Settle Carlisle line was great. The Beacon of Hope welcomed me at Central Station, a large wooden man sculpture.


High security means lots of barriers and closures but I'm determined to find my way around even if I have to resort to my Zero Carbon Harrogate press card! I'm currently exploring the Innovation Zone at Pacific Quay. Next stop the Green Zone.


Tuesday 9 November

An electric bus conveyed me from Paisley today. I feel I know my way around now and on arriving at Govan Road I helped two ladies find the Green Zone exhibition (the only official venue that admits members of the public). They were from a Swedish retailer that has achieved net-zero and were delegates, so allowed into the Blue Zone where all the negotiation is going on. They were disappointed to have missed Barack Obama who also arrived the day before. They didn’t expect to meet Greta but were clearly proud of what she has achieved. 


Read the full entry here...

Wednesday 10 November

This morning I used a train line to the city centre that was originally a canal, converted in the 1880’s. My destination was the splendid Corinthian Club where a finance company was hosting a lavish event for companies, banks, & investors to discuss the finer points of stranded/impaired assets, carbon trading and outdated business models.

We were warned gravely to consider freeriding negative externalities. The speaker, an advisor to the Bank of England, picked up a glass tumbler to illustrate the risks of not building in external environmental costs of production. As carbon taxes are introduced the true cost must include not just the raw material and energy (glass & gas), but also the wider carbon impact cost. Companies that neglect to start doing this now will fail.


Read the full entry here...

That's my three days at COP26. I return to Harrogate with a lot to think about.

Philip Purkis

Beacon of Hope Wooden Man
Electric Bus in Glasgow
JCB hydrogen powered digger
Delegates in Glasgow
Q&A with Tom Matthews
Narrow electric UPS delivery van

The following articles, presented by Zero Carbon Harrogate Chair Jemima Parker, were written in the run up to COP26, as a way of raising awareness of the important part the summit must play in taking forward urgent climate action at both local and international level.


What would a successful outcome from COP26 look like? Read the article here...


We need to address climate change and biodiversity as a dual crisis. Read the article here...


Clearer guidance and legislation are urgently needed to ensure we make the right choices for our future home energy needs. Read the article here...