UN Climate Negotiations 2021

Glasgow, United Kingdom, October 31-November 12, 2021

© Paulina B on Unsplash


At COP 26, representatives from nearly 200 countries will seek to raise global ambition and accelerate national action on climate change to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.

UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

Learn more about this session on the UNFCCC website »

The Conference of the Parties (COP) refers to the annual meeting of the 197 Parties of the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This year’s COP in Glasgow is the 26th annual meeting to advance on Parties’ shared objectives of tackling climate change.

Conservation International will engage with key decision makers and global stakeholders during the UN climate conference in Glasgow to help shape the international frameworks that guide countries towards greater climate action — and help spur more action by the private sector. Conservation International’s engagement will focus on elevating the role of nature-based solutions to climate change — such as protecting forests, mangroves and peatlands — in order to both limit global warming and help communities adapt to climate change.

During formal negotiations on the implementation of the Paris Agreement at COP 26, Conservation International will advise countries on the need to ensure that nature is included in the final rules for international climate cooperation, as well as in discussions on agriculture, adaptation and the ocean’s role in addressing climate change. We will also advise on the Global Stocktake process, which will evaluate progress on climate action through 2023. Decisions on international climate cooperation will help complete the “rulebook” that guides the implementation of the Paris Agreement, providing countries with greater certainty about expectations and incentives that should help achieve climate action and lead to more efficient climate finance delivery.

During the broader conference at COP 26, Conservation International and our partners will host and participate in events and dialogues to help ensure the voices of underrepresented advocates for climate justice — youth, Indigenous peoples and local communities — help drive increased climate ambition. Conservation International will feature our latest scientific research and examples of natural climate solutions we are implementing around the world — sharing recommendations about the critical advances needed to drive public and private investment in nature. COP 26 will provide opportunities to build upon recent climate commitments and to ensure they maximize the role of nature as a solution to climate change — creating a coherent and integrated agenda for climate action.

With recent analysis by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change showing that countries are not on track to meet the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius, COP 26 is an urgent moment to signal greater climate ambition. For the first time at COP 26, the UK Presidency will put a focus on climate action through nature as part of its goals to increase cooperation and finance.

Natural climate solutions, which are essential for achieving the Paris Agreement’s goals, provide opportunities for countries to increase their climate ambition and must be part of countries’ nationally determined contributions and complementary Paris Agreement mechanisms. Harnessing the full potential of nature to mitigate and help people adapt to climate change is critical to the success of the Paris Agreement.

Our approach

Conserving nature is critical to achieving the Paris Agreement’s goals. Protecting, sustainably managing and restoring forests and natural ecosystems can provide at least 30 percent of the mitigation needed to limit average global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius — however these natural solutions receive only 3 percent of global climate finance. Natural climate solutions must be part of our response to climate change, along with drastically cutting our greenhouse gas emissions. These solutions include activities that reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+), sustainably manage agricultural lands, conserve and restore terrestrial and marine ecosystems, enhance "blue" carbon stocks along coastlines, and harness the power of ecosystems to adapt to climate change. These actions can also provide socio-economic benefits and are critical to accelerating our climate change response.

As stewards of lands that contain almost a quarter of the world’s land-based carbon, Indigenous peoples and local communities are on the front lines of climate change. To recognize the importance of these stakeholders, Conservation International works to connect Indigenous peoples and local communities to funding, training and technology, helping to secure their land rights so that protecting nature also protects their livelihoods.

Conservation International helps countries achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement by providing policy recommendations, scientific models, tools and funding platforms for implementing natural climate solutions at scale. We envision a world where nature’s contribution to addressing climate change is maximized — meaning natural climate solutions are implemented to their fullest potential for mitigating climate change and are also fully deployed in places where ecosystems can help vulnerable populations adapt to the already-present and future effects of climate change.


© Cristina Mittermeier/sealegacy

2021 marked an important year for countries to update their nationally determined contributions — the climate goals that each country sets for achieving the Paris Agreement — as well as assess national and sectoral strategies and begin implementation. While countries have taken positive steps towards increasing the ambition of their climate change mitigation targets, more action is needed to prevent the most dangerous impacts of climate change.

Our policy objectives for COP 26

Conservation International’s Policy Recommendations for the COP 26 UN Climate Change Negotiations are available in English, Spanish and French.

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Conservation International works to equip decision makers with accessible, policy-relevant science to restore and protect critical ecosystems as part of global climate action.

At COP 26, Conservation International will strive to advance the role of nature in implementing the Paris Agreement by calling on countries to:

  • Increase efficiency for delivering climate goals and finance through cooperative mechanisms
    • Countries should ensure that international cooperation under Article 6 remains open to all sectors, including nature-based solutions, noting that no explicit reference to specific sectors is needed for this purpose.
    • The language from Article 6.2 text related to non-permanence should remain in its current formulation and be reflected under Article 6.4 text.
    • To support immediate implementation, Article 6 guidance should avoid establishing a work program for topics related to the land sector and forestry as it could create uncertainty and delay investment in the sector.
  • Ensure progress made under the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture (KJWA) is reflected in a call for accelerated action in the agriculture sector
    • Countries should deliver an outcome that recognizes how the KJWA has advanced the discussions related to agriculture and calls for the UNFCCC and Paris Agreement mechanisms to facilitate ambitious climate mitigation and adaptation action in the agriculture sector.
  • Ensure inclusive participation through the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples’ Platform (LCIPP)
    • The LCIPP should agree on a new three-year work plan (2022-2024) to ensure the full and effective participation of all relevant actors — such as knowledge holders, women, Indigenous peoples and local communities — in climate policy and action. Their involvement is key to achieving global goals.
  • Continue building and enhancing urgent action on the ocean-climate nexus under UNFCCC mandates and national climate plans
    • Countries should increase and accelerate climate finance flows to coastal and marine ecosystems through all sources—public and private, market and non-market. To this end, Parties could call on the relevant bodies, including the Standing Committee on Finance, to explore the extent of finance flows and gaps for coastal and marine nature-based solutions, as well as identify actionable opportunities to increase needed finance flows.
    • Parties should prioritize ocean-related assessments as part of the Global Stocktake process and increase the development of relevant and actionable science on oceans and climate through the work on Research and Systematic Observation.
    • Parties should establish a formal and regular forum for continued discussion on the ocean-climate nexus, such as through a recurring dialogue, which would allow countries and stakeholders to exchange lessons learned and share opportunities for climate mitigation and adaptation.

      See detailed information about options for strengthening action on the ocean under the UNFCCC, with specific recommendations for COP 26 »
  • Harness the role of nature to deliver results for national and global climate action
    • Countries should collaborate with the UK COP Presidency, relevant partners and other countries to harness the potential of natural climate solutions to accelerate national climate action, including in their revised nationally determined contributions and national adaptation plans. They should also support enhanced implementation efforts to signal a collective commitment to raising global climate ambition in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.