Science suggests that we are at ‘T – 9’ years for delivering substantive climate action. The IPCC has played its role in bringing climate science to government. The UNFCCC succeeded in framing these climate issues and bringing commitments by governments. Therefore, COP26 plays a pivotal role in determining how various state and non-state actors will take climate action in the next nine years. Climate action is predominantly delivered within sub-state levels – cities, states and regions – rather than by national governments. And successful climate action is more effective when undertaken with constituent communities, not ‘done to’ constituent communities. We note peer-to-peer learning networks are a powerful tool to support and encourage action, beyond legal minimums. With science suggesting that 8% p.a. global emission reduction is needed and history suggesting that more work on the ground is needed beyond each UNFCCC forum, this session will consider one broad question. How do we incorporate the good work of these constituent communities in the UNFCCC/COP26 process? Two complementary (or opposing) approaches emerge: the pursuit of an international pact that will catalyse climate action and/vs the role of communities in on the ground climate action.


  • How can COP26 Glasgow codify climate commitments into legally enforceable obligations (at national and sub-national levels)?
  • Would a tiered system facilitate coalitions of the willing to commit to more ambitious climate action?
  • How may COP26 be more inclusive to multiple non-state actors to promote ‘on the ground’ climate action?
  • How would we codify a ‘linked arm’ process – facilitating and supporting peer cities, states and regions?

The Honourable Dr Kirsty Duncan
Deputy Leader of the Canadian Parliament and Member of Parliament for Etobicoke North

Dr Andy Kerr
Leader of EIT Climate-KIC, Europe’s largest public-private innovation partnership, in UK and Ireland

Ms Sarah Millar
Climate Emergency Collaboration Group (CECG) COP26 Coordinator