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COP26: what’s going on?

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The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) takes place in Glasgow from 31 October – 12 November 2021. Triodos Bank have selected five key events they feel worth attending so, here they are:

‘Finance Day’ – Wednesday 3 November

For the first time the COP has an official day of negotiations dedicated to the role of finance in tackling the climate crisis. This will take place in the first week of the conference on Wednesday 3 November. On and around Finance Day there will be a number of events taking place and various announcements are expected.

Within the programme in the Green Zone at 12pm that day, campaign groups Make My Money Matter, Count Us In and WWF-UK are hosting a session explaining ‘How your wallet could save the world’, introduced by Richard Curtis. WWF will also be hosting a stand where they'll have a programme of speakers and workshops from finance sector pioneers (including Triodos) with tips and tools on how to green your wallet, pensions and investments.

The Impact Investing Institute is also hosting a session on ‘Pensions with Impact’ in the Green Zone.

Much of the mainstream finance discussion will take place around the Green Horizon Summit taking place as a hybrid event from 2-5 November and organised by the Green Finance Institute (GFI). Its previous summits have included the Prince of Wales, Mark Carney and Christine Lagarde as speakers. Listen to an interview on the GFI Green is the New Finance podcast here.

WWF-UK and Make My Money Matter – ‘Our Planet Too Big to Fail’

You might not be aware that the charity WWF is very active in the sustainable finance agenda. It is working in the background to help secure high ambitious net-zero commitments from across the global financial sector that are both science-based and reflective of the relationship between climate change and nature loss, and invest in nature-based solutions.

Its 2019 film Our Planet: Too Big to Fail, made together with natural history filmmakers Silverback Films and inspired by the Netflix Our Planet series, sets the scene by directly addressing the finance sector and calling for urgent systemic change. On the evening of Tuesday 2 November, there is an invitation-only screening at Glasgow Film Theatre, ahead of the Finance Day negotiations. Get in touch, if you would like to join the screening in person.

How to green your finance – with ShareAction and PPL PWR

The PPL PWR collective, alongside student activists from the UK School Sustainability Network (UKSSN) and volunteers from UCell, will also be heading to the Glasgow Science Centre as they are part of the official Green Zone programme. On Sunday 7 November at 2.30pm, Triodos, ShareAction and others will run a session on ‘How to green your finances’.

The day before, there is also a session on empowering women to take climate action with finance – OwnIt is taking place 2-3.30pm on Saturday 6 November.

All of the official Green Zone events will be screened on the COP26 - YouTube channel.

Opportunities and challenges for large businesses – with Aldersgate Group

The Aldersgate Group is an alliance that champions an environmentally sustainable economy. It is running a series of events around Glasgow during the conference. On the evening of Monday 1 November, Triodos UK CEO Bevis Watts will be joining a panel hosted by former UK Prime Minister Theresa May MP, now chair of the Aldersgate Group. The debate will focus on setting ambitious and credible climate targets and discuss how we deliver net zero emissions. Tickets are free and you can find out more here.

Meanwhile, the Global Ethical Finance Initiative, an organisation with strong Scottish roots, is running a number of roundtables, workshops, lectures and summits hosted at some iconic Scottish locations – in particular the Adam Smith Business School and Ross Priory on Loch Lomond. More details can be found on its Path to COP26 website.

Global Day of Action and People’s Summit

On Saturday 6 November the COP26 Coalition, a UK-based civil society coalition of groups and individuals mobilising around climate justice,  is organising a Global Day of Action for Climate Justice. There are local hubs across the country, with a number of regional marches taking place. Take part either by coming to Glasgow for the march or joining a local mobilisation in your area to show the strength of the climate justice movement.

This will be followed by a hybrid People's Summit organised by the coalition from 7 – 11 November, which is taking place both in Glasgow and online.  This is a hybrid in-person and virtual People's Summit with events and workshops organised by local, national and global civil society. As many people won’t be able to get into the conference itself this will be a place to learn more about climate justice, the issues at the heart of the negotiations, and solutions to the climate emergency. View the People’s Summit Programme.

Finally, Stop Climate Chaos Scotland is organising The Climate Fringe – both in Glasgow and online.


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Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog,, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

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