What is COP26?
You’ve heard about it on the news, but aren’t quite sure what it is and why it actually matters? You’ve come to the right place. Read on to find out more.
World governments have met nearly every year (1) to respond to the ongoing climate emergency. The meeting usually discusses how to keep temperature rises below dangerous levels, and how to prevent the climate crisis from causing even worse catastrophes for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.
COP stands for Conference of the Parties (under the UNFCCC, which itself stands for, wait for it, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change). This year is the 26th iteration, after it was postponed by a year thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. This will officially be hosted by the UK in Glasgow.
Why does it matter?
This year the meeting of COP26 is especially important as it’ll be a key moment for governments to show how they will keep global temperature rises below 1.5C, deliver money promised to countries on the frontlines of the climate crisis and to consign fossil fuels to history.
It is also the first COP since the coronavirus pandemic began and comes at a time when governments are planning how to rebuild from here.
Why does this affect you?
Simple, the decisions made at COP26 will form the basis of a new government policy. It will lead to various changes. These changes will be involving you – the climate crisis impacts all of us – and we need to come together to tackle it.
These are some of the main topics being discussed at COP26 which you’ll want to be listening to:
Home heating: Most UK homes use gas boilers to power their central heating. Nearly 13% of greenhouse gases in the UK come specifically from home heating using fossil fuels. The goal is to replace these with cleaner, low-carbon systems that don’t release nasty emissions.
So far, a government spokesperson said the government is investing £1.3 billion this year in home energy efficiency measures.
Electric cars: The government is currently banning the sale of petrol and diesel cars after 2035 (previously the ban was from 2030, but pushed back to 2035 by the government in 2023); this will be discussed as we’ll probably all be driving electric cars by the end of the decade.
Insulation: The main goal is installing greener types of central heating systems and making our homes energy-efficient in the years to come.
How can you help?
There are so many ways you can help with the shift towards climate change, without even realising. This can include:
Cutting your energy use: this can be simply done by turning down your thermostat (just one degree makes a difference), or switching devices off when they’re not in use.
Good news is, if you're an E.ON Next fixed tariff customer, you're already on 100% renewable electricity* - helping to transform the UK energy supply away from fossil fuels.
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Get more ideas on how to improve the energy rating of your home.
Refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle: If you want to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly, the 4 Rs here are the way to go. You’ll soon be steering clear of unnecessary shopping and packaging.
We’ve got plenty more ideas on how to help with all this over on our blog:
Learn how to reduce your carbon footprint when you travel.
Take a look at our carbon friendly ideas for activities in the garden.