Today marks the commencement proper of COP26 – the 26th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

A national climate delegation (NCD) from Ireland is attending the conference, which is taking place in Glasgow, Scotland, and is ongoing until November 12.

What is it?
COP26 will establish whether UN parties are individually and collectively on track to reach the objective of the Paris Agreement – to limit global temperature rise to below 2°C and to strive towards 1.5°C.

The Irish NCD comprises members from a range of government departments, specialist agencies and entities, including Met Éireann, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue will attend COP26 at specific points during the first week

Ireland’s NCD will be led by the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan.

Minister Ryan will attend COP26 from Monday, November 8 to Friday, November 12.

World Leaders’ Summit

However, An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin is attending the World Leaders’ Summit, which takes place today (Monday, November 1) and tomorrow (Tuesday, November 2).

This summit is expected to be the largest gathering of world leaders that the UK has ever hosted.

This afternoon, he will partake in the World Leader’s Summit Action and Solidarity Event hosted by British prime minister, Boris Johnson.

But tomorrow, he will deliver Ireland’s national statement outlining the ways in which we are working towards achieving the Paris Agreement objectives.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue and Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), Martin Heydon will attend COP26 at specific points during the first week. Minister of State at the DAFM, Pippa Hackett will attend at specific points during the second week.

Minister Simon Coveney and Minister of State, Colm Brophy, both from the Department of Foreign Affairs, and Minister of State, Malcolm Noonan from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage will also attend at specific points during the second week.

COP26 Irish events

In parallel with the negotiations, Ireland will host or co-host four high-level side events at COP26.

  • Monday November 8,

    Champions Group on Adaptation Finance;
  • Tuesday November 9,

    Public Engagement and Renewable Energy;
  • Wednesday November 10,
    Addressing the ocean in supporting climate justice in Small Island Developing States;
  • Friday November 12,
    European Peatlands Initiative.

Ireland will also participate in a number of other events, at both ministerial and expert level, during the two-week conference.

The following is a non-exhaustive list of Irish organisations that are planning to visit or partake in COP26:

  • An Taisce;
  • Irish Environmental Network;
  • Christian Aid;
  • Student Climate Action Network;
  • Trocaire;
  • Oxfam;
  • Friends of the Earth;
  • Macra na Feirme;
  • National Youth Council of Ireland;