Flipping the conversation: the aftermath of COP26

Jonquil Hackenberg, PA Global Head of Sustainability and Climate Response

There was a lot riding on COP26. While one single conference could never mitigate the climate crisis once and for all, a lot of important puzzle pieces came together in Glasgow this year – powerful people, powerful ideas, and powerful commitments.

While there were certainly achievements, there were also disappointments. The likes of India and China watering down the global commitment to reducing coal generation put a dampener on the conference’s outcomes.

This came in stark contrast to the rising stars of the fight against the climate crisis: climate-vulnerable small nations from the Caribbean to the Pacific Island states, many of which were unable to send leaders to attend in person.

While some countries let the side down, there were unexpected wins – namely from within the private sector, from leaders who showed up and committed to change more than ever before. By its nature, the COP brings together voices and ideas from across business, politics, society, and science, and this was certainly true in Glasgow.

For me, it was these unlikely conversations, between people who wouldn’t ordinarily come together, that led to some of the most meaningful outcomes at COP26.

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