LGA at COP26

We are pleased to be leading local government’s presence at COP26 – the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference – in Glasgow.

Graphic illustration of wind farm on grass field against blue sky with white clouds

The LGA will have representation and events at COP26 in both the Green Zone, which is public-facing, and the Blue Zone, where the formal negotiations take place.

Activities and events hosted by the LGA and partners will be focused on the transport day (10 November) and the built environment day (11 November). You can find out more about the UK Presidency Programme on the UK's COP26 website.

We had been leading calls for a dedicated local and regional government day which will take place on 11 November, as the Cities, Regions and the Built Environment day.

In the Blue Zone, the LGA will be taking forward our key messages on the unique and powerful role of councils in climate change, highlighted in our brief below.

In the Green Zone, the LGA’s Net Zero Innovation Programme has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Climate Challenge Cup. The awards event will take place on November 10.

We also have an exhibition stand in the Green Zone in partnership with Northern Ireland LGA. There we will be showcasing the vital work councils have been doing to address the climate emergency.

Our activities and events across the 10 and 11 November are outlined below. Please note that the LGA is not controlling attendance.

What we are calling for at COP26

Climate change requires urgent and significant international, national, local and sector leadership

But only local government leadership can mobilise and join-up the collective action in the real-world cities, towns, and rural areas that people live.

And only local government holds the wide range of important delivery powers and assets to decarbonise transport, buildings, waste, energy, nature, growth and more.

Your local council is standing up, declaring a climate emergency, and bringing in public and partner backing for taking local action that delivers on legal obligations to achieve net zero.

Yet, until now, our unique and powerful influence has been underutilised. Gaps in powers, policy, capacity, and funding hold us back. Lacking cooperation leaves us uncertain.

This can be resolved in Glasgow.

Collaborative delivery with local government needs a framework, financing, flexibility, and facilitation

UK CCC, 2020

Worldwide, our communities need a dedicated chapter for subnational and local government in the official agreement reached at COP26.

And at home, local government needs hard wiring into the UK’s Nationally Determined Contribution: “working with local government” must feature in section 4a(i), paragraphs 1, 2 and 23.

From this should come an ambitious programme to achieve emissions reductions in local places, by achieving the right balance of responsibilities, powers and resources at the right level.

We will focus on local government’s powers to:

  • Decarbonise and adapt homes, buildings and the built environment
  • Decarbonise and adapt transport within and across places
  • Protect, adapt and grow the natural environment

And:

  • Attract private finance through public leadership, investment, and commitment
  • Equip local labour markets with skills to deliver for green investment
  • Bring consensus for change within the public and community

Local authorities are a cornerstone of climate change partnerships across the country that link key delivery organisations to deliver Net Zero

UK CCC, 2020

The efforts at COP26 will only succeed if they are made real in the places that people feel belonging to, where they live their lives and businesses do business.

Only local government can bring this together. COP25 in Madrid failed to recognise this, but it can be rectified at COP26.

Our events at COP26

Wednesday 10 November

  • 10am: United Nations Global Climate Action Hub (blue zone): Leading disruptive change
  • 4.30–6pm: Multilevel Action Pavilion (blue zone): Multilevel action – going further and faster to deliver local net zero
  • 6pm: Climate Challenge Cup awards (green zone): LGA’s Net Zero Innovation Programme shortlisted

Thursday 11 November

  • Multilevel Action Pavilion (blue zone): joint event in partnership with national and international local government organisations
  • All day: exhibition stand (green zone): A local path to net zero
LGA Climate Change Sector Support Programme

The LGA Climate Change Sector Support Programme helps councils and residents to reach their local carbon reduction and adaptation targets. Use the climate change hub link on this page to find a range of publications, toolkits, leadership programmes, podcasts, events and good practice. This forms part of the sector support programme available to councils and is funded by the UK Government.