What is COP26?
COP26 is the next annual meeting of the UN Climate Change Conference, the world’s most important summit on climate change. COP stands for Conference of the Parties, the countries that signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which was adopted in 1992. Most climate experts describe COP26 as the most significant climate moment since the 2015 Paris Agreement, as countries will report on how they have progressed in implementing the Agreement. COP26 will be the first opportunity to see if we are on track to respond to the multiple challenges presented by the climate emergency and where more efforts are required.
Why is Practical Action at COP26?
This is a critical time for the world, especially the most climate-vulnerable. At COP26, our team will share the lessons and amplify the voices of the communities we work with on the frontline of climate change. These communities know what needs to change and which solutions work best for them. We need to urgently scale these up while we still can.
We need action and finance to protect low-income and frontline communities from the ongoing and future impacts of climate change. We need to drive livelihood improvements, biodiversity restoration, and job creation to deliver a just transition to an environmentally friendly, regenerative economy. And we need more of the right types of finance and solutions to flow to those most in need.
What do we bring to COP26?
We bring real-world experience and solutions that work to the climate debate. Central to our climate advocacy is building support for participatory approaches that deliver climate action for people on the frontlines. Climate action must be inclusive, build women’s leadership, empower voices from the global south, and deliver the bigger systems change required.
We are already a trusted partner influential with governments and decision-makers from the community and district to national and global scales. We are committed to working with frontline communities to ensure that they are treated as rightsholders instead of beneficiaries. At COP26, we will continue to emphasise that decisions taken at the global level should lead to national actions with local communities’ active participation.
How are we involved?
At the climate negotiations, our team will support delegates from the global south, offering our expertise and evidence from over fifty years of work with local communities.
As an official observer of the UN Climate Change Conference for the sixth year running, we will leverage that expertise to ensure the needs of frontline communities are front and central to the negotiations.
We are a member of the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance, a global multi-sector partnership that builds community resilience to floods, a climate and weather related hazard affecting hundreds of millions of people every year. Find out more about what the Alliance is doing at COP on our Flood Resilience Portal.
Our five main asks for COP26
Limit Warming to 1.5°C
Deep decarbonisation is required to limit future global temperature rise to a maximum of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Each increase in temperature rise adds to the severity of climate impacts.
Scale Up Climate Finance
Climate finance needs to be increased considerably with at least 50% of public climate finance dedicated to adaptation in the form of grants. Loss and Damage must also be allocated new and additional finance.
Address Loss and Damage
Many low-income and vulnerable communities around the world are facing loss and damage from climate impacts. Climate change is disproportionately affecting those who contribute the least to the problem. This needs to be acknowledged and addressed urgently.
Drive Inclusive Action
All climate action must be grounded in a whole-of-society approach that includes women, youth, low-income and marginalised groups, and Indigenous Peoples. Only a diverse and inclusive COP that recognises these groups as rights-holders can overcome the blockages that stand in the way of progress.
Promote Solutions that Work for People and Nature
All climate action must be grounded locally. Our participatory and grounded approach provides long-term and sustainable climate solutions. Big change can, in fact, start small.
Where to find Practical Action at COP26?
Practical Action Booth
1 & 2 November 2021, All day, Stand C5
Practical Action is hosting an exhibition stand in the COP26 Green Zone where we will be showcasing some inspiring, innovative solutions that are already tackling climate change – including our own work supporting communities in Sudan. If you can’t make it to Glasgow in person, you can still visit the Green Zone virtually. Google’s online Digital Green Zone is showcasing stories from exhibitors via the Google Arts & Culture platform.
CAN Press Conference: Loss and Damage and the Progress of the WIM
Thursday 4 November 2021, 09:00-09:45
COP26 must deliver on Loss and Damage. Practical Action, with partners, has undertaken an independent review of the progress of the Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage (WIM). This press conference will share the findings of the review, highlighting areas where progress has been made and where more work is required to ensure the global community is focussed on the priorities to address loss and damage in the most climate impacted communities.
“How to Use Renewable Energy to Promote Inclusive and Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Economies that are Good for the Planet?”
Monday 8 November 2021, 17:00-17:45
Productive uses of renewable energy in agriculture have the potential to achieve “triple wins” for rural poverty reduction, climate change adaptation and mitigation. We will address the trade-offs between achieving energy access for productive uses in agriculture through renewable energy and doing it in economically and environmentally sustainable ways. This session will bring together members from both the agriculture and energy access sector.
Speakers: Mattia Vianello (Head of Energy, Practical Action), Koen Peters (CEO, GOGLA), Maria Goss, (Agriculture Systems and Innovation Lead, Practical Action), Liva Kaugure (Natural Resource Officer, FAO), Petra Hans (Lead of Agriculture, Ikea Foundation – TBC).
“Lessons from the Frontline: How can NbS Deliver Development and Climate Benefits?”
Tuesday 9 November 2021, 7:30-9:00
Organisers: IIED, Farm Africa, Farmers Seed Network China, RSPB, Practical Action
This session shares evidence on how nature-based solutions (NbS), when done well, can help address those interconnected challenges. Building on case studies from the frontline and engaging with participants, the session will highlight key ingredients for success and challenges and opportunities for NbS to deliver development and climate benefits on the ground.
Chris Henderson (Head of Agriculture, Practical Action) will be present as co-facilitator.
“Opportunities for Green and Grey Infrastructure to Increase Flood Resilience”
Tuesday 9 November 2021, 14:30-16:00
Organisers: WWF, WB, IFRC, Practical Action
This session will discuss the opportunities and challenges of green infrastructure for flood resilience and how it can be combined with hybrid solutions and grey infrastructure. Practical examples and experiences from community level will be presented from organisations and participants. The potential for partnerships and collaboration on NbS for flood resilience in disaster management contexts will be explored. Speakers include WWF, Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance and World Bank.
Speakers: Colin McQuistan (Practical Action), Anita van Breda (WWF).
Climate Risk and Security Virtual Pavilion
Blue Zone & Online
Tuesday 9 November 2021, 15:30-17:00
Organisers: UNEP, Chatham House
Dr Dharam Uprety (Practical Action) will join other experts to discuss climate risks and the world security impacts of climate change.
“How are Vulnerable Countries Responding to Loss and Damage and What Support Do They Need?”
Thursday 11 November 2021, 16:45 – 18:00 Lomond Auditorium 144 pax
This event will provide a presentation of case studies on national preparedness for loss and damage. What are the challenges and opportunities for developing countries, local governments and communities as loss and damage impacts accelerate? This session will highlight the mechanisms required to strengthen global solidarity.
Speakers: Reinhard Mechler (IIASA), Sunil Acharya (Practical Action), Asim Saqlain (Oxfam Pakistan), Dr Yiqing Song (Nanning Green Seeds Poverty Alleviation Service Centre), Speaker (Prakriti Resources Centre), Speaker (Government of Nepal).
Meet the Practical Action COP26 team
Practical Action is joining COP26 with a diverse and dynamic team of 11 staff members. Each member of our team hails from a different part of the world and has expertise in various subjects that are central to the UN climate negotiations, including agriculture, energy, climate justice, Loss and Damage, disaster risk reduction, and inclusive climate action. Our team is looking forward to sharing Practical Action’s work on climate and resilience and learning from the insights and expertise of other participants from across the world at COP26.
Head of Agriculture, UK
At Practical Action, I support work in Bangladesh, Nepal, Sudan, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Peru and Bolivia that promotes a transition to food and agriculture systems that are sustainable and work for smallholder farmers. Drawing on a career of over 25 years as an agricultural researcher, development worker, and programme manager in developing countries, I provide technical advice and support to our national and regional offices across the world.
I will be at week one of the COP to bring to light Practical Action’s experience in locally-led adaptation and improve the way sustainable and inclusive agriculture is included in the GGA, the NDCs, and the GST. I will also be following the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture and discussions around the use of nature-based solutions.
Head of Climate and Resilience, UK
I lead the Climate and Resilience Hub at Practical Action. I have worked extensively on sustainable development, disaster risk reduction, and climate change adaptation. My main areas of interest are in systems approaches, complexity, resilience, natural capital and climate justice. I am a regular participant at the UNFCCC Conference of Parties and an observer of the UNFCCC Warsaw International Mechanism. I am also an advisory board member of the Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience (IHRR) at Durham University and a trustee of the Loss and Damage Youth Coalition. I am going to COP26 to ensure climate justice is front and central to the negotiations and that the outcomes are ambitious and reflect global needs.
Demet Intepe, PhD
Climate and Resilience Officer, UK
My role is to advise Practical Action on how resilience to climate change for frontline communities can be increased across our programming and influencing portfolio. I provide guidance on how Practical Action’s work can help adapt, mitigate and reduce loss and damage from climate impacts for the most climate-impacted communities, ensuring our programmes build climate resilience from the bottom up. I am excited to attend the COP for the first time; I’ll be there to share the evidence and insights from our work with communities at the frontline of climate change to contribute to the collective struggle for climate justice.
Dharam Uprety, PhD
Thematic Lead for Climate and Resilience, Nepal
My role in Practical Action is to strategically guide the Climate and Resilience team, develop new business ideas, provide technical backstopping in climate, disaster risk reduction, and engage in policy advocacy. With a Ph.D. in Natural Resources Management and a post-doctorate degree in Environmental Sciences, I have over 18 years of professional working experience in climate change, disaster risk reduction, and Early Warning Systems at national and international organisations. I am joining COP26 as an official delegate of the Government of Nepal, and will be engaging in nature-based solutions, climate adaptation technologies, and climate finance streams during the COP26 negotiation process.
Impact and Gender Advisor, UK
I provide support to Practical Action teams around the world to help strengthen the impact of our work from programme design through to evaluation. I also support the organisation to fulfil its commitment to gender-sensitive and gender-transformative programming. This is my first time attending a COP; I am going there to share the lessons we have learnt as an organisation on working with frontline communities to achieve inclusive climate action.
Maria Claudia Valdivia Verde
Green Business Thematic Lead, Peru
My role in Practical Action involves the formulation and management of sustainable agricultural and forestry projects, with emphasis on the promotion and sustainable use of natural resources for the conservation of local biodiversity and as a means of adaptation to climate change. I have a degree in Forestry Sciences from the Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina and a postgraduate degree in Quality Management and Environmental Auditing an Agribusiness Administration. I’m going to COP26 to ensure negotiations include Community-based Adaptation, not only as a strategy but also as a financing requirement for smallholder farmers to lead tangible change.
Maria Goss, PhD
Agriculture Systems and Innovation Leader, Zimbabwe
I offer Practical Action thematic oversight and strategic thought leadership in agriculture, agroecological and climate-smart projects within the region. COP26 presents a great opportunity for learning from other global players in Agriculture Livelihoods, Food/Nutrition Security and Climate Adaptation, and enables the collective planning of the most effective strategies, technologies, and approaches to reduce the national to global carbon footprint. I also look forward to being part of global efforts to enhance sustainable food production systems and adopt resilient practices under the Koronivia Joint Work in Agriculture.
Head of Energy, UK
I am Practical Action’s global leader on energy access. I work closely with our offices and international partners to scale up impact across productive uses of energy, humanitarian energy, last mile distribution and clean cooking. Previously, I worked as consulting Director in West Africa and for a number of energy access assignments across Africa, Asia and Central America. I hold an MSc from Edinburgh University. Universal energy access is a fundamental step towards a prosperous future for all. I’m going to COP26 to meet with partners from all over the world and contribute to the dialogue on the intersection of energy access, climate, and development.
For my first COP experience, I am fortunate to be part of an experienced global Practical Action team and network of leaders who are working to get the best possible results from the event. We need it to deliver much greater re-orientation of government and business priorities and financial flows to deal with the climate emergency and for a greater priority to be given to solutions that deliver for and are led by the most vulnerable.
Silvia Maria Gonzales Gallegos
Global Communications Officer, Peru
I am Practical Action’s editorial and communications specialist based in Peru, with fifteen years of experience combining publishing, marketing, strategic communications and civil society organising skills for projects and consultancies. At COP26, I’ll carry the voices of those sparking positive change in Practical Action’s country offices, sharing their learnings and successes with those who can contribute to scaling them up and reach a broader impact.
Regional Advisor for Climate and Resilience, Nepal
I am the Regional Advisor for Climate and Resilience at Practical Action with specialist focus on South Asia and the Least Developed Countries. Based in Nepal office, I lead efforts in integrating climate and disaster resilience into our programs and external engagements on climate change agenda in the region. As a long-time participant of UN climate negotiations, I am attending COP26 to influence positive outcome on the issue of Loss and Damage, specifically focusing on robust technical and financial support system for communities and people suffering from irreversible climate impacts.
Snapshots from our work
As Practical Action, we are committed to working with communities on the frontlines of climate change. Below are three examples of our successful projects that have transformed rural lives and livelihoods in Peru, Sudan, and Nepal. Our projects are designed, managed, and implemented with local communities in the driving seat. These projects serve as evidence to support our five asks for COP26, proving that it is possible to achieve big strides in climate change adaptation through locally-led and inclusive solutions that generate livelihoods, protect biodiversity, and reduce or prevent exposure to slow-onset and extreme weather events.
Coffee agroforestry as a win-win solution in Peru
Coffee is the second most popular drink globally and the most important agricultural commodity in Peru. The unpredictabi...
Community-based land and water management for adaptation at scale in Sudan
Changes in the reliability and intensity of rainfall add stress to farming systems already under pressure from populatio...
Bio-dykes: Working with nature to reduce flood losses
The Terai plains in Nepal are inhabited by indigenous communities farming soils enriched by annual floods. Climate chang...
Building flood resilience in vulnerable communities
Floods affect more people globally than any other type of natural hazard and cause huge economic, social and humanitaria...