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Future Earth at COP26: Elevating Climate Science in Political Negotiations

The COP 26 UN Climate Change Conference, hosted by the UK in partnership with Italy, is taking place between 31 October to 12 November 2021 in the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow, UK. In this critical moment for decisive action on tackling climate change, Future Earth is working to make sure science is elevated high up on the agenda.

As an official observer of the negotiations, Future Earth has a significant virtual and on site presence at the conference. Representatives from our research networks, partnership initiatives and secretariats will launch influential new research for supporting negotiations, convene our partners in science action events and display poster sessions.

Follow our social channels (Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram) for live updates and keep up to date with daily broadcasting from the Nature Newsroom, an initiative of the Global Commons Alliance (#COP26 #COP26Glasgow).


The Nature Newsroom

The Global Commons Alliance (GCA) are partnering with Nature4Climate to coordinate three major activities at COP26: the #NaturePositive campaign, the Nature Zone pavilion hosting over 70 events (live streamed) and Nature’s Newsroom – daily live broadcasts from the centre of the action. Earth Commissioners, a global team of scientists with the mission to define a safe and just corridor for people and the planet, will be interviewed through the week amongst an ambitious program of 70+ interviews and announcements. The Earth Commission is hosted by Future Earth and forms the scientific cornerstone of the Global Commons Alliance. Access the Nature’s Newsroom programme and view the broadcasts here on demand.

Future Earth Activities at COP26 

Emerging Climate Risks and what will it take to limit global warming to 2.0°C?
Tuesday 2 November 2021 | 08:00-09:00 GMT  | IPCC-WMO-UKMO Pavilion

Anthropogenic climate change brings many significant challenges and risks that affect almost all aspects of life on Earth. To reduce such threats, the COP21 Paris Agreement aimed to limit global warming to well below 2.0°C above pre-industrial temperatures, and to pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C. Staying below 2.0°C requires an unprecedented transformation of societies around the world to reduce emissions as well as a technology revolution. Negative emission technologies are unlikely to be possible at the scale proposed in many scenarios. The session will discuss risks and consequences of breaching 1.5°C warming, and possible transformation pathways that guide decision makers and stakeholders. Watch all WMO Pavilion event webinars on YouTube

Moderator: Helen Cleugh, WCRP Vice Chair 


  • IPCC WG I: Valerie Masson-Delmotte, France]
  • Panmao Zhai, China
  • WCRP: Detlef Stammer, Germany
  • Future Earth: Johan Rockström, Germany
  • ISC: Peter Gluckman, New Zealand

Panel Members:

  • Gabi Hegerl, WCRP-Safe Landing Climates 
  • Regina Rodrigues, WCRP-My Climate Risk, Brazil
  • Bruce Hewitson, WCRP-Regional Information for Society, South Africa, 
  • Greg Flato, IPCC WG1, Canada 
  • Johan Rockström, Future Earth, Germany 
  • Detlef Stammer, WCRP Chair, Germany
  • Sabine Fuss , Future Earth, Germany


Global Carbon Project Press Conference
Wednesday 3 November 2021 | 09:30 GMT Embargoed press conference

Whilst world leaders meet at COP26, the Global Carbon Project (GCP) will reveal the latest trends in global carbon emissions and the ramifications for reaching our global climate goals.

The GCP aims to develop a complete picture of the global carbon cycle, including both its biophysical and human dimensions together with the interactions and feedbacks between them. The report to be launched at COP26 – the 16th annual Global Carbon Budget – will offer data and analysis on major emitters including China, USA, EU27, India and the rest of the world. It will also offer vital new information on rates of deforestation, and the continued high global use of coal, oil, and gas to fuel our economies.  The Global Carbon Project is an international research project within the Future Earth research initiative on global sustainability, and a research partner of the World Climate Research Programme.

Contact: or 


Evidence for Abrupt Changes, Tipping Points and Cascading Impacts in the Earth System
Wednesday 3 November 2021 | Poster Q&A 13:15-14:45 GMT
Virtual poster @ UNFCCC Earth Information Day | National Poster Hall theme 1: Updates on Earth observations for Observation of the Climate System

Warming temperatures can lead to disintegration of ice sheets, permafrost thaw, slowdown of ocean circulation, forest dieback, and ocean deoxygenation. These abrupt changes can occur on timescales short enough to challenge society’s capacity to adapt. Geologic archives like ice and sediment cores provide a test-bed for understanding abrupt changes or tippingpoints in the past 20,000 years. 

  1. We highlight results from a recent paper by Brovkin et al., 2021, that synthesizes paleo-records to illustrate the cascading impacts of abrupt change in cryosphere-ocean interactions and hydroclimate variability on ecological and societal systems. We review useful indicators of upcoming abrupt changes or early warning signals from observations. 
  2. Further, a chapter in the 10 New Insights in Climate Science report 2021, highlights destabilization already observed today. 

The Future Earth poster can be viewed here. The poster session can be joined here, after using the registration link below:

Registration for the virtual poster platform

Contact: Hannah Liddy – Future Earth AIMES project, hl3147@columbia.ed;


Climate Adaptations: Oceans and coastal management
Wednesday 3 November 2021 | 15:15-17:30 GMT | Pen Y Fan Plenary Room

Earth Information for Climate Action – Perspectives from the UK Presidency – plenary presentation by Dr Marie Fanny-Racault (Plymouth Marine Laboratory)

A two-part presentation on adaptation, focusing on ocean tracking using EO and the role of EO for public health (case study on cholera risk in coastal regions supported by the ESA-Future Earth Joint programme). This is also a Health Knowledge-Action Network endorsed project.

Contact: Marie-Fanny Racault:

Agenda for half-day Earth Information Presidency event


“Planetary Health is Public Health” Panel
Wednesday 3 November 2021 | 13:30 – 15:00 GMT | SDGs Goals House

Catherine Machalaba and Timothy Bouley will be launching a paper (“Protecting our Planet Protects our Health”) at this event


10 New Insights in Climate Science 2021 Press Conference
Thursday 4 November 2021 | 09:30 GMT | UNFCCC Pressroom

The 10 New Insights in Climate Science series is a joint initiative of Future Earth, the Earth League, and the World Climate Research Programme. The 10NICs are a synthesis of the most robust climate-related research findings available today. The report is based on an assessment made by >60 world-leading academic experts, with a scoping process that reaches several thousands of scientists working on fields related to climate change. Since 2017 the 10NICs have been launched annually at the Climate COP and presented to the UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Ms. Patricia Espinosa. Learn more at: 



Sustainability and Climate Services for Transformation Preparing for Climate Extremes
Friday 5 November 2021 | 14:00-15:00 GMT | German Pavilion and Online

Climate services provide information to support society to adapt to and mitigate climate change, to become more resilient and to prepare for current and future climate risks. This session will cover aspects of how climate service products can be made available and usable for a transformation towards global sustainability. We will also discuss the role of international cooperation. Register at:


Arctic Basecamp High level Panel on Risk
Friday 5 November 2021 | 15:00-16:30 GMT  | In person event
Skypark Site 7, West Greenhill Place, Glasgow, G3 8JR

Launch of the prototype of the new online Arctic Risk platform:

Moderator: Prof. Gail Whiteman, founder of Arctic Basecamp


  • Abdul Kalam Azad, Special Envoy of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF)  Presidency, Bangladesh
  • Maria Mendiluce, CEO of We Mean Business
  • Peter Bakker, Chairman and CEO of World Business Council for  Sustainable Development
  • Erin Billman, Executive Director, Science Based Targets Network
  • Scientists: Prof. Julienne Stroeve, Prof. Alun Hubbard, Prof. Sue Natali 



Getting to know Peatlands, the largest natural land carbon stores on Earth
Friday 5 November 2021 | 19:00 – 20:30 GMT | Peatland Pavilion, Blue Zone, Hall 4
session coordinated by C-PEAT & Future Earth

This session aims to show what peat looks like; to show where peatlands are found; to explain how the peat record is used to understand how climate change and disturbance impacts their carbon storing capacity; to discuss a novel way to help protect peatlands.  


  • Angela Gallego-Sala, Professor In Ecosystems and Biogeochemical Cycles, Univeristy of Exeter – PAGES
  • Julie Loisel, Assistant Professor In Peatlands and Wetlands, Texas A&M University – PAGES
  • Juan Carlos, Assistant Professor Ecology and Climate Change, Benavides University of Pontificia Javeriana – PAGES


Carbon Conservation and Sequestration in Ocean Nature-Based and Technology Solutions
Saturday 6 November 2021 | 15:00pm GMT | Side event Room Derwentwater (Hall C)

The Ocean has been the primary sustained carbon sink that mitigates climate change consequences since the Industrial Era. Our Ocean has meanwhile been severely degraded over decades, and the future of ocean carbon sink is largely uncertain, especially under low emissions scenarios. There is considerable interest in marine ecosystem-based approaches and other interventions for carbon dioxide removal (CDR). The risks and potential of these techniques, and associated scientific, societal and policy challenges, need to be fully evaluated. The objectives of these panel discussions are to highlight:

  1. The role of marine nature-based solutions to mitigate climate change, their benefits and trade-offs.
  2. Present options for carbon removal from the technological to the industrial levels.

Speakers (in order of appearance): ​​

  • HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco 
  • Lisa Miller, Future Earth – SOLAS
  • Nathalie Hilmi, Centre Scientifique de Monaco
  • Pere Masque, IAEA 
  • Erik Van Doorn, Future Earth – SOLAS 
  • Lisa Ovreas, Bergen University 
  • Ralph Chami, International Monetary Fund
  • Paul Holtus, World Ocean Council 
  • Minhan Dai, FutureEarth – SOLAS 
  • Sébastien Soleille, BNP Paribas Foundation.




EARWAC demonstrator presentation
Monday 8 November 2021 | 10-11am GMT | Sierra Leone Pavilion

The EARWAC platform was co-developed to enhance adaptation and resilience against coastal multi- hazards along the West African coast, from Senegal to Cameroon. The project is led by researchers from Future Earth’s Ocean KAN based at Sixth Avis Ltd, Nigeria, and has consulted widely among stakeholders across 12 countries. Join us for a presentation of the demonstrator with several members of the development team.


  1. Sophie Hebden – Future Earth / ESA
  2. Ibukun Adewumi – Stakeholders Engagement & Africa Programme Coordinator – Global Ocean Accounts Partnership
  3. TBC

Promotional flyer


Infectious Diseases on the Move: Early warning systems to adapt to climate change
Monday 8 November 2021 | Time: 17:00 – 18:00 | WHO Health Pavilion

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), “There is strong evidence that changing weather patterns associated with climate change are shifting the geographic range, seasonality, and intensity of transmission of climate-sensitive infectious diseases.” This may be especially true for water- and vector- borne diseases. Climate change, especially increased temperatures and changing rainfall patterns, are expected to increase malaria exposure in many parts of Africa. In Mozambique, there was an increase in cholera cases after flooding resulting from Cyclone Idai in 2019. There are an increasing number of early warning systems and tools that incorporate climate and weather data to predict infectious diseases risk. This session is focused on identifying forward thinking and best practices for disease early warning, and ensuring these tools and systems are useful for end users and health professionals moving forward.


  1. Dr. Kris Ebi, University of Washington
  2. Hiwot Teka, U.S. Agency for International Development, Ethiopia.
  3. Lungi Okoko, U.S. Agency for International Development, Presidents Malaria Imitative.
  4. Dr. Sezin Tokar, U.S. Agency for International Development, Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance
  5. Dr. Kiersten Johnson or Dr. Shaina Craige, U.S. Agency for International Development, Famine Early Warning System Network.

Watch the livestream here.


Climate Change Crisis and One Health
Thursday 11 November 2021 | 18:00-19:00 GMT | WHO Health Pavilion


Thursday 11th Nov | 18:00-19:00 GMT | WHO Health Pavilion

Speakers from UNEP, FAO, OIE, WHO, IDRC, and Future Earth

  1. Introduction by the Moderator – Julio Pinto
  2. Opening remarks, Keith Sumption, CVO FAO
  3. Panel Discussion and Q/A – Catherine Machalaba, EcoHealth Alliance / Future Earth; Doreen Robinson, UNEP; Tianna Brand, OIE; Cristina Romanelli, WHO; 

The panel discussion will see the speakers give their vision and detail the work of their organization on how to address climate change and One Health approach.  

  1. Closing remarks – Keith Sumption


Further Information and useful links