DEEPTI’S RESEARCH DISPATCH

The UN Climate Meeting, COP26, was a Huge Step Up from Previous Years

AND there’s a long, long way to go. COP26: Research Tidbit #4

Deepti Kannapan
7 min readJan 11, 2022

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Photo by The Climate Reality Project on Unsplash

Back in November 2021, I saw a lot of headlines about ‘COP26’. At the time, I didn’t know what COP26 was, except that it was a climate change-related meeting hosted by the UN.

From the snippets of news I caught in real-time, I learned that COP26 stands for 26th session of the Conference of the Parties, and that several US diplomats were attending.

However, I found most of the news coverage in real time stressful to follow, especially because most climate coverage (more so, even, than the rest of the news) frames every development with a lot of win-lose, heroes and villains, fate-of-the Universe-hangs-in-the-balance drama.

I’m making an effort to learn about climate change because I care about it, and I don’t care to have my emotions toyed with for the clicks.

I’ve been following the news long enough to know that the better time to read up on an event is soon after it ends, when all the information is in and more reasoned summaries are available.

Over the holidays in 2021, I made a deeper dive into COP26 to catch myself up on what I missed, learn all the terminology and acronyms, and look for takeaways on what COP26 means for my personal climate actions going forward.

If you’d like to know about COP26 as well, keep reading.

What I knew going in

Very little! From the news I read, I gathered the basics of the meeting, namely, that it was held in Glasgow, organized by the UN, and attended by diplomats from around the world.

I also heard about glimmers of hope as well as some major disappointments that some agreements that were hoped for ended up falling through. So, going in, I knew to have modest expectations.

What I wanted to know

What does COP stand for?

What were the biggest positive developments?

How does this COP stack up against the previous 25?

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Deepti Kannapan

Painter, occasional cartoonist, aerospace engineer. Writes about sustainable technology, creativity, and journaling.