Getting ready for COP26

The rear garden under flood water in autumn at Shugborough Estate, Staffordshire

With governments from around the world meeting to discuss the global fight against climate change, and its impacts being felt more severely at home, 2021 is a turning point for climate action.

Find out more about our presence at COP26 in Glasgow from 31 October to 12 November, and how you can do your bit to help tackle the climate crisis.

What is COP?  

The Conference of Parties (COP) is the world’s largest conference on climate change. This annual conference, run by the United Nations (UN) since 1995, is where world leaders discuss plans to tackle climate change.

One of the main aims of COP is to review progress made by countries belonging to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which laid the ground for the Paris Agreement signed by 196 world leaders at COP21 in 2015. This agreement is a legally binding international treaty that aims to limit global warming to below 2C (ideally 1.5C) compared to pre-industrial levels.

Why is COP26 so important?

COP26, which will take place in Glasgow from 31 October to 12 November 2021, is critically important. This is because it is the deadline for nations that signed up to the Paris Agreement to present their plans to cut carbon emissions.

News update: summit explores heritage and climate change ahead of COP26

We’re joining the debate on how to protect heritage sites and historic buildings from the damaging effects of climate change. 

Our experts will be speaking at the Climate Resilience Heritage Summit, which is taking place on 27 October as part of COP Culture – a series of events focused on cultural heritage and the historic environment.

Heritage and Climate Consultant, Imogen Sambrook and Agricultural Ecologist, Matt Heard from the National Trust are joining Joshua Deru from sustainability consultancy 3Keel to present a session on the Hazard Map – a tool that flags the potential for climate change impacts across the UK and helps us consider the risks to the places in our care. The session will highlight how understanding an area's exposure to climate change can help inform and develop effective and timely adaptation options. 

The event will also explore the following topics: working with climate data, assessing climate vulnerability and preparing and adapting heritage sites for a changing climate.

Attendants will hear speakers from a range of different organisations, including Historic Environment Scotland, Historic England, English Heritage, The Wildlife Trusts and Climate Change Committee. 

Find out more and book a place to attend virtually>

Our team at Mount Stewart in County Down (pictured left) is working to protect the gardens and historic buildings from the damaging consequences of rising sea levels. 



Book your place on the Climate Resilience Heritage Summit
" We're stepping up, but governments need to do the same. Without policy, resources and clear leadership, we risk losing sites of historical and national significance to the worse effects of climate change"
- Lizzie Carlyle, Head of Environmental Practices, National Trust

The National Trust at COP26

In order to achieve our mission of being for everyone, for ever, we're stepping up our efforts in the fight against climate change. But we need governments to do the same. As the UK is hosting COP26 this year, it has a chance to demonstrate meaningful action and leadership on climate change.

Without robust environmental policies, adequate resources and clear leadership, we won't achieve the scale of response we need to tackle the worst effects of climate change, which is already destroying landscapes that support nature and people.

We'll be attending COP26 to raise awareness of how a changing climate is affecting beaches, countryside sites and places of historical interest. We'll also be highlighting the key role nature can play in tackling the challenges ahead. Watch this space for more information on what we'll be doing at COP26. 

Our environmental pledges

  • We're planting and establishing 20 million trees by 2030
  • By 2030 we'll be carbon net-zero across our own emissions and those created by our supply chain and investments
  • By 2025 we'll have created 25,000 hectares of new wildlife habitats
  • We'll create green corridors for people and nature near towns and cities
Join the fight that unites us

Are you looking for ideas on how to take action on the climate crisis? From lobbying politicians to reducing your own individual carbon footprint, there are many different ways to join the fight against climate change.